School assembly in my own school, and when the saints…

Today, a change from stolen computer blues, turned into a food holiday. Peter and Ayubu and Ajab and your man in Kampala went to school. It goes without saying how bumpy the 1hr drive was or how many times we stopped to greet people.

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The Everlight Nursery and Primary is definitely rural, 260 children aged 5-12, “private”, not that government schools are funded; this just means they can choose to include needy families, which they do aplenty, god bless them.

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They have 4 classrooms, check these out:

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This is all 4 of them, with classes of around 35, half of them must sit in the equatorial sun all day.

In assembly, in a big dark room, I was introduced, lauded for my gifts, from all you friends who sent toys, clothes, foods, books and pens:

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These were so appreciated, I thought the angel Gabriel himself would drop in to praise us.
In any case, I’m the first mzungu (white man) they’ve had visit them in the 3 years they’ve been running. They say, get this, that they want to rename the school “Sim Primary”…
I’ll put up a video soon. Songs were sung and it was all very gorgeous, especially for a sentimental old ex-teacher like me.

“Small of an oily rag” doesn’t begin to describe the lack of resources here. For a country whose national sport is football, this school doesn’t have one.

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Here are the school cooks at work.The children get maize porridge for lunch (it’s really horrid believe me), and questionable drinking water. This is much more than government school pupils enjoy, even though they too have to pay fees, often higher than here.
The room that 18 girl boarders sleep in, is 5m square. But happy? You betcha. I chatted with some of the older boys. One wants to be a pilot, one a shop-keeper; one may achieve his ambition.
But ask them if they like school and there’s no doubting how fortunate they know they are.

Then we went to a rural medical centre, again “private” so they can serve the penniless, which goodness knows how they manage to do. They have 35 beds;

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…and an amazing bunch of nurses and a single doctor, working largely unpaid:

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I just have SO much admiration for people like this; when the going gets tough, the angels and saints come matching in. I could cry all over again but I’ve said I’ll cook dinner, my first cooking in nearly 2 months.

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I’d have started already but the maid who’s supposed to be back with the ingredients from town by 5pm, is not back and it’s now 7 pm. There’s no sense of occasion here! The family probably won’t even come home tonight…. Maybe I should open that beer while I’m waiting? What do you think??

Posted from MI’s WordPress for Android, as if!!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Annette
    Sep 15, 2012 @ 22:52:56

    Hi Simon, I can’t believe the open air classrooms!! I wish I had my own classroom so I could use your blog as part of a social studies unit!
    Boy, you are doing such a wonderful job over there. I take my hat off! So sorry to hear of your computer loss, no doubt with super valuable data…….Thank you for your continued jottings and great photos 🙂

    Reply

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