It was a relative lay in for me today, but for the CM Sports group it was an early start. They were up for a 7.00am start with Mongoose trekking followed by a walk in the Rwenzoris and then a visit to Rihamu Junior School.
Mrs Green and I were afforded the luxury of a leisurely breakfast at Tembo before we set off for New Life Junior School. The school was founded by Yowasi and is located behind the family home. Mrs Green was going to be doing some teaching about co-ordination and fine motor control. There wasn’t anything really arranged for me, so I spent most of the morning sitting around trying to support Mrs Green where I could. Bea McIntosh had joined us once again and was working with Mrs Green – they have formed a very close bond. Bea has just returned from a year of teaching in Cambodia. Between them, they had the children in the palm of their hands, and the pupils were soon patting their heads while rubbing their tummies, bursting bubbles and swapping hands between nodes and ears. There was one boy who didn’t have the use of both arms and I think was autistic. When Bea started a game where she threw each pupils a ball and they had to give a word related to a letter in the alphabet, one of the teachers said that he wasn’t capable of doing it. Bea immediately threw the ball to the pupils who caught it in his good hand and gave a fantastic answer. I was so pleased for him.
Yowasi’s wife, Ruth, made us a nice lunch and then we headed down to Katunguru where Mrs Green and Bea were going to give another talk about sanitation. I was (once again) at a loose end so I asked Ramathan if there was anything he wanted me to do. He asked me to help P7’S with their English revision which was basically SP&G and based around sentence construction. This was not my idea of fun, so I spent some of the time taking the mickey out of the pupils who were all in P2 when I first visited Katunguru six years ago. I also pulled the exam paper apart as the examination board had made many mistakes. Sweet potatoes was spelled ‘sweat potatoes! ‘
At the end of the two hours I was really pleased with what the children had achieved and I had marked all their work, saving Ramathan a job. Mrs Green was carrying out some research so I caught up with Ramathan for a little while before we dropped Bea home.
Now to the title of this blog post. Regular readers of my Uganda blog will know that I regard the Katunguru – Kyambura Road as the worst in Uganda. However, this year there has been a bit of a change. There has been a team of workmen filling the holes on a daily basis and they have covered a distance of about 5km during the time I have been in Uganda – these guys work really hard. I have made a point of sticking my head out of the window every time I pass them and encouraging them. The unfortunate thing is that as soon as they finish, they will have to start again as the repairs they have carried out will last a matter of months. Hence the similarity to painting the Forth Bridge, as soon as they finish, they will have to start again!
When we returned to Tembo we found the others who’d had another good day. The visit to Rihamu had inspired all of them while also making them all think about how lucky they were. The headteacher, Shakilah, had taken them to see where they allowed 25 orphans to sleep. Katie F was adamant that she could make a real difference to the school and I think the visit had little a real fire under her.
Tomorrow, The CM Sports group have a day off while Mrs Green and I go back to New Life and then have a meeting with Stephen Biru, the District Education Officer.