To our amazement the children of the Acholi tribe were alert, smiling and even early to our lessons today! All four of the large groups from the tribe were added to by the many other children, trying to sneak into the lessons and activities or just whispering 'Muzungos' through the windows. This made it very difficult for us to worry about the lessons we were delivering as the contageous excitement of the children kept our energy levels high.
In the Church, the team members taking the groups of younger children all noticed the increase in their confidence as they demonstrated abilities in the maths and english exercises that impressed us all. Similarly in the Community Centre, the older children of around 14/15 enjoyed practicing their English, some even using their language skill to mock our 'Team Kenya' t-shirts, reminding us that we are in fact in Uganda. The others whose English was not so good found it slightly tricky to not get caught out in a game of 'Simon says' as the delay between the action and the interpretation proved detrimental.
It was hard for the team to turn the children away who were not in the chosen classes as well as telling the younger boys in the Church off when their cheeky grins and excitement were so heart warming; especially those with younger siblings on their backs or in their hands trying to find out what was going on.
The porridge handouts at break times were a reminder of milk at primary school, although their determination to get seconds and third helpings of what was really flour and water was a contrast to our dislike of milk and reminded us of the privileges we have in our lives when these kids have so little yet are always so happy and grateful for what they have. The Acholi women however showed the use of what to us seems like 'so little' and gave us a demonstration of the bead making (which uses paper from magazines and glue) both praising and enjoying our attempts at their work. The skoobie making activity in the Community Centre was definitely put to shame – although the kids were crazy for the skoobies. The familiarlity with all the children and the respect amongst both children and ladies was admirable.
Upon reflection of the lessons, the general consensus amongst the two teams is that the morning lessons and activities served as a learning opportunity, allowing us to deliver more confident, organised lessons in the afternoon to a new group. Having got the first day of lessons done, everyone seems very exciited to deliver new and different things to the same children who also seem to be looking forward to the week ahead.