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We visit KEGS in Uganda

February 18th, 2024

There will not be the usual blurb or Fun Facts about Uganda in this post as this is not our first time in Uganda – we will just date some info below. 

CURRENCY:             Ugandan Shillings (UGX) – $0.0026 USD or $0.0035 CDN


BEER:                        Tusker and Nile

GAS:                           5300 UGX per litre average over out time here  – about $5.20 USD per gallon

We landed safely in Uganda, about 20 minutes late and were at the Immigration line by 2:47.  Here we had to use our “Visa Approval Letters” to get our East Africa Visa (the single entry Uganda visa was half the price but required a lot more paperwork).

We had made copies of all the documents we had submitted as the letter said to do but, of course, none of it was needed.  The process of lining up and finally getting the visa was about a half hour.  We were some of the last through and when it got to our turn, the two officers in the booth we were standing at, had both run out of the visa sticker that goes into your passport – that took a good five minutes to sort out.

Since we were so long getting visas, all of four bags were already on the luggage belt and we walked over to an ATM to get cash.    Here in Uganda you need a lot of shillings for payment so the plan was to go to the bank nearly every day for a few days to not only pay for the rental car but expenses for KEGS and our own expenses.

What took the longest was getting SIM’s for our phones.  We were second in line so there was about a five minute wait and then when the new SIM’s were inserted, both of them didn’t work – and he had to do all the paperwork all over again.  This included taking a photo of our faces holding our SIM cards!

Forty-five minutes later we met the guy with our rental car outside. Pius finished the paperwork, we handed over the cash payment and we were on our way.  He asked us to take him with us and drop us off after the first toll road so we did.  We have rented a very used Toyota Rav 4 like we did two years from the same fellow.  This time this one is a little worse for wear but was cheap – let’s hope we make it to Kabale and back!

We were underway by 4:15 pm (over an hour later than expected) and decided rather than push on further towards Kabale which was 435 km / 270 mi away, we thought we’d stop once we got outside the city limits of the capital city of Kampala (the airport is in nearby Entebbe).  The traffic was worse than we had expected – the cell phone guy had told us “it’s Sunday, there’s no traffic” so around 5 Fran found us a hotel on near the small city of Mpiringisa about 50 km / 30 mi from the airport.

Mlex Hotel, has a pool, bar and restaurant, free secure parking, offered AC and Wi-Fi for $73 USD a night.   After checking in, we went for a beer/cider and then a swim before having a pretty good dinner at the restaurant.

The weather here in what is supposed to be the rainy season, is relatively humid down in this part of the country near Lake Victoria.  We are at about 1200 m / 3937’ above sea level.  The daytime temps are in the high 20’sC / high 80’s F and at night it doesn’t drop a great deal.

We were on the road by 7:15 the next morning.  We stopped at the equator monument for a quick pic:

And then stopped for “Rolexes” for breakfast – this is a cheap breakfast food of a thin egg omelet rolled up in a chapati bread – very yummy and super filling.

We reached out to Lucky via WhatsApp since it seemed we were ahead of our anticipated arrival time and were told that Frank and Antje were getting their exercise walking up to the school and we arranged to meet up at the school at 1:30 for lunch and a tour.  Less than a kilometre from the school we drove up on Antje and Frank and picked them up.

The city of Kabale is at 1800 m / 5906‘ and the school is another 200 m / 656’ higher in altitude and there’s not as much humidity up here which is nice.  The daily temperature hits the mid 20’s C / mid 70’s F and at night it drops to about 16C / 60F and is often foggy in the mornings.

Lucky and his wife, Meleth, greeted us at the school and lunch was set up in the library building which we had paid to build just after our visit here in 2022.  This building also serves as the computer lab.

We were served potatoes, peas and carrots, posho (sort of really thick corn meal porridge) with bean sauce, squash and rice.  For dessert, we got a banana with a chunk of watermelon and a quarter of an orange.  It was comforting to know that the girls are eating healthier and not getting sick as often thanks to a generous German donor.

We saw the girls all lining up in rotation by class to wash their hands and to get their lunch.

