Blogging on the go

Wilsons_2013 Posted by Rory Wilson on Mon, 08 Sep 2008 | 3 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Sitting at the side of the road half way between Mukono and the road to Luwero…..broken down. So what to do …lets write a blog entry.

Thankfully this road isn’t too busy, and where I’ve had to stop is at a stretch with fairly good visibility so this writing should not be suddenly and dramatically cut short.

The engine overheated – apparently because the radiator cap wasn’t on well and so the water escaped! I think that the reason why the cap wasn’t on well was that the young lad washing my car last Sunday was very keen to ensure that the vehicle was in good working order and checked that there was enough water in the radiator – but then didn’t put the cap back on fully!! So after a lot of water was poured in to the radiator, and steam enough to produce tea for a Mothers’ Union gathering was extruded, the engine has cooled down – but still isn’t working! A friendly young girl brought some water after she saw that my two litre bottle of drinking water was depleted. After using it up she fetched a further 20 Litre jerry can of water – which has been enough.

Several well meaning folk have made suggestions, and I’ve checked the fuses, but it has well and truly refused!

So here I am waiting for a mechanic to come and assist. A friend of Sula, our driver in Kiwoko, has been summoned to assist, apparently he is called James and is coming out from the outskirts of Kampala on a Boda Boda (little motorbike.) I hope that I don’t need a tow because I think that a large off road Toyota truck might be rather more than the towing capabilities of such a motorbike…even in Uganda.

So James has arrived. The 125 motorbike is smart, and he himself is pleasant and well dressed. His air of confidence is perhaps reminiscent of some of my own in my early days as a JHO 14 years ago…

We’ve tried starting several times while he made unknown adjustments under the bonnet…no success

Now we’ve run the vehicle off the road – safer, but now our height advantage should be wish to ‘push’ start it has been lost. The fuses have been checked and not found wanting, more staring into the depths of the engine – ?seeking wisdom or perhaps seeking a particular fault.

So nothing has changed, but he is now trying to start it again in an elongated fashion without success…thankfully now ceased before the battery expires.

Aha, phone a friend…perhaps not looking particularly good, but honesty is to be saluted.

Fortunately tomorrow is a public holiday (as the King of the Busoga region died last week), so although I had a day planned at the hospital, if I must miss any day this week or at least start it late, then tomorrow would be the day I would choose to miss as the least intrusive on the weeks programme.

Last week was frantic, but successful. Our ISIS donors who have been supporting various projects across the hospital for many years (in particular our neonatal work) have given us the go ahead to start our new planned Maternity + Neonatal unit – a crucial need, so it very exciting to think that in a year’s time we might have a well functioning unit up and running.

As it’s now past 7pm the sun has gone down and it’s getting gloomy. It is a fairly pleasant temperature at least.

Yesterday I was down at Raphe a few hours South of Kampala visiting a clinic supported by Field’s of Life and catching up with some of the staff there. It’s in a lovely setting and has fantastic facilities. It’s good we didn’t break down out there as it would be even more awkward to resolve from there than here! So James tells me that we’re now waiting for a fellow mechanic to come with some equipment. He thinks it is an electrical fault (genius) caused by the overheating. The good (?) news for all of you my little blog friends is that I will thus be able to continue this historical narrative.

He has sent away his Boda Boda man who brought him here – apparently he has concluded that there may not be a quick fix to this problem.

Darkness in Uganda is great – but I’d rather spend it with friends somewhere peaceful rather than at the side of a semi-main road…but life sometimes presents surprises…especially in Uganda.

8pm is very dark. My battery is running low, but I’ve caught up with writing a few emails at least (though with less than optimal spelling I fear in the now significant darkness.)

I have little expectation of a successful repair tonight – but tomorrow is starting to look less likely at this rate too….I’ll keep you posted.

8.30 pm Very dark, also dare I say it…cold!

The cavalry have arrived – well four slightly shifty looking lads with a couple of spanners. My car is being taken apart in the darkness, so I’ll write some more. I made use of the unusual emergency light/torch thing I found in the glove compartment – fantastic fun as it was basically a flare and gave us extreme light for 2 minutes, and then the plastic handle caught fire and started spitting molten plastic (in addition to the ?Magnesium oxide) over the car. Whatever will those clever car designer people think of next?! So pieces of the engine are being removed in the dark – I fear that we may end up with missing pieces of engine – but there seems little option but to go with it for now.

So the engine was reassembled – and still refused to start. Several pushing attempts eventually produced fruit, though starting certainly isn’t yet a strongpoint! We made it to within 45 minutes of home when it conked out again – just as we were pulling in to a friend’s garage. So we’ve filled it up with water again and we’re now waiting for someone to come over from Kiwoko to take us home. It should be safe enough here tonight. As it’s now 11.45 pm and we’re looking at being home some time after 1am at least my ward round may have to wait until after prayers tomorrow!

James has done a good job to get us thus far though – and so far just for the price of a soda!

Sorry for the Mega Blog – an evening in the life of Rory. Sleep well



MUJUNI JULIUS said Thu, 11 Sep 2008 03:18PM
What a life experience in Uganda! Ihad to take time to catch up too in my holiday as i have been in Southern Sudan for a couple of months teaching in Yei vocational training College, iam irritated of horrible traffic jams in Bwaise-Bombo Road, Queens way -Entebbe Road , Jinja Road and Masaka Road. Ithink the city needs much of urban planning. Stay better not bitter Julius Yei vocational Training college, Southern Sudan
the great gruntfuttock said Wed, 17 Sep 2008 10:05PM
sounds like the fu-fu valve again, always a problem in Toyotas
Alan Clegg said Tue, 23 Sep 2008 11:38AM
Hi Rory Uganda hasn't changed it seems. Still lots of traffic jams and confusion. I will be in Uganda from the 6th of October until the 20th, but I think by all accounts that you will not be there. Off buying the ring I believe. Well done, Denise is a fine lady and I hope that you will be very happy together. I thought that you were never going to pop the question, or did she do it, it is a leap year I think. I hope to visit Kiwoko, it is a long time since I was there. Regards to Denise. Alan (Clegg)

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