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Living on the Edge - a long way from the Edge

This is Africa, and if you can't taste the milk you're doing it wrong.

UGANDA | Thursday, 20 June 2013 | Views [399]

Ugandan Adventure: June 16-19

 
Day 4: Sunday June 16th
 
I didn't keep my diary on Sunday and so I remember very little. I know we had salad and chips for lunch, which was yummy, and then we had mash, spaghetti and boiled salad for dinner. It tasted a lot nicer than it sounds, to be honest.
 
Day 5: Monday June 17th
 
Today we actually started the proper work. In the morning we had LRTT (Limited Resource Teacher Training) where we learnt about making lessons engaging, motivating and contextual. After lunch we went down to Great Lakes regional college where the history of the charity was explained to us (I've written about it in more detail later on in this entry). On our return from the college some of the girls and I did circuit training. There were 8 stations and we did 2 rounds. Liz is a ridiculously good motivator, so it stayed fun. At one point someone shouted "If you can't taste the lactose acid* you're not working hard enough!" This led to the catchphrase of the session "If you can't taste the milk you're doing it wrong!" Anyway, I am ridiculously unfit but I'll be doing it again. Spent that evening drawing up a framework for an Internet timetable, everyone gets half an hour but not more than ever two days.
*lactose is dairy sugar, the bitter taste you get when exercising is lactic acid.
Day 6: Tuesday June 18th
 
The LRTT today focussed on differentiation, and that's how we spent the morning before we went over to Kirima (pronounced Chireema) Parents' Primary School. 
KPPS was the initial project which sparked the Volunteer Uganda scheme 14 years ago. A group of local parents came together and started their own school under a tree in the centre of the village because they weren't happy with the primary school options for their children. The local vicar was studying for a doctorate in London at the time, and visited communities looking for funding to build a classroom. A community in Highgate donated £10,000 and a few months later got pictures of the classroom being built and then of children being taught in the classroom. Having seen that the money was put to good use, the community then raised money for another classroom, and then a kitchen so that the children could be given lunch each day. Then the community in London realised that there was only so much their money could do if there weren't teachers up to the job. They then began sending teachers out to Uganda, and to fund a college where students could study to become teachers. Today, Volunteer Uganda and the local charity they work with, Chifcod, have built 4 primary schools, a secondary school and a college - as well as working with a further 6 primary schools.
Anyway, KPPS is the oldest and therefore the best equipped school in the area. It takes on boarders and day pupils from the age of 3 upwards. When we arrived the kids sang us some songs and danced around. Then we played with them for a while before being given a lunch of pocho, beans, mashed green banana and rice. Given that the usual lunch is just pocho and beans we all acted very appreciative, but it really wasn't great. Pocho is a malleable, solid mix of maize and water. Not looking forward to eating that for the next 5 weeks.
In the afternoon we did more LRTT and then just relaxed into the evening.
 
Day 7: Wednesday June 19th
 
I felt so ill this morning,so I dragged myself through a freezing shower in the hope that it would make me feel better but it didn't. Suffered through breakfast and 2 LRTT sessions before going for a nap instead of eating lunch. Got up for the third session of the day but opted to stay in the lodge when everyone else went for a walk to another local village and the poorest school VU works with. I stayed behind to sleep, rehydrate and read Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" which is amazing. It's the third book I've read since I've been here, I started with 'The Shadow of the Sun' which was excellent and then I read an Agatha Christie for a bit of fun. Going to try and keep alternating from serious to silly whilst I'm out here: next up is either Hunger Games or Wolf Hall. After my nap I'm feeling much better, probably helped by my rehydration sachet, most of a litre and a half of water and a bar of chocolate. Decided to skip this evening's TICs because I'm still a bit dizzy. This is Circuits, or TIC, is one of our abbreviations. The others are ATS, the African Trouser Society and TIA, This is Africa
Been playing a lot of pool, and am slowly getting better at it. Hope everything at home is ok.

Tags: bwindi, children, school, teacher, training, uganda

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