My favourite roofspace

The last two weeks has been a marathon of ladder-climbing, wire-pulling and telephone-installing, and it’s not over yet. In the process, I’ve become well-acquainted with the roofs of Kisiizi Hospital while pulling telephone cables and connecting sockets. I’ve clambered through medical, maternity, surgery and mental health wards; the outpatients department (linking to the pharmacy); the electricians workshop; the admin block; Dr Francis’ house; Dr Robert’s house; and the primary and nursing schools.

I’m pleased to announce that so far, my favourite roofspace is Surgical ward (which, for those of you who know Kisiizi, might come as something of a surprise given the limited delights of the ward itself).

It’s got a tiled roof (far cooler in sunshine than the almost-ubiquitous corrugated iron sheet), standing height headroom, and a magnificent array of wooden beams upon which to clamber, perch or loiter as you wish. It’s also got a surprising amount of access to the outside world through – intentional or otherwise – big holes under the eaves, giving plenty of light and a gentle breeze.

If you’re wondering, my least favourite so far is, I’m sorry to say, Dr Francis’ house (through no fault of his). He is playing unwitting host to a selection of yellow-tummied bats (what are their real names?), along with their guano. Not pleasant to hang around in. A runner-up for worst is the 50-year-old mental health ward (it was originally medical ward). Huge distances of unsafe ceiling between joists, very dark and housing enough spiders’ webs to furnish a fairground ghost train.

The new VOIP (Voice over IP) server tells me that there are 34 extensions online, and the phone list shows 49, so we have some way to go. I hope we can finish it all before we depart…

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