Hello again, I hope you are alll well! Thank you to all of you who have left some lovely messages on my board, it is really good to hear from you. Just to let you know that I get the message loud and clear that you want to see more photos of me, so I will do my best to grant your wish. However you all know how much I hate having photos taken at the best of times, so looking like I do at the moment, it will not be a pretty sight, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!
So I have now been at the school for three weeks and I am finding my time there alot more bearable, as the teacher has been hitting the children very rarely. After the previous weeks of constant beatings, I thought maybe I was just catching the teacher in a better mood! However after speaking to my host mother (who is also a teacher at the school,) she has informed me that the change in behaviour is not just a coincidence, but as the result of a word she had with all the teachers, after I raised my concerns with her. When she told me this, I was abit worried that the teachers mights be angry with me and treat me differently, however there has luckily been no trouble!
I must say that working in a classroom where there are no longer any beatings, is a far more pleasureable environment to be in. The teachers still threaten the children with the cane, but at least they are rarely following it through! Of course there is always the chance that the teachers will revert back to their old ways, but I hope not. What I would really love to do, would be to totally remove all the sticks from the school and burn them. However physical punishment is such a difficult behviour to change as it is so heavily engrained into the African culture. I am sure the children receive beatings from their parents and even one of the songs that the children sing at school, contains the words "my two hands, my two hands, can beat beat" and they all act out the actions of hitting someone!
Although the children are very violent and naughty, they do some very funny things. At school today, one of the children pulled up one of my trouser legs to look at the colour of my legs. I think he was curious to see if as well as having a white face and arms, I also had white legs. He must have got a shock at just how very white they are (as they have not had much exposure to the sun yet!)
Lessons at school continue to be a constant battle to keep the children seated, they up and down like yoyos, fighting with each other and standing on the tables and chairs! Most of my role is helping to prepare the lessons, which is a very tedious task as each exercise has to be handwritten in their books, there is not the luxury of printed sheets or a photocopier! It is also very disheartening because as soon as the children receive their exercise books, many of them just scribble, tear up or dribble all over their work. As soon as they have made a good attempt at their work, I remove their books as soon as possible, before they are completely destroyed!! These children are just 3 and 4 years old and too much is expected of them. If they lived in England, they would be free to have far more fun through imaginative play, through painting and drawing and through story books. However the schools here in Uganda simply don't have the facilities for such activities!
Well the the rain seaon has unfortunately now arrived here in Uganda and when it rains here, it really pours down heavily causing much disruption! One day last week the heavens decided to open, meaning that less than half of the children attended school and those who did come, arrive absolutely drenched! I can understand why many parents dont bring their children to school in the rain, as most of the children do not own a coat and the roads get extremely muddy and slippery, it is just not worth the journey. I really hope the wet season disappears quickly!
The battle with the creepy crawlies here goes on. To my disgust there is now a family of cockroaches living in the the bathroom! There is no electricity in the bathroom, so I now avoid having a wash after 7.30pm, as there is no way I can wash in a dark room, knowing that there are such creatures lurking about, at least in the daylight I can keep an eye on them! I really can't wait to be able to have a lovely hot bubble bath!
Thats all for now folks and please continue to keep me updated with the latest gossip!!
Lots of Love