It’s a very smooth assembly line and after they get their dish, they either return to the classroom or the playground to eat.  As of now, there is no dining hall/assembly room – that is the next building that is required after the final permanent classroom being for P1.  (Estimated cost will be around $15000 USD for the hall and $8000 for the classroom.)

There is a need for a staff room building as well that needs to include an office for the head teacher.

Current staff room is too small:

There is also a requirement for the school to have a clinic; currently there is a full time nurse but she’s in a temporary room.

These are the last four buildings which are required by Ugandan law to be a legal school based on recent new regulations.  There is a need to meet the hygiene regulations regarding showers for the teachers, the orphanage and the vocational dorms as well.  Lucky is working with the authorities doing the paper work for the many new requirements but on “African Time”, it’s a slow process.

The school looked quite different from two years and we were looking forward to our afternoon tour.  Since 2022 most of the classrooms and kitchen have been transformed from wooden shacks to permanent structures, more toilets (out houses) have been built, a library building was completed, there is more playground equipment, both a nurse and librarian have been hired, a new water tank has been installed (we need more of those too), the entry gates have been strengthened, and most importantly, the diet of the girls has improved to included daily fruit, healthier main courses.

Before the tour, the children performed a number of songs with dancing for us as a welcoming gesture:

Then it was a traditional performance:

For the final number, we were all asked to join in; due to Doug’s toe wound he bowed up but took photos instead:

For more photos of the grand welcome we received, click  here.

Our tour started in the kitchen and we were so happy for the kitchen staff that they have better conditions in which to prepare meals for over 450 people at breakfast and lunch and about one hundred for dinner (the orphans, teachers who live at the school and the P7 class who board here).  When we were here in 2022, they were working and living in a wooden shack with dirt floors and the wind could just whistle through.  They had one one stove and no serving window or power.  They now have solar power , more cooking places and a much bigger area to work and live in.

One end of this building houses the 3 cooks and there is a storeroom (no photo of living quarters as they were locked during our tour).

Then we visited each classroom in turn where again we were welcomed with a song and we spent a few minutes chatting with the class (there were lessons going on so we didn’t want to spend too much interrupting).

We started with a visit to P7 which was funded by us in honour of Fran’s Dad – the top grade at KEGS (after P7 the girls move on to Secondary School if they can afford it or if they receive a scholarship from a donor).  We sponsored one girl from the 2023 class and six other girls received the same from other donors (if you’re interested, for $2500 USD you can cover the cost of one girl’s four years at high school including room and board).

Then it was on to P6 which we funded from money Fran received from the inheritance from her mother and we built in her memory:

The P5 classroom funded by Joshua and his children.

The P4 girls:

The P3 class:

The P2 class:

The P1 class is temporarily in one of the nursery classes and two of the nursery classes are sharing a space.

The baby nursery where the girls were having an afternoon nap.

The middle nursery and the top nursery.  Once girls “graduate” out of the latter, they move on to P1.

We toured the orphanage grounds (funded by Frank and Antje) – here are shots of the front and back:

and then went to see the staff housing which both they and us funded (through Fran’s inheritance from her mom).   This houses ten teachers and there is cooking facilities for those who are married so when their husband’s visit, they can make meals, otherwise they eat at the school.  There is a bathroom block for both men and women and as mentioned above, a shower building is needed.

We saw the large plot of land between the school and the staff housing that would be perfect for the school, but the current owners want an astronomical amount of money for it – way out of line with its value so that is out of the question sadly.

The orphanage and the vocational school also need shower blocks – all of this of course costs money to build permanent structures.   We have not as yet received estimates for these buildings.  Right now the girls and teachers just “bucket wash” with cold water.

We returned to the main school property and Doug went to see the nurse to have her check out his toe.  She cleaned it well with peroxide, poured on some iodine and re-bandaged it.  It was getting late so we left and drove to the hotel.  We still had to check in, unpack some and then we joined Frank and Antje out on the lawn beside the river for cold beer after we ordered dinner.  We are currently the only guests at the hotel, so we have to order dinner and it’s supposed to be ready in a about an hour.

