So although I am dying to tell you all about Suubi, let me first go back to the last few days we spent in Bujagali.
Thursday of last week saw us heading of in different directions. Annette handed over some of the fabulous beads that her mother and friends had collected to a very excited Flo. She then headed to the Education centre library to put some of her expertise to good use by cataloging and arrange their books in some sort of order. Sue Samuel, Ashlee and Yvonne went back to the school they had been painting earlier in the week to finish off while I spent the day with Flo sitting under the shade over a mango tree learning how make double weave bracelets so I would have the skills required to pass this onto the Maskaks ladies.
The Soft Power Eduction Library (very tidy Annette!)
Annette and Flow with some gifts from Oz.
Friday was a fabulous day spent with the amazing Robert Bagatiya at Nakanyonyi Primary school. Dawes Rd Primary School has been communicating with Nakonyonyi for the past 12 months and I have been luck enough to visit there 1/2 a dozen time over our last few trips in Uganda, so it was really felt like catching up with an old friends. Robert has a power of energy and enthusiasm and not only runs their inspirational school demonstration garden but also coordinates their science and sports departments all while teaching a primary 7 class of 143 students!!! He had planned a huge day for us while we were there and wanted to make the most of the opportunity to show us everything that Nakonyonyi had done with the money they had received from Dawes Rd. ( I think it was between $300-$400 they raised from their footy day last year) Firstly he took us to their unbelievable school garden project where they are growing not only the traditional and abundant Ugandan Matooke but also tomatoes, peppers, onions, carrots, sugar cane, advocado, paw paw, mango, passion fruit and much more. Some to the funds from Dawes Rd had been spent on poles to support the passion fruit vines and Robert proudly told us that these made the most money from anything sold from the school garden. He also then showed us their various animal projects. Again a portion of the Dawes Rd funds had bought 100 boiler chicks late last year that they had raised and sold off. Robert explained that from the money raised, 18 orphans were supplied with fully stocked school back packs, 28 other vulnerable children were given books, pen and pencils while 9 others had their school fees paid for them! Amazing! And thats not all.... next we headed to soccer and netball demonstrations where the kids proudly wore the sports uniforms that Dawes Rd had also bought!. It hard to believe that one day in Australia can have such a lasting impact on some many kids in Uganda!!
The Nakanyonyi Football Netball teams in beautiful new outfits, proudly provided by Dawes Road Primary in Kyabram, Australia.
Well done Dawes Rd!!!!! After a quick stopped off for some cold drinks and biscuits in the outdoor staff room, we ventured into the one of the classes to show the kids that had been writing to Dawes Rd, and those that had been provide with goodies from them, a video of what life is like in an Australian school. It was amazing to watch them sucking in all the information as I explained what they were seeing and Robert expertly translated. At times I felt like we were describing things from out of space-machines in the staff room that you put your dishes into and it washes them for you!! The Ugandan kids, and in fact even Robert, could not believe what they were seeing and hearing!!
The Ugandan kids just loved hearing and seeing all about their Aussie counterparts!
After more than an hour of explanations, answering fabulous questions and lots of fun and laughter from everyone we then took a tour of the school with Robert and the two head prefects. I videoed many of the classes, all of which have over 100 student each in them, with the largest being 187 in one room! ( 2030 students all up) We also visited the pit latrines and other interesting things around the school so hopefully when we get back to Australia the kids there can learn as much as the Nakonyonyi kids! Sue, Samuel, Ashlee and Yvonne were all blown away by our day and I know that it will the same last impression on them as it has me!
The kids are always excited to see themselves on the back of the camera.
So after filling you in on all that, the sun is now fully up here and everyone else has risen from there slumber. They are wondering around, heading to the pit latrine, whipping up breakfast and right in front of me Sue is using the hairdressing skills she learnt from Esta to watch Samuels hair in a basin!!! I love it!!!
The Ugandan shower, fun for everyone!!
I really wish that I had time to tell you about Suubi now but it is time to paint! I miss family and friends sooooooooooo much and I want to keep you all informed but I am definitely going to live every second of this amazing experience. Hopefully I will get to it while we a traveling later in the week.
Love to all you HUGger out there.
HUGs from Helen