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Living on the Edge - a long way from the Edge

The first week of school

UGANDA | Friday, 5 July 2013 | Views [277]

Ugandan Adventure


Day 12: Monday 24th June

1st day at school


First day of school today, I was absolutely terrified. What was nice was that i had already visited the school and met my class, so I wasn't going in completely blind. We set off from the lodge in a van which was also taking volunteers to a school called Kindergatten, which is closer to the lodge than our school. When we arrived at Kindergatten Ivan made us all get out of the van and go in to the school. At this point it was 9.10 and our first lesson was due to begin at 9.30. At 9.20 Ivan suddenly decided to listen to us and we left, arriving at Kyejanga Modern Nursery and Primary School at approximately 9.28.

I spent my first two lessons doing introductory activities with the kids and taking photographs of them standing next to their names on the blackboard. Not one of them is smiling in their photo though, so they all look a little bit creepy. It's quite the culture shock to teach these kids: the concept of thinking for themselves is not something they've been introduced to. I asked them to draw me a spider diagram about themselves and modelled an example on the board for them. At least three of them wrote on theirs that they were from England. Their names are cool though, in my class I have two girls called Prossy, two boys called Bright, Precious, Promise, Ritah, Hildah, Aderah, Emily, Daphine, Christine, Meble, Shamia, Anglin, Wise, Amos, Mathius, Ivan, Peter, Brian and Exizevia.

The staff are really sweet as well, they keep trying to make us eat more but goddamit the food is vile. The staple food is called Pocho, a mix of maize flour and water which is cooked until it forms a solid mound, and we eat that with a purple peanut sauce, beans in some kind of sauce which tastes (and looks) like mud, and rice. I took as little as was possible without seeming disgustingly rude.


Got back to the lodge by 5.00 and fell asleep on one of the sofas until dinner. 

Today, i got given two mangoes, an avocado and an ear of corn. Nothing compared to Greig's haul though, he got bags of avocados and mangoes, a couple of pineapples and a really big piece of sugar cane.


Day 13: Tuesday 25th June

Another day of school. Got more fruit and veg.

Because I barely ate anything yesterday, Elizabeth (our mentor teacher) made greens with eggplant (which is more like kumquat than avocado) as well as pocho and beans etc. I still ate basially nothing, but it was better than yesterday where she sliced avocado on to my plate. I tried really hard to eat it because she was being kind and because I can just about stand the taste, but the texture made me gag. Elise told me later he had thought I was going to throw up.


Day 14: Wednesday 26th June


Felt so ill when I woke up this morning, but I soldiered on and went in to school where all of the lessons were frustrating because the kids just didnt seem to understand anything I tried to teach them.


At breaktime Elizabeth asked me what type of African man I would like her to find to set me up with. Umm...


Day 15:Thursday 27th June

Research  Group Leave :(


I got up at 5.00 this morning with the research group to say goodbye to them all. They are all so lovely, I'm really going to miss them. Still feeling really ill so I spoke to George and then went back to bed. 


Denis woke me up for lunch and I managed to eat a few mouthfuls of chips and veg before going back to bed and sleeping through to dinner time. Finally feeling better and there are only two lessons to get through tomorrow before we set off for Lake Bunyonyi.


Day 16: Friday 28th June 

Woke up feeling fine, only taught two out of three lessons and then had a 3 (supposedly, it was more like 5) hour drive to Lake Bunyonyi. 

The journey was hellish, but the views made up for it, absolutely stunning. Went to Barclays to withdraw cash, then the supermarket to buy booze, and then we drove another 8km over a mountain to the lake. We got off the buses and got onto a little motor boat which took us over to our own private island. We pitched our tents before heading up to the bar for dinner, where we found out that for 100 000 Ugandan Shillings (approximately 30GBP) we could sleep in a private room with a king size bed and an ensuite (hot) shower and toilet. Definitely went for that option, money be damned. Spent a little bit of time in the bar after dinner but I went to bed around 10.30. Unfortunately my bedroom had some very thin walls, and so my early bedtime did not stop me being woken up by my neighbours noisy shenanigans, which went on for about 4 hours. 


Day 17: Saturday 29th June

Woke up ridiculously early, at about 7.15. Killed a little bit of time looking at the view from my shared veranda before moseying down to a breakfast of fresh fruit and fried egg on toast. So good! After breakfast I told Laura and Katie they could use my shower if they wanted to, so they came up to my room and showered whilst I sat on the veranda, wrote in my diary and read. Then we had a little nap in my bed, because it was easily big enough for three, and could probably have fitted four at a squeeze. 

At 10.30 or so we went down to the lake for a swim, which was lovely. Had to put proper clothes on because we got on motor boats to go over to a swanky hotel on the other side of the lake for lunch. Had a decent steak, and was eavesdropping on some Israelis for an indecent amount of time. i had just figured out how to ask them something in Ivrit and they walked off. Oh well.

Caz, Liz, Tasha, Nico and Dave were coming up with challenges for people to complete that night. The forfeit was to do shots of a very strong Ugandan gin, called Waragi. My challenge was to get drunk, very very drunk. I think that's all I'm going to say about the fun of Saturday night!



Tags: drinking, hotel, lake, school

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