Uganda 2019: Day 8 – Similarities and Differences

Up early for the hour drive to Rihamu Junior School.  This morning’s lesson was on the United Kingdom in general and Hambledon Primary School specifically.  I was particularly excited to find out what the children knew about my country and what their impressions of it were.

The class explored various pictures of life in Britain that I’d prepared and then used their skills to deduce what the photos said about life in Britain.  A few images exposed the differences in the UK between rich and poor.  The children were really surprised to understand that we have homelessness and begging and they could see the differences between wealthier housing and poorer estates.  We also talked about how Food Banks help people in our country.

The British weather always generates much discussion and today was no exception.  The children enjoyed looking at images of snowy landscapes and laughed when I described the disruption that a little snow causes.  We also had a conversation about out seasons.  At first they didn’t understand that the sun can shine in Britain, yet it can still be very cold.  We talked about how trees changed across our seasons.  They loved hearing about Robins Class weekly ‘Wellie Walks’ to the ‘Changing Tree’ to photograph these differences across the year.

The children have received their pen-pal letters and are writing back to their friends at Hambledon.  They enjoyed viewing pictures of our school and I was able to help match a face to the name of their pen-pal.

I have to say that I was again impressed with the pupils of Rihamu. Their enthusiasm for learning and ability to infer understanding from the information I provided was superb.  They were surprised to hear that education is free in our country and that pupils progress through classes at the end of every year, rather than when they pass the exam, like in Uganda.

Shakila very kindly continued my tour of Kasese.  This allowed me to collect more photos to teach Hambledon pupils about Uganda next term.  We visited the new airport from which a single engine plane was about to fly 12 passengers to Kampala.  There are plans to expand the airport to support the economy in Kasese.

We then visited the new market which is under construction and due to be completed in Feb 2020.  At the moment The market stalls are in temporary accommodation and it was a delight to browse the bustling stalls and hunt for bargains.  I purchased a ‘Jug’ fruit that I want to share with the school children tomorrow – another new experience.  Shakilah made my day by buying me a gift – a Ugandan Football shirt!  I shall wear it with pride.

On Friday Rihamu will participate in the Conversation Cup, a rugby, football and poetry competition between all the schools in the QE Parks Project.  After another lovely lunch I was able to sit in on a rehearsal of their poem.  Shakilah wrote the poem at the weekend and the children have already memorised it and were polishing their performance.  I don’t want to give too much away before Friday, other than it’s excellent and stands a great chance.  Maybe Rihamu can help our performance in Eurovision?!?

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