We are all staying at the Riverside Resort Hotel (the river is not really visible and it’s more of a creek) which has beautifully landscaped grounds.  The hotel has maybe a dozen rooms, a restaurant and a great deal of outdoor space.  We booked the one upper floor “suite” with a balcony and as we don’t eat breakfast, did not get that option. There is no AC here and the Wi-Fi can be sporadic and the power even more so – this is Africa!

Pics of Riverside Resort Hotel – it’s a beautiful property with nicely landscaped grounds:

our room was the upper one with the balcony

 Over beer and dinner, we spent an hour and a half discussing our thoughts on what we’d seen today, what was still needed, what needed improving and things we could encourage Lucky to do to lessen his burden as director. He does have his wife, Meleth, helping out but she is a teacher as well and he really needs an assistant.  It was not a short list.

The salaries for staff, teachers and Lucky are all covered through donations.  The staff and teachers salaries were increased last year and this year the donor who covers Lucky’s salary has offered to his as well.  He works so hard and really deserves this.

Well, we finished our beer and moved inside as sun had long set and it was getting cooler out.  Dinner arrived around 8 (late) and we went straight to our rooms afterwards.

Tuesday morning, Doug went for a run and Fran did yoga in our large room.  When we asked for hot water for tea they brought two thermoses up to our room with mugs.  The manager asked how our night was and when we said it was a bit too warm she offered us a fan for tonight as there is no AC provided here.

Then the day began with a team meeting at our hotel which Lucky joined and at which we planned the schedule for the week and decided on more meetings times and decided to limit meetings to two hours at a session.

At eleven, Doug left to run an errand and Lucky and Antje worked on some documents for a while.  When Doug returned we all left to visit the Vocational School which is about 2km away from the main school.  It used to be a in a tin shack behind the orphanage which was really quite sad looking and it leaked when it rained.

Land had been purchased since we’d last been here and the girls were moved to this new location with a brand new building.

Here they have two large classrooms where these older girls can learn sewing, knitting, weaving, baking, and hair styling.  Ten of the thirty-one the girls board here as well as their 3 teachers.  They also have cows and goats, grow vegetables and raise chickens and rabbits.   The hope is to broaden the curriculum to include shoe making, computer courses, English classes, personal finance classes and some hospitality courses.  It was nice to see Monica, the head teacher, still working here – she is a product of the Vocational School herself and speaks good English.

After our tour the head girl gave a speech of appreciation and ideas for expanding the curriculum and then they all performed a song and dance for us.

Here’s the link to more photos of both our visits to the Vocational School – click here.

We then left the vocational school to go to lunch back at the primary school.  Today’s menu was potatoes, a banana mash, a vegetable stew, pasta and pumpkin with fruit for dessert. Doug and I had to leave around 2:15 as we had dentist appointments at the local hospital for cleanings and first wanted to go back to the hotel to brush our teeth.

Dr. Bonanza saw Doug first and then Fran who had a chipped crown she wanted looked at as well.  He took an x-ray to confirm that no root canal had been performed on that tooth (this would determine if she needed freezing or not before drilling) and then filled the hole before doing the cleaning.  For both of us, including the filling and x-ray that Fran got, we paid about $40 USD.

We met back at the hotel for a happy hour beer with our German friends before a light dinner (also served late again) and we managed to have some down time before bed tonight.  There is too much staff for the number of guests but they are all friendly and quick with a smile, very welcoming and do their best to be helpful where they can.

Our schedule allowed us a mostly free day on Wednesday and Doug went out to meet with a number of people he’s been mentoring online over the past two years while Fran stayed back to work on this blog.  Frank and Antje had appointments with another charity they work with and we had another meeting with Lucky at 4pm at the hotel.

We had two bursts of rain today; one for about a half hour in the early afternoon and another that lasted most of meeting time and beyond.  That cooled things off a bit and it was better night for sleeping – not even needing the fan the hotel staff provided.

