setting out from home at 8.15am we arrived in Entebbe at 5.30am Ugandan time the
next day. The first introduction to Ugandan life was a visit to Kampala to exchange
money where the amount of people, cars and pollution were over overpowering and
the street children heart breaking.
first school visit was to St. Joseph, where a tour of the village was included.
The girls in the group found it difficult to cope, especially when they saw the
women collecting water and then were shown the emergency water hole. The female
teacher with us was found in a classroom in tears, saying it was too much. The
male teacher said "If this is where money has been spent, what will undeveloped
schools be like?"
there we had 12 hours on the bus, packed like sardines. The students found that
climbing through the windows as a means of access was easier than trying to get
in and out through the doors! The tarmac roads, complete with potholes finished
before we crossed the mountain range to get to Kisoro, so then it was maram with
hairpin bends. Eventually we arrived at dusk, to be met by all the headteachers,
and we had a meal.
next day was the official opening of the classrooms which the students had funded.
The whole community were there. Dancing, singing, speeches and food followed.
following day it was back to teaching, breakfast at 7.30 and on the bus to reach
the various schools. A class of 260 in Primary 1 was a challenge but 2 of our
students coped with doing the Hokey Cokey with 400! Beside the teaching some of
the boys took on building work with Grantley, the husband of one of the teachers.
Usually we were back in Kisoro by 6ish so this was the routine for the week until
we were picked up by 4-wheel drives at 8.30 and transported to an undeveloped
school. This took nearly two hours, driving through stunning scenery, and picking
up various passengers on the way. Luckily it wasn't wet that day as the school
is inaccessible in wet weather. Arriving at the end of a dirt track we spotted
3 or 4 soldiers with guns in the bushes. When asked we were told that there was
always someone on guard as it was such a remote area, and so close to Congo, but
today extra security had been laid on for our safety!
school was built of mud and wattle with walls or part of walls missing. When asked
what happens when it rains I was told "It beats us". No water meant that the children
had nothing to drink. So now A.C.E. has 9 schools.
was play day - the Muzungus (white people) played the local football team.The
pitch had no markings and the cows had to be shifted off at various times but
a good game was played.The students also had to do their washing as by now they
were running out of clothes so bowls of water were supplied and smalls were draped
up to dry.
was a 6am start to leave Kisoro. Unfortunately we broke down on top of the mountain
range. We were rescued after about an hour by the school inspector who brought
a mechanic and a bunch of bananas for breakfast. Twelve hours later we arrived
at Queen Elizabeth National Park for our days holiday on Monday.
start again on Monday for a safari - we saw hippos, elephants, and buffalo, but
no lions.We also got stuck in mud and had to be rescued by a landrover with a
was another 12 hours on the bus back to Entebbe and home.