Friday morning: surprisingly little trace of the torrential rains of yesterday, the rich red soil seems to have absorbed all the water. Apparently there had been hail in rural areas that had destroyed banana trees. Not a patch of course on the news of the snow and storms that have hit the UK.
The lovely Gospel Cross team picked us up at the hotel and we drove to the outskirts of Jinja to Nakibizzi Church of Uganda Primary School. Mission Statement ‘To produce healthy, God fearing and well educated citizens who will develop the nation.’ There are about 500 children.
This was a more affluent area, and we ruefully noted the contrast to Masese Co-Ed School. At Masese the playground consisted of a swing, minus the swings, and a slide, with just the steps, no slide. Here there was a full playground with much innovative use of old tyres, painted in bright colours.
After a brief welcome from head teacher Florence, we were seated under a tree. A teacher rang the sonorous bell suspended from its branches and the children assembled, wearing a uniform of lilac dresses or shirts, smart and attentive. They were put through their paces, shuffling forward and back, arms outstretched, jumping and twisting. After a rousing chorus of the Ugandan National Anthem, the East Africa anthem and some Christian choruses that we could join in with, we were introduced to enthusiastic applause.
Today’s teaching for the top 4 year groups took place in the airy church. After the Gospel Cross team had presented the Healthy Eyes material, we divided into year groups for Snakes and Ladders. Quite a challenge, playing a game with 25 players gathered round, the board placed on the middle pew and the players hanging over the pews either side. Interestingly, their level of English was not as high as that of the Masese children. A happy, busy time that the children really seemed to enjoy.
On the way home we stopped off at a nearby village for Jan to pay an advisory visit. In no time at all the local children were sucking lollies and sporting football tops and multi-coloured wigs from Eddy’s inexhaustible supplies.
In the afternoon most of us visited Nile Vocational Institute to see our sponsored students. They were waiting for us in the hall and as each person appeared through the door they were greeted with cries of joy and many hugs by their student. To them we are ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy.’ A guided tour of the school brought us to the Motor Vehicle Mechanics classrooms that had been decorated by Team 1. Well done all of you, what a magnificent job! We had our first peek at the Hairdressing and Cosmetology Department, where Simon, Tony and David were perched perilously up ladders – see separate blog for full details of the transformation.
The evening saw the team enjoying a delicious Indian meal in Jinja. Happy times.
This entry by Sue