A few stories

Ok so we’ve been taking our anti-malaria tablets for the past twelve weeks(one per week) and although it hasn’t sent us crazy or anything, it has certainly taken its effect on me in a few ways. The most noticeable one been nightmares. Although I do suffer from the odd nightmare like everyone else, I’ve had a big increase since taking the Larium tablets. This was too be expected though, as there are quite a few potential side effects from taking Satan’s pill as its called! A couple of nights lately I’ve been convinced that Sanyu babies home(orphanage) is actually an animal zoo and there are crazy monkeys trying to escape from it. I woke Florence up one night to let her know that the mad monkeys were “out to get us”. Another night, I awoke and jumped up out of the bed…nearly killing myself in the mosquito net(thought I was a fish been caught by a fisherman), and proceeded to look under the bed for squirrels, which I both heard and saw(in my head of course)!!
Another night I woke up convinced that I had a dogs mouth and started to bark. Needless to say Florence was both terrified and shocked at this behaviour! These are just a few examples of the crazy dreams that I’ve been having, and that I can only attribute to taking Larium. The dreams/nightmares seem so real.

Another side effect that I’ve developed is a huge increase in photo sensitivity to the sun. This has never happened me before as normally I would just go brown after been exposed to the sun. But since we came on this trip, I’ve only gotten extremely burnt, even with sun cream applied. Also my skin goes all blotchy and comes out in a white/red rash. Again it has to be attributed to Larium.


But at the end of it all, if the Larium does it’s job then it will be worth it. So far I’ve gotten bitten by mosquito’s well over 150 times(yes I’ve been counting). One night alone in Dar Es Salaam I got 36 bites. Destroyed wasn’t the word, and all I wanted to do was scratch myself with sandpaper!


We heard a funny story Paddys day when we went out with a few Irish girls for a meal. We were joined by a German doctor called Hans, who was also doing some volunteering work in Kampala. He told us that he heard this story from a man who was very high up in the Guinness brewing business in Dublin…and that the story is in actual fact true.
Anyways, it relates to the reason why Guinness in Ireland tastes so much better than anywhere else in the world!
What he said was that during the fermentation process, there are big holes left in the top of these huge containers(holding Guinness) and that rats climb into these containers(attracted by the smell). The rats obviously drown, and after some time they disintegrate! Now he said that this gives Guinness its unique “smooth” texture and that its a result of these rats :)!! He also said that in every pub in Ireland that has a Guinness tap, there is a filter at the end of the tap(just before the Guinness reaches the glass, and that this prevents any debris from entering the glass, such as a “tooth” or “nail” that didn’t disintegrate! We laughed when he told us this, but he was very adamant that it was true.


I did also mention that people here have rubber necks on them. When I say “rubber necks”, I mean that they would be walking south and facing north! They make no shame in letting you know that they are extremely interested in your business. For example the other day, I was showing a taxi driver(motorbike) on my phone the name of a place that I wanted to go to. As he was trying to read it, I looked behind me and there were no less than five random strangers all peering over my shoulder trying to see what was on the phone!!! I tried to hide the phone, like you’d see a kid in school doing to his copybook if he didn’t want his friends copying him :)!! Very funny to see. Another time, we were walking down a side street, and there were about 20 men all standing outside a shop on their tiptoes, again trying their hardest to see what was going on inside. We thought it must be something serious to warrant all this attention, but it turned out only to be a 12 inch T.V screen that captured their attention. Man U were playing Chelsea, and it was a week after they actually played…so it was a re-run! 🙂
The local men absolutely love football. Favourite teams are the obvious ones. Grown men will have screen savers of Ronaldo on their laptops and mobile phones, which is very funny in internet cafe’s when a guy opens his laptop and theres Mr.Ronaldo or Beckam on the screen saver. Well I thought it was funny anyways.


Ladies of the night(I don’t need to explain this one) line the streets at night time. Nothing unusual about seeing that except that its very freaky when they approach you. One night I went out to get some water, and my Mzungu white skin must have glowed like a fluorescent bulk because suddenly there were four creatures of the night around me offering discounted services. To say I was very uneasy would be an understatement…especially when you see needles sticking out of their handbags. I managed to swerve my way out of that particular hairpin to a pit stop around the corner, where I sought refuge and planned an alternative way back to our flat. Not funny at the time though but I laughed afterwards.


So thats all for this update. Our volunteering work in Sanyu babies home is going well. We have definitely made a slight difference to the staff and the little ones. I’ll have a few more photo’s up next week.