After sleeping like logs, we woke up refreshed and excited to begin our first full day in Uganda, apart from the boys who woke up fashionably late, visiting the five schools in our Africa Inspires partnership.
First we headed to Mutundwe, twisting our heads to take in as much as we could on the way. We passed mountains of fresh bananas, saw vultures flying high in the air and many people going about their Sunday business. Once we arrived at the school, we were given a wonderful traditional welcome, including dancing and music from the students, and it wasn’t long before we were shaking our stuff with them!
From there, we headed to Nateete and spoke to teachers in the school library. The walls were covered with inspirational messages, including my favourite, ‘Readers become leaders’. It was great to see literacy at the heart of the school. It was a return visit for Neema, who last visited the school in 2015. It was good to catch up with old friends. Neema says: seeing the school and teachers again made me extatic. It was almost like being reunited with family members. The school had a library and still had the equipment we left for them, which was really good to see. As small as it is, we do make an impact on their lives.
Kiddawalime, was our third visit. We were able to give the school a large bag of sports balls and ping pong equipment, which was very gratefully received. We enjoyed watching the students dance and our tour of the school.
Our fourth visit of the day was to Bright Future, where we were treated to more singing, dancing and even acrobatics from the students. The headteacher guided us around the school, showing us the dormitories where as many as 50 boarders share triple-decker bunk beds. The classrooms were colourful and the students were clearly happy there.
Our final visit of the day was to Family Primary school and were blown away by the welcome we received; the children were jumping up and down as soon as they saw the cars and rushed to hug us when we got out. The students had worked hard to learn welcoming songs and the head girl and teachers gave humbling speeches (Miss Knight got ‘something in her eye’ at this point). We were able to see the brand new toilet blocks and Mr Morgan couldn’t have been happier that the shower heads fitted perfectly. After a quick game of the hokey-cokey it was time to say goodbye and we can’t wait to go back tomorrow.
Once we got back to the hotel, we all went for a swim, which was freezing cold. After we warmed up we all played Molkky. The first game (which Mr Morgan cheated in) went to mr Morgan and Sophia (surprisingly). We then played with some local Ugandan children staying at the hotel called Terry, Godwin and Gideon. Owen and Gideon won. Neema enjoyed dinner so much that he ate three full plates. Now time for bed!
Neema and Miss Knight