Thursday was a busy but productive day.  After a morning meeting at 9 (and again after the afternoon’s activities), the five of us went shopping for gifts for the girls.  Some items Lucky had already purchased on our behalf but we wanted to be sure that everyone at KEGS received a small gift.  We bought notebooks for the primary classes, pads of drawing paper for the nursery girls, leather notebooks for the teachers, a stethoscope for the school nurse, scissors and measuring tapes for the vocational girls, toothbrushes and toothpaste for everyone, oven mitts for the kitchen staff, a uniform jacket for the security guard and an apron for the matron (actually the fabric etc. for these and the vocational girls to make them), and a raincoat for the guy who tends the animals.  There are still a few more items to purchase but we’ve made a huge dent in the “shopping list”.

All four of us were given KEGS polo shirts from the school – they are a lovely bright turquoise colour so we will all wear them on the last day.

Lunch today was two different pasta dishes, posho, a cabbage dish, avocado,

After lunch at the school (during which there was a short rainfall), Fran and Antje stayed at the school and taught a few of the girls how to play hopscotch at the orphanage grounds where we had arranged to have a permanent hopscotch game made in cement before we arrived.  It started to rain after about 40 minutes so everyone ran back to the school for shelter.  When it rains here, it really rains, none of this misty or drizzle.  These girls will teach the rest.

Later we went back to the school grounds and taught a few girls how to play twister on the other permanent cement structure we had built.  This also included a large twister spinner.

While that was happening, Doug and Frank drove over to the vocation school and worked with the girls to make a ladder golf game.  They had them sawing and drilling and then that came to a standstill when they tried to put it together and some of the parts were wrong.  Lucky will have to arrange to get that sorted.

We returned to the hotel around 5:30, had a beer and dinner arrived not so late tonight and we had a quiet evening in our room.

Friday morning was the first morning during our stay here that hasn’t been foggy.  We have a lovely view of the grounds and there are so many birds around.

The school day for the girls in Uganda in long, and not just at KEGS, we understand.  Some girls are up as early as 4:30 in the morning (the P7 girls) and their day ends around 8-9 pm.  Classes take up much of that time but there are breaks for tea, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and the girls at the orphanage (as well as the P7 girls who board at the school) get dinner and late tea before bed.  There are a couple of times for recess during the day as well.  The teachers work hard and their days can be even longer.

We had our 9am team meeting followed by some free time (Doug went to meet some people he had set up meetings with) and then at 2pm Fran, Antje and Frank  visited the local Kabale Cultural Museum for a visit of about 1.5 hours.  We learned all about the history of this area, the tribes and their customs.

Fran had ordered dinner for 6pm for us and we enjoyed some cold beer and sandwiches before retiring to our room.

Saturday began with breakfast because we were going to be out for most of the day.  We headed over to KEGS where Antje and Fran spent a couple of hours with a few teachers teaching them basic computer skills, how to create and save a document in Word and basic calculations in Excel.  Frank went with Lucky to see the plots of land that have been purchased for agriculture which are located away from the school while Doug attempted to meet with a few more of his mentees (many without success due to lack of timeliness, lack of exacting locations to meet and lack of contact).

Before noon Doug joined them at the school and brought along Ronald, a fellow who has begun a small orphanage on the other side of Lake Buyoni.  His charity is called “Smiling Hearts”.  Doug has been chatting with him on WhatsApp and wanted to see what he has created.  Antje but not Frank, joined us.  Frank stayed behind for some one on one time with Lucky.

We drove to the docks of the lake where we hired a boat to take us across.

and then we each got on a “boda boda” – a motorcycle taxi to take us the rest of the way to the orphanage.


The drive began on decent dirt roads but then narrowed to a dirt track then to a new dirt track built only in the past month.  Twice we had to get off and walk because the hills were too steep and reboard the boda boda.

It took about 25 minutes to get up there.

Smiling Hearts consists of three small buildings.  Ronald has 20 orphaned girls and 13 boys.  The girls sleep at the orphanage in one room on the ground on rugs; the boys go to local homes for the night.  They spend the days at the orphanage and get breakfast and lunch.  There is a married couple who do all the cooking, three teachers and one sewing machine for women from the village to learn how to sew.

