‘Bwaise’ Scout Expedition 1997
For the first three weeks of the summer holidays Chris Bamber, Brian Weatherington and Simon Burchell were members of a 57 strong expedition to Uganda with the Northamptonshire Scout Movement. This is our report.
The trip of a lifetime, called ‘Bwaise`, involved over a year of Training, Team Building and Fund-raising before setting off on the 18th July to Bwaise, a suburb of Kampala.
The expedition was part of an ongoing project to raise money for the Outspan Day & Boarding School in Bwaise, founded and run by Tom Maxwell Ngobi, a Ugandan Scout Leader. The money raised was used to buy paper, pencils, chalk etc. items essential for teaching. Whilst in Uganda we spent a week at the school, painting the buildings and new teachers houses, teaching some classes and learning about life in the area.
During the 2nd week we went out to the West and camped with about 100 Ugandan Scouts, where we were taught simple Ugandan Camping techniques. During the week we spent two days in the Queen Elizabeth National Park where we went on a Game Drive and saw Elephants, Lions, Buffalo, Warthog and other native African Wildlife.
The third and final week was spent in Jinga, Uganda’s second city, situated at the source of the Nile. During this week we had the opportunity to go White Water Rafting on the Nile, including some of the largest and fastest commercial rapids in the world. This was not easy as Chris & Brian will tell you, their raft flipped over more times than any other!! Some team members also got the chance to visit the Owen Falls Dam, a Hydro-Electric Plant across the Nile.
Other activities during the trip included a weekend in the homes of Ugandan families, a visit to a College and an Orphanage and a Cultural Dancing Display.
Overall we can say that we had a very moving experience. The most incredible 24 days in which we learned about a very poor country, but also learnt about the people of that country. Uganda is a very unique place with its own special qualities, but it has what we agree to be the most friendly people living there. Everyone comes to greet you, they are kind, and above all they are all proud of what they work for. We feel that every U.K Scout, Venture Scout and Leader that took part in the expedition will have their own special memories that are irreplaceable and memories that will last for ever.