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February 25th 2009, 17:30
The following day was our last day with Jane before we left for the weekend to Whistling Thorns, and then on to begin another of the arrangements we’d made before we left, a monthlong internship at Pamoja Trust. It was to be a day of pottering about, writing emails, uploading photos and just not much. I was really looking forward to it.
Up until around 2pm, everything went according to (no) plan. Then, just as I was organising a second slideshow, Jane told me she was off to the market and offered to take me with her. She said I had 5 minutes. Keen as I usually am for a photo opportunity, I was not remotely keen today. I'd spent the last 5 days taking photos and had looked forward to not having to lug the bloody thing around. But when I suggested that maybe I wouldn’t go, she said, somewhat crestfallen, “That’s a shame, you’d have got some nice photos.” So, obviously, I had to. My pace changed from leisurely to breakneck, even then, it took longer than five minutes, and even then, I forgot my wallet and to moisturise my face. By the time we arrived at the market, my skin was burning and I could see it peeling off my nose.
Jane went off to do her shopping and left me to wander the aisles with my camera. I wasn’t in the mood, either to take photos or make small talk with market traders to negotiate a photo, preoccupied with the fact that there was apparently something increasingly wrong with my face, which was now hurting quite badly. But in the name of professionalism, I got on with it and took some pictures. Then Bill rang to arrange to meet so he could say goodbye before heading off back to Uganda. We arranged to wait at the market for him. The first thing he said when he saw me was, “Wow, what’s wrong with your face?” What indeed. By now, my good mood had entirely evaporated and I was entirely concerned with this very question. I looked forward to going back and dunking my face in ... ice cream was all I could think.