Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Team all checked in

Dear Royal Russell followers,

The team have all checked in at the airport in Entebbe, and should be landing back at London Gatwick North Terminal - flight EK11  arrives at 07.20. 

We’d just like to take the opportunity to say a huge well done and thank you to the team - Matt and Ali, the Inspire leaders, have thoroughly enjoyed working with all the students, and they have done a fantastic job at Two Bridges. 

All the best, 

The Inspire Team

Monday, 23 July 2018

The final farewell

Our experience in Uganda has finally come to an end, and what an experience it has been.

We spent our final day haggling over souvenirs to bring home for our loved ones (and ourselves), and all bar Zack came away with beautiful assorted souvenirs at varying degrees of ‘a bargain’!

The evening brought a barbecue, after which we enjoyed an impromptu talent show. Highlights include Joe’s belly dancing, Maya, Libby and Cameron’s jerrycan song. A stirring rendition of buffalo soldier was performed by Alex, Stevie and Kate.

(Ella got her birthday cake, which gave George incredible gas, but was otherwise greatly appreciated.)

We then proceeded to write our thoughts about individual members of the team, with both touching & amusing comments, as well as, well, I’m not too sure what I can call Evans’s comments.

Now, as Ella and I are sitting writing this blog, and looking over the beautiful Kampala skyline, we reflect on how much we owe to this trip and how many ‘that one time I was saving the world in Africa’ stories we look forward to telling over the coming years.

Signing off,
Ella & George
(Happy Birthday EllaπŸŽ‰πŸŽˆ)

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Messages from the Team...

Today we left the Red Chilli rest camp and stopped off at the top of Murchison falls for a quick walk and some good photo opportunities. We then travelled back to the Papaya guest house and enjoyed spaghetti meatballs for dinner. Just a quick reminder to the parents it is a 7:30am pick up at Gatwick airport, North terminal. Here are some personal comments for everyone:

Ella: Thanks for comments, is Lucas still alive?

Eva: missing you all, just wondering who is picking me up from the airport

Cameron: miss you all

Libby: miss you all, don’t be late on Wednesday please and looking forward to the pesto pasta , love you lots xx 

Fedor: can’t wait to get back, Miss your comments. Please make pancakes

Farrah: Hi Mum hope you and kam are doing well. Can’t wait for home cooked meals (lubia polo preferably if mamani is there). Can’t wait to show you safari photos. Love you see you at the airport xxxx

Alex: Can you please bring my phone to the airport. It’s on the glass shelf. Thank you!

Joe: Hey dad we’ve got three days left. I’ve loved my time here and I hope the weather is hot. I’d rather have healthy meals because this trips made me feel a bit large. Miss you BYE 😘 

George to Mum: Hi Mum, cheers for the comments. How are the dogs, miss hearing about them and their adventures. Look forward to seeing you x

I miss all of you! Thanks for stocking up on snacks. I have heard about the football and all the transfers  and can’t wait to call grumps! Love Zac 

Maya: I am missing you all, please tell Ben that I miss him loads. I can’t wait to see you, bring tissues I will definitely cry . Love you lots xx

Stevie: missing you all. Mum please can you leave the morning of your birthday free for breakfast and nails! Tell Mollie hi, love you all :)

Saturday, 21 July 2018

The Big 4!

Today was amazing. Basically, it all started when we woke up today with an early start of around 6am. Early, but we’re all used to it by now. We are staying at the red chilli rest camp, so went down to the communal area where we had breakfast (some consisting of sausages and egg which was so good!).We then got in our safari cars to drive to the river Nile to get on the boat for the tour. The boat was lovely and fun, and we all got amazing views of the hippos, crocodiles, giraffes and elephants. The crocodile got really close to the boat, scaring a few people (not Cameron, well...) before diving back along the river. We saw the Murchison falls, but not as close as we liked. Tomorrow we are hiking at the top of it so it wasn’t that much of an issue. We came back to eat lunch and rest/tan looking out at the view of the greenery surrounding the camp. When we were all ready, we got back into the vans and drove down to the Nile again (only a 5 min drive). We got the car on a small ferry and went across. We were in different safari groups, all ending up seeing lions, buffalo, giraffes, elephants, antelopes and more, but Cam and I will tell you a bit about our fantastic day with Sam and James (the best safari squad drivers ever). We got to sit on the roof of the car when the roof was open giving us sore behinds every time we went over a bump (very frequently) but it was worth every bruise to be able to take the footage that we did. Being involved in a hunt was the highlight, followed by vultures eating the dead carcass of a buffalo. Watching your teacher almost fall off the back of the car was definitely a runner up. There isn’t much else we can explain apart from showing you photos when we get back and telling you to go on a safari yourself. Each and every one of us had said that this was a mind blowing experience and we had all enjoyed it so so much. A very good way to almost end the trip (a couple days left, the countdown is on!!!) we then came back for a lovely warm dinner and are getting ready for bed after a wonderful and tiring day. Thank you all for reading, hope everything is really well at home xoxo best wishes, Cameron and Farrah

