On Sunday it was time to re pack our cases and prepare for the secondary school. We packed a bag for the secondary school and left all of other things with the hotel staff, everyone is so friendly and offers to help with everything. We arranged to be picked up by Dismas and Leonard at 11.30 but as usual there was lots of traffic so they arrived after noon. We loaded up the buses with our bags, food and all of our donated items and started our journey for the secondary school. We stopped off on the way for fuel and drinks and then headed on to the secondary school. After 2 hours we reached and stopped off near by to a huge celebration of 30 weddings, we some home managed to draw all of the attention from the wedding onto our selves and a lot of the children were begging for money and trying to take our belongings so we didn’t stay too long, Dismas hoped to meet the Bishop but it was too busy and there was too much partying going on.
We headed along the bumpy dusty roads to the secondary school in Kaunga. They call the ride on the bumpy roads “the free bottom massage”. Once we arrived at the secondary school we were greeted by Beatrice with tea and cake and were then shown to our rooms, we were under the impression we would be camping but Dismas had arranged rooms for us. Graham was set the task of putting all of our mosquito nets up. Soon after we had arrived me and Rebecca went with Beatrice and George (Dismas’ son) to buy some shopping. We dropped Leonard off on the way as he was getting a taxi back to Kampala, we arrived at the supermarket on the side of a dusty road in Nazigo and stocked up on drinks. Me and Rebecca then went with Beatrice to find some hair bands. While we were gone Beatrice had sent George to the market to get some onions, so once we came out of the shop George and the bus were no where to be seen, we waited for ages for him whilst we were getting stopped by the men on the Boda- Boda bikes. Every single one that drove past was staring at me and Rebecca and Tony was laughing at the fact none of them were looking at the road and said we nearly caused a crash, all was okay as at quarter to 7, George finally came back and we headed back to the secondary school. On our way back to the school we came across a taxi stuck in the mud and there were children pushing it out in their bare feet.
It was dark by the time we arrived back at the school. Rebecca had the hair braided and then dinner was served. For dinner was chicken, rice and Irish; Irish is potato with a tomato sauce. After dinner we joined a campfire, and I must say English campfires have nothing on the ones in Uganda, we need to up our game! We danced all night long around the campfire listening to the band.
We also led a few songs and had everyone dancing. After the campfire we went to bed for our first night sleeping at the school; a little less luxurious compared to the hotel in Kampala, I woke up in the middle of the night freezing cold, and there was a light that outside that was solar charged and wouldn’t turn off, a bit of a reality check. Being at the secondary school has made us all realise how lucky we are, and no matter how little these student and teachers have or how hard their day is they are always laughing and smiling.
- the toilet was put in just for us they usually use drop holes
We were scheduled to paint on Monday but the builders were still fitting the windows so instead we had a welcome from the school and the band. We was presented with t’shirts that read “proudly selfless” and we were then introduced to everyone. We then went to see Dismas’ favourite place called Kalaearla Falls just outside of Jinjia.
It was absolutely beautiful, however there were people constantly asking us for money and following us; after lots of picture taking we headed to Jinja where we went to the source of the Nile; we headed for the water and had a boat ride which actually took us to the source of the Nile, the boat was made of wood and we was slightly worried as we saw the water slowly coming in, all part of the adventure though! We stayed on the boat for an hour and was taken around the area, we also got off by the source of the Nile onto a platform.
After the boat trip we went to dinner at the black lantern which was a big surprise for all of us as when we turned up there was monkeys all around, they kept throwing their food at us, it was absolutely beautiful.
It was also Georgina and Tony’s wedding anniversary so we presented them with a card and a bottle of wine at dinner; After dinner it was a long drive back to the secondary school, we was all fast asleep on the way home, a little squashed because we had Beatrice’s friend in our bus too. It’s the norm over here to cram as many people in a bus as you possibly can, we’ve been lucky really having the too buses driving us around.
On Tuesday we was woken up at 6.15, ready for an early start on painting. We was prepared for the dormitory to be in a bad state as the builders had not finished properly and had left cement every where, so before we could start painting we had to scrape all the cement off and clean it up, our Dad’s would be proud!