Unfortunately once the children reach the age of six they can no longer stay at Smiling Hearts and must “go out into the world”.  It is very sad as there is not much they can do but try and be a house maid or work agriculture on someone’s farm.  This is still in its early stages and in such a very rural area.  Getting supplies to this place is very difficult and costly.  We spoke with the Community Board and one of the teachers who speaks English.  They offered us lunch but we all felt the food was better utilized for the children.  We gave Ronald a sum of money and advised him that he needed a “plan” and record keeping to show donors how their money would be spent and that it was in fact being spent on the children.  Doug advised him further on these items and we went back up to the road to await our rides back to the boat.

While waiting Doug took out his balloon bag and made balloons for the children who were watching us on the road.  The boda bodas arrived and took us all the way to the lake and we did not have to disembark this way.

The boat trip takes about 25 minutes across and we got back into our car.  Doug returned us to the hotel and went out to try and meet some more people.  We ordered dinner when he returned at 4:30 and had a beer in the room while relaxing before dinner.

Sunday was a mostly free day until a final team meeting at 4pm at the hotel after which we all went to Lucky’s home for dinner.  Meleth had cooked quite a spread and we were all filled to the brim.  There was peas/carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, matooka (mashed boiled bananas – taste better than it sounds) with a mushroom gravy, a bean dish and French fries.  After a dessert of fresh mango and watermelon, Doug remembered we are not supposed to drive our rental car after dark so we had to depart rather quickly.  We all had gifts for the family members and everyone enjoyed their gifts.

Monday morning we had to be at the school by 9 for our farewells and more gift giving.

We are here until Wednesday but Frank and Antje are heading to a national park before they fly home on Thursday so they had to leave today.  Rather than have the girls go through two farewell presentations, we decided to just do one today.

The girls sang two different goodbye songs, we each gave a short speech and then we passed out gifts to everyone.

We were all busy passing out gifts to the girls so no one got photos of that distribution. Oops!

the security guard received a uniform as well as a toothbrush and toothpaste
Antje gives the librarian her gifts
Frank greets Jacqueline the head cook
The cook’s helpers get heat resistant glovers

Between us four sponsors, we had purchased gifts for everyone (referred to above).

Everyone got a new toothbrush and we left a three month supply of toothpaste in the care of each classroom’s teacher.

After the farewell, we had Lucky bring over the two young girls we have been sponsoring on a monthly basis for a few years:  Vanita and Rabecca.  We gave them each a dress and a bag of rice to take home to their families and then we took photos with them:

Before leaving we asked Lucky to get a few girls to pose for pictures for us.  Our grandkids, Arya and Cyrus had donated a portion of their annual allowance to the school to buy the kids some soccer balls and skipping ropes:

Lucky said he’d use the rest of the money to purchase a few more chickens for the coop behind the orphanage and sent us this photo later.

More photos of the Farewell Ceremony are  here

We said our goodbyes with tears in our eyes and made our way over to the vocational school to distribute their gifts.

Here everyone again got toothbrushes and toothpaste and the gifts referred to earlier in this post.

These girls also sang us a couple of songs before we left.

Frank and Antje were departing Kabale from here so we said our goodbyes to them as well.

Doug tried to help the girls finish the ladder golf game sets he and Frank had worked on the other day; unfortunately, the fittings had been wrong and Lucky had been unable to exchange them for the right ones and they had to try and  make do with what they had.

Not sure it’s going to stay together…..

It was a touching and heartwarming morning and we will miss all the girls until next time.  We made plans to meet Lucky tomorrow for a few things and he will come see us before we leave on Wednesday morning.

We went out for lunch today to a café Frank and Antje recommended on the second floor of a building in central Kabale.  They serve a variety of food including sandwiches made on real bread!  While the food took a while it was tasty.

Doug had arranged to meet someone to take him by boda boda to the local rock quarries.  This is often the only option for uneducated women to earn some money – part of the reason KEGS was created back in 2016.  He had been saving 5000 shilling notes (about $1.25 which is more than they make each day) and here he distributed them amongst the women who were working today.

