It’s evening now in Uganda. Oliotya everyone! We have spent the day learning new language from the workmen at YSU and the children at the Village of Hope. As I write, Dale and Nicola are practising what they’ve learnt today and writing so we try our best to greet the people of Uganda respectfully.
Oliotya- How are you?
Bulungi- I’m fine.
Mpaako- Can I please have…?
Weebale - Thank you
While some of the team went back to work at the YSU site today (which is taking shape beautifully! See pics below!), others went to the Village of Hope to do some tutoring with groups of children.
Nathan and Mel did some stencilling, writing and activity books with the pre-schoolers.
“Realising how much they knew…I really underestimated how clever they all were. They really surprised me by showing me how much they could do and how similar the education level of the children in the Village is to those at home”- Mel
“Their knowledge of numbers and how they could write their name at that age really surprised me. Their education level was more than I expected”- Nathan
Sasha worked with the P1 and P2 level school children, and they stencilled and used counting sticks to enhance maths skills (and played an awesome game of Jenga!)
“I was so surprised how much they knew and how well they did. I was counting with one little girl, and we counted to 20, then counted to 100, and then counted down from 100. It was amazing. They all knew how to play Jenga without me even explaining it. I was surprised that in a third world country they already knew some things we do in the western world”- Sash
Meagan and I worked with the P3 and P4 children, and we had a blast. We started off with letter tracing and writing, which they quickly told us was for “pre-schoolers”, and then got them to make silly sentences using only words that started with the letter they had. Some of the sentences created were “Hills have houses,” “Pink panthers practise pumping,” and “Alligators ate apples”.
“We were amazed at the children’s level of understanding of letters and sentences. They taught us so much about what they learn at different levels of their schooling. It was humbling as a teacher to be told by them what we should have been teaching them”- Debbie
After lunch at Subi House, we went into the town of Jinja and got a feel of people’s livelihoods. The shopkeepers were so grateful to have us in their little stores, even if we only spent UGX30,000 (which is approximately $11). People at the cafes and restaurants happily served us with a smile and without expecting tips. Most of us bought paintings from Jinja Art Studio, which we will pick up next week. The work these people do with their hands is amazing.
Whilst we enjoyed exploring, it is always shocking to see the contrast of the lives of those who live here compared to us at home. Children play soccer in alleys with no shoes on, children beg for money and food that they won’t get, people almost crash into each other in buses, trucks and motorbikes (we had a few scares ourself today!) because of the lack of road rules, guards walk around the streets with rifles, people work on unstable scaffolding which make us all squirm and children are labouring from as young as 3 or 4 years old.
“I saw a child around 14 with his pants rolled up around his knees. It looked like he was wearing grey gumboots but it turned out it was concrete all the way up his legs from work”- Greg
“A little girl that looked about 4 years old was holding a machete and chopping plants in the families’ field. I can’t believe how young they are and they’re already working”- Debbie
We are learning so much about each other and about life here and feel blessed to be a unified team who have a heart for helping others. We hope that we can bless the children and people we have contact with, but we know that we will be blessed by them!
Dinner time now for everyone, and a “bottle of Stoney’s” for Glenn 😊