We then got painting straight away, We had some ladders made for us that wasn’t very safe so me and Jayne where holding the ladder James was on whilst painting the wall, multi tasking at its finest! It was such hard work, the walls were in an awful state and we had to lay the paint on thickly, it was still not covering very well, an a-level student came to help us we asked him he was meant to be in lesson and he just replied “not really” so I’m guessing he was but we were much more interesting.
After we had painted it was time for a ‘bush wash’ I had two bowels of water and was washing my hair and my legs in the middle of the school field, felt so good to be clean and to have water! I was so thankful that I could wash my hair it didn’t bother me that it wasn’t hot. After school had finished we were invited to watch a football match but when we got there we were actually expected to play, so me Jayne and James played football, they all took it so seriously and it was getting rough, No one could have persuaded me to play football back home, but Uganda you’re slowly changing me.
We walked back to the school and Graham and Chris were waiting for me to wash their hair so they got their bucket of water and I washed their hair in the school field. We sat ou on the grass for the remainder of the evening and as we were sitting talking, Graham was playing music on his speaker and girls from the school were coming over thanking us for bringing bras for them, they were so appreciative, so I take this opportunity to everyone who has donated their old bras for us all to bring out, it is such an importance to the girls out here.
Dinner was served and we all had an early night.
When Wednesday morning arrived we had another early start; Graham, Chris and Tony got straight to work on the dormitory and Jayne, Joe and Sam followed soon after.
Evonne went to teach a GCSE Math class, I went to teach an A Level English class, James went to teach an A Level Math class and Rebecca observed a GCSE English class. I was particularly surprised that the A Level English students were reading Oliver Twist for their exam next month when they didn’t understand the London dialect so I spent a lot of the morning explaining that to them. Everyone found the lessons they were in very different to the lessons back in England because their way of teaching is so varied and they don’t tend to have much interaction from the students.
inbetween teaching breakfast was served, Beatrice and Yudayah are really looking after us.
The painters finished painting all they could as it was so difficult because all the girls beds were in the dormitory and the builders were putting in the glass windows, but they done a good job!
The paint brushes donated by travis perkins, Thankyou
After lunch, Dismas took us for a local tour and showed us some of the land that he grows food for the school on where he keeps his cattle. We was also given some corn on the cob which had been cooked for our arrival, it was very very dry but we appreciated it nevertheless.
Dismas then took us to the Nile, him and George tried to take the buses down a footpath as much as we told them we were happy to walk, eventually the wheels were spinning and they had to let us walk. We arrived at a very calm and peaceful part of the Nile and Joe, Georgina and Evonne were quick to take their shoes off and paddle in the water.
After a short time spent at the Nile, it was time to head back to the school, another very bumpy ride back past mud huts and families living with virtually nothing; yet the children looked so happy.
As the sun set it was our turn to cook dinner for Dismas and the rest of the team. Everyone played their part in the meal prep, however some were a little more enthusiastic than others, dinner was served and it was a potato and veg concoction served with Tuna and/or Salmon. A little random, but it seemed to go down well, I think everyone was so hungry that night. Students in the day had told us they were organising a campfire for the weekend for us and didn’t realise we were leaving the next day so we spoke to Dismas and Dismas gave us all the clear to have a campfire on a school night. The fire was lit and the pupils came out of homework class and stopped their other jobs and joined the camp fire. There are not enough words to describe the atmosphere of a campfire in Uganda, especially Outspan school. The atmosphere was incredible and everyone was up dancing, they all went crazy when we danced with them, especially when James did. Even though James was asked if he was a “He or a She”. The campfire finished and it was time for the students to go to bed. We were all so tired that we went to bed not long after.
There was no early start on Thursday so we could have a bit of a lay in, though it’s hard when the band are practicing and Graham is knocking on the window because he had been locked out. There was a big leaving ceremony put on by the school at 11am. We cut the ribbon to open the dormitory and uncovered the sign which read “lala salama” which is good night in Swahili.
As the celebrations out here are amazing. I think all of us were trying not to cry the entire way through. There was performances from different groups and speeches from the teachers which were amazing. We were all presented with presents, which was a lovely gesture to a very great experience that tested us all hugely.
Just before we left Ridvan who is a student at the school took me out on a teacher’s Boda Boda which is a motor bike.