The road conditions in Uganda are not great; the main highways are okay – all only single lane except the Kampala to Entebbe toll highway (5000 UGX).  The roads in Kabale are mostly unpaved and not well maintained.  Having a high clearance vehicle is a must so our Rav4 took the roads okay.  Along the highway there are many checkpoints, most of which are useless but at times they try and catch speeders.  On our drive back to the airport we got stopped for passing illegaly but when we said “all Ugandans do that” which was true, the officer told us we should wait there for him to catch someone else and then let us go after 3 minutes.

We’d have to say about eighty per cent of the vehicles are the road are Toyotas and many of the rentals are the Rav4’s like we had.  You drive on the left here and there are not a lot of traffic lights as round about are used instead.

The government of Uganda, like most African countries, is corrupt and not much filters down to the majority of the population.  It’s quite sad as the country is not without resources.  Inflation is currently 5% but has been as high as 8% in recent years.  Infrastructure is lacking and KEGS only recently got electricity and it’s not cheap.  You pay in advance like a prepaid cell phone plan.  Most people still live in mud brick or wooden shacks and few have running water (including KEGS).

Tuesday we awoke to fog once again and Lucky picked us up to go and visit the girl we sponsored to go to secondary school.  Gift is attending Holy Trinity College in Kabale and someone as the school was able to fetch her from class so we could chat for a few minutes and take a phot with her:

By late morning it was thundering and the sky opened for a couple of hours.  Doug went to fetch Debora, the girl we are sponsoring through university and she joined us and Lucky for lunch at the hotel.  She is doing well and will finish her bachelor’s degree by the end of this year.

After lunch Doug took Debora back to the university and Fran went to get some things printed and laminted including rules to the new games we set up at the school and the photos we’d just take so Lucky could deliver a copy to each girl.

Doug had a meeting most of the afternoon with Lucky to continue mentoring him and discussing school items.  The rain stopped by late afternoon and the sun tried to come out and dry the remainder of our laundry that we could see on the line.  Here’s hoping that it’s dry enough for us to pack tomorrow morning!

We decided to eat out again tonight as we were getting tired of the hotel restaurant food and found another little café that was rated five stars called Café Barista.  We had an okay meal and cheaper beer than the hotel would have been.

Wednesday morning we awoke to clear skies and after exercising, began the task of packing up everything, hoping it would all fit in two checked bags each.  We figured we definitely had less stuff but all the gifts from the girls at the school took space and we hoped we wouldn’t need to use one of our spare duffel bags.

It all worked out and we are good for two checked bags each and only have to have our backpacks for carry on with all our electronics in them for safe keeping.

Around 8:45 we went downstairs to check out, got our bags taken down, passed out tips and paid our restaurant bill (we’d already paid for the room on arrival).  Our stay here was pretty good although we were disappointed that things had not improved much in two years; the Wi-Fi is still sporadic, sometimes all day there is no signal; the water to our room was often off and we had to go down most nights and again in the morning to get it turned on and although the staff is super welcoming and friendly, they are not always on the ball – you ask for hot water at a certain time in the morning to make tea and it may or may not come so you have to go down and get it.  We always had to ask for them to chill some beer for that night as they don’t keep it in a cold fridge; meals needed to be ordered by mid-afternoon if you wanted to eat at a reasonable time.

We gave them our feedback and were told they are planning to install cable internet later this year (we’ll see) and also the water pump for the upstairs room we had (the only second floor room and the only room with a balcony) would be replaced in a couple of months.  They will also add a balcony to one of the main floor rooms as the balcony room we had is always in high demand.  Again – we’ll see.  We do expect to come back to Uganda to see the school again but we are not sure when; maybe in one year but probably in two.

Lucky showed up around ten as arranged and we said our goodbyes, paid him the money we owed him and went on our way.  We wanted to go more than half way to Entebbe and Fran booked a hotel in Masaka (278 km / 172 miles away) and we arrived by mid-afternoon.  Today Fran drove as our car was an automatic and we were not in such a rush as the day we made the drive to Kabale.

