by Mikolaj Grelewicz
Since our village is located in an absolutely stunning mountainous region near Mbarara town, Amanda, Corina and I were compelled to climb up one of the surrounding mountains.
To make our trip even more interesting and, more importantly, to avoid getting lost in the middle of nowhere, we decided to invite some locals and students to join our trip. Amanda’s beautiful advertisement –“Mzungus Going to the Mountain” – 20kg jackfruit and 50 bananas, a.k.a. ‘yellows’, drew the attention of the whole village.
Although we were leaving our school at 7 a.m., it didn’t stop more than 40 students to accompany us.
The first hour of the trip went quite smoothly, mainly since the temperature wasn’t boiling hot. But, as soon as the sun raised and unmercifully started burning our skin, we (unfit students) started losing breath and our bodies were soaked in sweat.
However, physically fit and ambitious St Benedict’s students did not face this problem. On top of that, they decided to race up to the top even though the air temperature was already 30°C!
Having finally reached the top of the mountain, we were astounded by the breathtaking landscape and were finally able to enjoy the delights of 50 bananas.
After a short break on the top with a few inevitable selfies, we headed to a water source. A programme run by the Austrian and Ugandan governments currently supplies water to a few local villages. Despite the fact that mountains are great source of clean water, its shortage is still one of the biggest challenges that is faced by the local communities. Water shortages happen two or three days a week and they even sometimes last for up to the whole week.
At the next pit stop, we filled up our stomachs with delicious mango and juicy pineapple. We were finally ready to head back to our village.
Walking down the roads, among the remarkable banana and coffee plantations, we finally reached our village. To celebrate our success we indulge ourselves in an enormous jackfruit. Despite the fact that one of our friends got ill and spent the next 2 days in a bed, our trip was undoubtedly an amazing team-bonding activity both for us as project workers, and our colleagues from St Benedict’s Technical Institute.