Thursday 30th July
We have had two hectic days of carrying soil, stones and concrete. We have a team of twelve plus three staff and when we create a chain of people to deliver something it is remarkable how much can be done in a short time. It is far quicker than wheelbarrows but rather more labour intensive.
I estimate today that each person lifted 1.25 tonnes of concrete – In very small quantities of 10 kilograms at a time, as they passed it along the line. Yesterday we did the same with earth:
Yesterday I also found myself in a class of 45 fourteen year olds teaching astronomy. As part of the volunteer experience we take each team into a classroom at Kumi Township School. We had 9 volunteers who wanted to do this plus me. We decided to do one session of the human skeleton and one on astronomy.
One of the medics did the skeleton but only I seemed to know anything about the planets. I started with how far away the sun is and worked from there. We got them to draw on round pieces of card what they thought each planet looked like and we then hung them on a string, each one measured off from its distance to the sun. Students came up the board (not the done thing in Uganda) and wrote down details of the planet they had been studying. After 40 minutes we swapped over and repeated the lesson with another class.
We learned that we were teaching one class of 90, in two halves. The school has 1,450 children and 15 teachers. Nearly a ratio of 100:1.
Whilst in the playground at Akabui, one of team produced bubbles and anther a Frisbee. From the delight on the children’s faces I doubt that any of them had seen such things before.
I needed to buy some long handles for paint rollers. Nowhere to be found in Kumi. In the end I bought some brushes with long handles and said that the shopkeeper could keep the brush heads. I was followed around by a drunk local musician who was constantly begging money off me.
As I type this it is raining – hard – and there is a small flood coming in under my door. Outside the footpath is two inches deep but I know that in in one hour it will be bone dry again.
All going well – tired but happy!