Hotel Next is quite modern; we had electronic key cards instead of keys; you had to insert the key card into the wall to get power (first time in Uganda for us) and there a separate shower stall in the bathroom instead of the usual wet bath, good Wi-Fi and AC.  However, the AC would never stay on; we gave it a chance until about 8 pm and then we complained.  The front desk basically blamed it on Uganda Power (unlikely as everything else was working…?) and then offered to give us a different room – not an easy solution as we were unpacked and getting ready for bed.  Then we asked for a couple of fans; we got one powerful one and that enough for sleeping.

If you recall, we are awaiting a refund of for an airline ticket for a flight that was cancelled.  This happened back in early January.  We had been told it could take six weeks after we gave them our banking information and Fran has been dealing with them for the past two weeks; they say it was sent, we say it never showed up in our bank account.  Well today, Doug was reviewing our credit card statement as he does each month and lo and behold – there was the full refund!!  It was dated January 20th!  They had advised Fran they could not refund the credit card, it HAD to be a wire transfer – a case of the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing!  What a ridiculous waste of time.

Fran decided to have a shower before and never got hot water; mmhh maybe it only works in the morning? But she felt refreshed and then in the morning, still no hot water.  The front desk came up and let it run for a while and said, “wait 15 minutes and I’ll be back”.  She never came back but in 45 minutes called and asked if it was hot.  Fran had let it run for 30 minutes with no hot water and gone ahead and had a cool shower.  Doug returned from his run and also had a cool shower; not cold but barely what they call in Mexico “normal”.  Then the front desk came up and offered to let us use a different room’s shower as there was a “technical problem”’ too little, too late.  They now claimed that was the issue with the AC as the hotel was only six months old and they were still working out the “technical issues”.  We complained again about the high price we’d paid for an air conditioned room (and the fact that we had actually messaged to confirm that they had AC in the rooms) and nothing was said except “sorry”.  Not great customer service at all.

The room did include breakfast which we went down for around 9 am and it was pretty good; we filled up as we knew that our flight was at 4 and we probably wouldn’t get dinner will 6 and we preferred not to have to buy lunch as we wanted to use up the remaining shillings we had on gas and drinks during the day.

We left the hotel before ten and made the rest of the drive back to the Entebbe and left the rental car in the parking lot with the key under the mat as directed.

We went to the check in (no boarding passes available in online check in as they “need to see your documents”) and here Doug asked if they could check out bags all the way through to Casablanca.  Our flight today is just to Dubai landing at 10:30 and we fly back to Morocco at 7:25 am.  They were able to do this, so in case this was possible, Fran had packed a small overnight bag with essentials which become a second carry on for one of us.  If this works, it will be quite a good convenience not having to wait for bags in Dubai.

The flight left a bit late of course, and we landed late but having not to get bags helped.  We had booked a nearby airport hotel to try and get some sleep rather than hang in the airport 7 hours and although it had a free shuttle, we figured we had just missed the 11 pm pick up and decided to take a cab.  Well the taxi line up was huge but did keep moving.  Worse was the traffic out of the airport.  We checked in to the hotel just before midnight and upon asking about shuttle times, decided that since you could not book and it was first come first serve, we’d better catch the 4:30 rather than the five am shuttle.

After a few hours of sleep, we were up at 4:10 and on the 4:30 shuttle.  This time we had mobile boarding passes and no luggage to check so we had plenty of time since all the line ups were short (immigration and security).

We found a café and Fran had a couple of cups of tea and Doug had a drink until it was time to head to the gate.  This flight left almost an hour late but was smooth.

We drove a total of 1080 km / 671 miles in Uganda in our rental.

Photos of our time in Uganda not related to KEGS can be found here.

We really believe in this cause and there are a few reasons why:

  • We believe in empowering young women – they are the future
  • We believe in Lucky, the director of this organization – he is trustworthy, honest and transparent
  • We know all of our money goes to the girls and their education, health and well being
  • There is NO overhead administration; even the salaries of the teachers and staff including the Director are paid from donations – there is no middle man taking a cut of our donations

If any of the above resonates with you, please consider giving to Kitojo Empowered Girls School.