Uganda 2016 Day Seven – Another busy day at Kafuro

Another 06.30 start, but our journey to Kafuro was only delayed slightly by a herd of elephants, so we arrived at 10.00 sharp. Many children were cutting the grass in the compound and cleaning (no Hampshire contractors to do this). I’m not sure UK children could cope with doing that on a regular basis. We were directed to P5 where Yowasi was meant to be teaching, but he wasn’t there so I took over his English lesson. The headteacher and deputy head came to watch and seemed impressed. The children were very responsive to positive praise, but there is a lot of work out of textbooks. Mrs Green went in to P4 to teach for a while until it was break time and was similarly observed.

Our next activity was to continue building the cob oven. With the help of the children we created the sand mould in under 30 minutes and covered it with damp old exam papers. Then the children created their cob and we laid the first layer. I was a little worried that the cob might be too wet, but the temperature in Kafuro is so high that it was soon drying.

After that we went to meet Apollo, the chairman of the PTA. He thanked the community of Liss for our continued support for his school and said that we had had an enormous impact on the whole community of Kafuro and we were well loved. He was particularly glowing in his praise for the elements of the English curriculum that we had introduced at his school. I pledged our continuing support for the schools’ relationship and stated that our children gained just as much from their friends in Uganda as they gained from us.

Next, we heard groups of children read from P7. The majority of them were very fluent, but needed a little bit of work with comprehension especially when dealing with unfamiliar locations and issues. We moved straight on to meet to Kafuro Women’s Group. They performed welcoming songs and dances for us as well as putting on a short play. They wanted to show us their craft materials that they were trying to sell to raise funds for their group. As usual there was fantastic workmanship.

After a busy morning it was time for a shave! A local barber shaves the head of the children for free in return for using the school’s electricty and he had agreed to shave off my beard which I had specially grown, but was now like carrying a dead animal around on my mouth. Worryingly, it was very grey as well. This caused the children great amusement, but I felt much better afterwards.

Next, we stopped for a lunch of pork, rice, chips and watermelon. Soon after, we were back to work beginning the construction of the bottle greenhouse. Based on my experience of helping Mr Haycock at Liss, I thought it would be possible to build the basic frame that was used to build my house in Kafuro two years ago and use banana twine to tie the bottles (placed around bamboo canes) to the main frame. This seemed to go well, but we ran out of bottles so it will take a little while to complete. One thing that was very impressive was how skilled many of the children were in using a panga (machete).

AS the afternoon drew to a close many of the children started a game of football with a rag ball. Henry and I joined in (one on each team) and this attracted a great deal of excitement and attention. Somehow, I managed to score a hat-trick and celebrated each goal elaborately to great amusement. Henry also scored three which earned him the nickname of Rooney from the children. It was hilarious.

We returned to Mweya to be asked at the gate if we had any weapons with us. I thought that this was hilarious only to be told later that President Museveni was landing in Mweya (on the airstrip) tonight and would be meeting the Congolese president for three days at the posh safari lodge. Therefore, security is really tight right now. At dinner we managed to book some exciting activities for the weekend. More on that nearer the time.

Tomorrow is our last scheduled day at Kafuro and we hope to continue building the cob oven as well as handing out letters and taking class photos.

Finally, an answer to Mrs Frost’s question: The scouts meet as little as once a month, but there are district events such as a two-night campfire which is apparently coming up soon. They do not have badges at the moment, but skills and activities are recorded. The scouts meet during school time!

 

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