Blog Entry: 2nd half of Project
So we have almost finished term 2 and I realise I have not written in a long time so will try to sum up all the excitement we have had over the past 10 weeks or so!
I am currently writing this in my bedroom in the stifling heat despite the fact it is 7 o'clock and will be dark in about 15 minutes! We are in the final week of term and the students are heading off for the holidays next Wednesday so this week we have the joy of marking lots and lots of exams! The students have their talent show on Saturday which always proves to be very entertaining and then we are off travelling again!
I am trying to access my last blog to see when I last wrote but it is taking its time so I think it was around the time I was last ill with Bilharzia right at the beginning of term. Fortunately I have not been ill since although I had to go back for another bilharzia test which proved positive and I hadn't got any better from the last test so I had to take another 6 huge tablets and have the joy of going back again in a week to check again….but hopefully it will have gone!
Been loving it back at project and still really enjoying the teaching and due to the recent exams I have found it very rewarding to find that the kids are actually passing their exams, which is always a plus! This term I have been teaching senior 1, English and Literature which has been really good as I am their only English teacher so they feel like my class! They proved difficult at the beginning as they were the new students this term as it was the start of an academic year. There was a slight problem during the first week of the fact that they couldn't understand a word I was saying and then they didn't seem to realise that when I asked them to write the date and title I actually wanted them to do it then…not 30 minutes later!But we have had a laugh...particularly on two occasions. The first I was teaching literature and suddenly half way through the lesson realised there was a random man asleep at the back of my classroom. It was one of the builders who was living in the classroom whilst the building work was going on. I was hysterical and the kids found it so funny…I just didn't understand how I had missed it!! The second was 'the snake incident!' A couple of weeks ago I was teaching senior 1 again about Legends when a girl on the front row points at the door and screams 'Madam there is a snake!' might be a good point to say Ugandans hate snake…like actually are repulsed by them! So the whole class (about 35 13-19 year olds) start running around screaming and standing on desks shouting at me to do something. I am not majorly afraid of snakes but didn't really understand what they wanted me to do. The snake was only about a foot long and very small and green. So while all this commotion is going on, Alphonse, a 19 year old villager who finished p.7. in 2003 dropped out of school and has now started again, decided to take the matter into his hands. He is huge and built like a tank but a gentle giant. He went to the back of the class and picked up a building tool with a huge metal block on the end and took it to the door. He started hacking away at the pavement and chipping the path and eventually this little snake had been chopped in half and his head smashed in! Very dramatic and gruesome!! Meanwhile all the other classes have come out their classrooms and there was quite a commotion! Alsphonse who was completely unphased just walked back into the classroom and carried on copying down the notes off the board! It was extremely funny and took me rather a long time to regain control of the class!!
A couple of weekends ago it was Becky's birthday and as Ugandans don't celebrate birthdays we headed to Kampala to spend it with the other volunteers. We left on Friday and it took a while to get to Kampala as our taxi driver seemed to have a problem! He drove so slowly on the easy bits and very fast on the difficult bits!We went out on Friday night to a club which is quite popular for Muzungu's and had a really good night although there were definitely a few headaches the next day! We had a lovely relaxed weekend and it was really good to see everyone, although sad as we had to say goodbye to Ashley who went home. This last week we have been pottering around school and we went to visit Sarah on Thursday last week as she was at project by herself. She lives west of Mubende and it is about an hour and a half journey. Plus when you pass through Mubende it is freezing and the landscape changes and looks more like the highlands of Scotland! We had a lovely time, and she cooked us a lovely meal and we wandered around in the village. The next day me and Becky went to Fort Portal for a meal, kind of for her birthday, which was really good although poured with rain and was very cold! I then went back to Sarah's to spend another night with her as it was a dance for trainee teachers at her school and it was the end of their work experience. Me and Sarah, together with a Ugandan called Vincent decided we needed to get about 15 birds out of the church where the dance was going to be held! After us all running around screaming for a while we got all the birds out of the church apart from 2. Vincent decided he would deal with it so walked outside and picked up a 15ft bamboo cane from someones front garden fence and walked in the church with it over his shoulder. He started walking towards the back of the church where they were banging the stick on the floor and then swiped the stick through the air and both birds hit the floor!Me and Sarah were in hysterics and the only thing he said was 'Ah, I have killed them!' fortunately one of them survived but the other was not so lucky, it was hilarious though!
On Saturday a representative came from Project Trust to visit us which was lovely and nice to see another white person!She came and viewed the school which me and Becky are very proud to show off and spent lots of time chatting to us about project and how we are enjoying it. We got some really good food in the evening and she stayed the night with us. Andrew really enjoyed meeting her and is very excited at the prospect of new volunteers next year! (we have to keep reminding him we haven't left yet!!) It was a very encouraging and positive visit and we loved showing off the school!
So this week being the last week of term is quite boring as I am not teaching and the students have exams. All my exams are over and I am really pleased with how the students have performed…although reminding them to answer all the questions seems to be constant!!So on Saturday there is the talent show and then it is the end of term ( which seems to have gone extremely quickly!) Next week we begin another month of travelling as we don't go back to school till the 23rd may. We have to head out the country to renew our visa's on the 26th so are heading to Kenya as we have not properly done it. We are planning on doing a bicycle safari in Hells Gate National Park, which should be awesome although the concept of cycling does not fill me with a lot of joy!! We are told there is not any dangerous game in the park otherwise my shocking fitness may be put to the test and I do not think my short legs could pedal that fast! We are then heading to Nairobi and Mombassa to be true tourists. We will then travel some more around Uganda, hoping to go to Lake Nabugabo and visit some projects so the month will no doubt fly by! I am very exciting and it will be a nice break from teaching before the last stint…cant actually believe I have been away for 7 and a half months, it has gone so fast! Seems strange that I will be coming home soon!
Anyway I am not going to wrestle with the internet and try to get it up!
Love to everyone , I will keep you updated whilst travelling J