Mum, please can you tell sister Beth good luck with the wedding for me -love Stevie xox

Friday, 20 July 2018

Safari begins!

So, yet another day in Uganda.

Finally! The project work is all over! After an emotional evening, we arose bright and early to a brisk Ugandan morning. We were treated with eggy bread and Nutella #cheersforthatonepaul as we prepared to depart the Banana Grove. 

After hastily finishing packing bags/attempting to sort out Cameron & Zack’s enormous pile of rubbish that had rendered the dining room table completely useless, we loaded onto the buses (which as per usual, ran on African Timing). 

The first leg of our journey to Murchison Falls National Park was a long and hot one, with many feeling the heat. We made a pee/snack stop at a petrol station, which boosted morale and allowed many a much need leg stretch.

After our brief respite, we loaded back onto the ‘coaches’ and continued to travel to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. We were lucky enough to see 2 Female Rhinos, 1 Baby (which is a very large baby) and a Male Rhino (which are exceedingly rare, due to the many KM that territory encompasses).

We departed the sanctuary to finish off the final leg of our journey. Finally we arrived at Red Chilli Rest Camp in the huge Murchison Falls National park. The journey to the rest camp proved to be longer than expected, with the drivers having some near & not so near misses with the wildlife (RIP Chicken).

We settled in at Red Chilli, and after our first western shower & toilet experiences in what seemed like an age, we sat down to enjoy dinner. Dinner was amazing, with the chicken curry proving to be a firm favourite.

We thank you all for the comments, please keep them coming (especially Tim Newman & all dog updates!)

Signing Off,

Eva & George.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Final day at Two Bridges

Our final day at Two Bridges began in the usual Royal Russell fashion of finishing up jobs we were supposed to have finished yesterday. Both classrooms were successfully painted, missing and recycled masking tape aside, and our handprints and names now adorn the walls. Eva and Fedor painted a beautiful mural on the previously bare plank wall of the nursery, which is a lasting and lovely reminder of our involvement in the project.

The afternoon was spent preparing for our leaving ceremony, which involved getting out of our comfort zones to practice a traditional Ugandan courtship dance, costume and all. 

The ceremony itself consisted of speeches from teachers, a member of the local council, Harriet and John, and of course, Paul. We entertained the company by attempting to follow along as we performed their complicated dances, but also showed off our own skill by introducing both the Macarena and the Cha Cha Slide- cultural, I know. 

When the time came for us to leave, emotions were running high. Saying goodbye to children we had formed close bonds with over the fortnight was extremely difficult, especially when the tears began, but we managed to extract ourselves without putting any of them in our suitcases, which I would consider a triumph.

Despite our sadness at leaving, the time we spent at the school will stay with us forever, along with an aversion to chapattis and the Macarena. 

Tomorrow brings the rhino sanctuary and murchison falls to look forward to, despite the early start. As always, we appreciate your comments (especially dog updates), and much love from all of us here. 

Written by Ella and Alex

Wednesday, 18 July 2018


This morning we had samosas and fruit πŸ₯˜. Then we went to the school and we started the day off with a run. This time the 600metre run was won by Alexander. After that we taught lessons and we had fun. Then after our break some people taught one more lesson while the others did dancing with the younger years to cha cha slide and the Macarena. After a tasty lunch featuring Fish and chips we went off to do 3 hours of project work, mainly painting classrooms to make them look nice. Overall the day was fun and we are looking forward to tomorrow. 

Written by Joe and Kate