Badminton in the bush
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Today was a day I have been looking forward to since we arrived in Uganda. Today we broke off into two groups and went into the primary and secondary schools for the morning. I was privileged to be able to observe in the primary school in the primary 2 classes. Because there are 83 students in total they put the students into two groups of 43. 43 students with one teacher. And we thought our classrooms were already overfull with students. One might think at first glance that the classes are loud and out-of-control but one of the first things we all noticed was how the students had so much self-discipline. So much more than what our kids have. Whenever the class would begin to get out-of-hand, and the kids all had a lot of energy, the teacher only gave a look and maybe said a word or two and the kids reigned it in. No yelling, but always calm and in control. I know I have much to learn from their teaching methods. The kids were all so excited to be at school and ready to learn.
After the lessons were over the teacher, Elisabeth, invited our team to come up and teach a few words to the kids. Chantelle went to the blackboard and the kids would know what she was writing before she even finished the word. Slowly the words became harder but she eventually stumped them with photosynthesis! Did I mention that these kids were only 7-8 years old? They were so excited by this English lesson from the Canadians that when the bell rang for lunch they didn’t want to go. We wrapped up quickly as this is the only meal they receive until the following morning. They have a snack of porridge maze around 10:00, then a filling meal of rice and beans at 1:00. Every meal counts!
We left for lunch back at our guesthouse which was another feast. We eat so abundantly while down the road there is so little! We had a few hours to rest before our next journey so a few of us played badminton on the grass (nearly lost the bird many times in the neighboring bush), while others read or journaled.
Later we drove out to Bulere, a 20 minute drive from Buikwe (where the compound is). In Bulere we learned about the Village Savings and Loans Program that the local people have started together. This program is a collaboration of each person putting money into the “bank”, which is a lock box that is locked up by three different locks. Each key for each lock is kept by a different member and the lock box is kept by the treasurer. As a need or goal arises they borrow money out to pay for it. They are then charged interest until they can pay it back. The group meets once a week on Tuesday, every Tuesday, to put money in and hold each other accountable as to where the money is going. The local pastor shared that he used the money for his son’s university education, and in turn his own son is paying for his son’s education. From generation to generation they are creating a legacy. The people were all so proud of all they had accomplished together with their money.
Uganda is beautiful and we are all in agreement as to how blessed we are to have this opportunity. Every day is filled with new wonders and I cannot wait to see what tomorrow has in store!