All of us have made several visits to the Nsenge villages over the years. We have fond memories of their exuberant welcome, the excitement of the children, the anticipation of seeing the construction projects and, of course, the party and the overnight stays for some. Team 1 had experienced the full works – see their picture gallery blog. This year for Team 2 it was much more low-key.
As we passed the school, streams of children came rushing out to greet us, running alongside the minibus and screaming greetings. We rumbled to a halt in the village, where a group of elders and Armon, head of all these villages. were waiting to greet us. Some of the older ladies were in their fuchsia pink and shiny turquoise outfits, the younger women cradling their babies. There were many familiar faces and the greetings were very warm. UgandAid has been coming to this group of villages for 10 years.
Once the greetings were complete, we turned our attention to this year’s project, the community storage centre. Team 1 had played their part, mixing the mortar and laying bricks, and a further 2 weeks’ work by the NVI Building and Concrete Practice students meant the walls were complete and preparation was being made to start roofing.
We loved the simple tool that was being used to bend the steel rods to create the roof anchor points in concrete. We were less impressed by the 2nd year student working without overalls and in her flip flops! We long to be able to provide all the students with the necessary safety shoes and clothing.
We were delighted to meet up with Emanuel again. He had been with us at NVI helping to paint the Hairdressing section room on Saturday and Monday. He is a very cheery and conscientious student. Now he was constructing the shuttering for the re-enforced concrete at the top of the walls.
We moved on to the Kinaabi Umea Primary School – it a Muslim foundation school serving mostly Muslim children from the group of villages. The Muslim and Christian communities live very harmoniously together. After the formal welcome by the Deputy Head, Sophia, it was the moment for Sue to lead the teaching on nutrition. She first told a story about Freddy the fly, and then we divided into 2 adult and 6 child groups. Each group was led by a team member, who used photo cards to deliver the nutrition teaching. Then we brought out the specially designed snakes and ladders games to re-enforce the teaching. The kids loved playing it; there were loud groans when they went down the snakes and loud cheers each time they went up the ladder and similarly when one team won!
The children then regrouped outside the school for a photo and a couple of them shyly sang solos. When it was time to go there were lots of hugs followed by vigorous waving as we disappeared out of sight. We were just in time – this had been our warmest day so far, but just after we got back to the hotel there was a load clap of thunder and the heavens opened.