“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Day 4 – Tuesday 14th August

Eggs and bananas for breakfast again followed by another science lesson with Kenneth but with a different class where I discovered Nakatu is one of a twin! Her sister got moved in class a couple of times and appears to be quite the naughty sister.
Blessed was not at school, so unfortunately she missed out on the BTR Brakes pens that we handed out to the class – they were all fascinated with the fact that they had clickers on the end to make the nib pop-out – very amusing to watch.
At morning break time we went out to play netball again, but as I was returning with the ball, (and Caroline was showing a group of children photos of our family), Jameal came and took 42 children in total over the road to carry bricks from a supply pile, to the new toilet block they were building. When we got there Jameal simply told the children the bricks had to be moved and showed them where they were to go – about 200m inside a banana patch. It was chaos, children with bricks on heads, some of the little ones struggling to carry them, dropping them, breaking them and trekking dangerously through the banana plants on rough ground. We suggested forming the children into a line and passing the bricks along the line, which didn’t take long to organize and suddenly the kids were filled with enthusiasm, every time part of the line was waiting for the bricks to come their way, they would start clapping and laughing to indicate to the others further up the line that they weren’t going fast enough. The little trooper I had next to me was a star, she was tiny, but strong as an ox. By the time the 30 mins was up, a huge pile had been moved into position and the builders were very pleased with the efforts. So much so that when the kids returned to the lodge, Denis (the lodge Director) gave them a bottle of pop each before we all went back to class for Caroline and I to make cootie-catchers with them whilst Jameal was helping with another class. Jameal returned to set their Maths homework, but sadly, everything has to be dictated and written down as they don’t have text books, only exercise books, which means that the setting of homework took another 30 mins and the kids were late getting away.
Lunch was squash, potatoes, mushroom stew and cabbage/beetroot slaw.
We set off for Evez’s house soon after 2pm and she had prepared Matooke and ground nuts for us to eat with pineapple. She showed us all her family photos and her eldest brother who graduated from Kabale university last year in accounting explained more about the family, the situation and their way of life. Fascinating.
They gave us a pineapple as a parting gift and we left some of the printed photos of them as presents to add to their album.
We set off further up the southern hill to find Blessed’s house and deliver more photos of the games we played with them yesterday (as well as her BTR Brakes pen!). Her mother Rose was so grateful she could not believe we were leaving the prints for her to keep. We spent some time in her house playing with the children while Blessed wrote us a thank you letter with her new pens and rulers. The children sang songs for us and we shot short video clips of them which they then wanted to watch back over and over, giggling. We left soap with Rose and they all walked us back along the path to the edge of the hillside where we said our goodbyes. Such an amazing family and so welcoming. Rose understood a little English, but her 9 year old daughter, Blessed, speaks and understands much more and is in fact top of her class – the class Caroline and I were teaching yesterday.
It feels so good to give and to make a difference, but it’s also so humbling to see these kids with absolutely nothing, and yet the biggest smiles and laughter I’ve ever witnessed.

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