Thursday 3 July 2014

Thursday in Uganda

Beth àThe highlight of today has been seeing the ever improving skills of the children we have been teaching. At our math’s lesson today we almost ran out of things to do as the children could do it all very easily. As we were first driving up the dirty hill to the slum, I was almost brought to tears as I saw a little girl who I have been helping one on one waiting and looking for me. It wasn’t until she had spotted me that she got a giant grin on her face, and started winking at me as I have been teaching her how to wink since Tuesday. Today as the activity we played pop the balloon on each of the children’s legs. They found it hilarious, until the game turned into 24 children against 1. The children who I have been helping have really improved their English skills and can almost translate to help you with the children who don’t speak any English at all.

à As I teach the older set of children, the leaders in our group like to challenge them. Today, Hannah and Emma helped out me and Danny with our English lesson. In the lesson we taught the children blended sounds, so ‘sh’ ‘ch’ and ‘th’ sounds. It is extremely rewarding knowing how much their English has improved since we have got here, and we really hope they carry it with them when we leave. We also taught the children some multiplication, which surprisingly they picked up very fast! Within the activities sessions, Rosie and Hannah did the Macarena (or however you spell it) and musical statues, which they loved as they could dance to the music thanks to Jimmy’s speakers!

Both of us àtoday both of us have had the privilege to visit mumma bryan’s house. She lives in her tiny house with 8 other people. 5 children and 4 adults. Her husband had sadly passed away leaving her to bring up their children. She also looks after her grandchildren as their mum has to work in the quarry everyday and their father has left them. We met her one week old granddaughter, another granddaughter named Elizabeth and one of her grandsons called Oliver. When we went she had beans cooking, and she explained to us that even though they cannot and have nothing to tell the time with, they come back for supper every night at 7. The translator explained to us how the 5 kids sleep in a single bed which had a malaria net, and the 4 adults slept on a sponge mattress. Even though the water was not very far away, they had very little food and sometimes even went without it a few times a week. There was no milk for the baby, but we did not ask how she is fed. The grandmother told us how she makes beads to sell and earn the little amount of money she gets to provide for the 9 people. We also found out how none of the kids are able to go to school, but one of her grandsons is extremely happy that we are able to teach him. She also explained how the week old baby’s mother couldn’t stay home to care for her, as she needs to work in the quarry as much as possible to help her family and her mother. For us two and Ana (Miss Stevenson) it was a huge eye opener and a very emotional experience, and like everybody else, it has made us realize how much we have back home and how lucky we are.

Tonight a lady called Trisha who works with a organization called ILA (I Live Again Uganda), which in Acholi means Help Me Up, came to tell us about the history of the Acholi Tribe, and how they ended up being where they are today, in Kampala, as they originated from the North of Uganda.  The organization helps people of the tribe deal with the trauma of the war that started in 1986 until 2006. The war started where the Acholi Tribe originated from, in the north of Uganda, as this is where the rebel leader came from. A group called the LRA, lead by Joseph Kony, wanted to overthrow the government. In his attempt, he attacked the Villages in the North of Uganda where the Acholi Tribe lived. Because of this, they were therefore forced to move out of the local villages, down to Kampala in an attempt to protect themselves and their families from the LRA. The Acholi Tribe now live in the slums in Kampala which are owned by the government, but however, these were meant to be temporary refugee camps whilst the war was happening. Many people of the tribe never returned back to the north as they still feel it is not safe enough. The LRA made many attempts to attack and take over the government and this tribe, resulting in children being abducted and being forced to become child soldiers or wives for the rebel leaders, or being made to do things the team today could not begin to fathom. Many people living in the Acholi quarters today still struggle with the memories left by this war.  Trisha did share with us some brutal and heartbreaking stories of people who still live in the Acholi quarters today, which we cannot even begin to rethink at this time. The whole team today have realised how much we are helping the people of Acholi, and do not want to leave them. We are hoping we will make tomorrow a memorable day, as we are having a celebration with all of the children to say goodbye. The whole team are looking forward to tomorrow, to make sure everyone enjoys themselves and to hope the children take everything we have taught them with them throughout their life.


Becci Brown said...

Great to read the blog, we were getting a little worried as it's later than usual, I'm sure you'll all make tomorrow a fantastic day for all. Enjoy every second, memories last a lifetime. Kacy take your hat off when you're inside !!!! Lol Love you loads Mum, Dad & Caitlin xxxxxx

Unknown said...

Great to read the blog as usual - I've been waiting for it to appear! Your pictures show the happiness you have brought to each other but some of your stories of the hardships of the Acholi people have brought tears to my eyes. It's good to know that you are doing something practical to help them. I hope you have a fantastic day tomorrow and make it memorable for the children. Best wishes to you all x

Unknown said...

Beautiful, that was my first thought when I read today's blog and seen the photo's. The camara has capture the Beauty of two groups (never likely to meet in normal ways), sharing, learning, caring, making new friends and treasured memories that will last a lifetime. Really enjoy tomorrow and celebrate your wonderful week together. God Bless. BTW Emma nice to see you again!! thought you'd gone camera shy!. xx

Tina roberts said...

Love the photos and blog today it brought tears to my eyes.what an expirence you are so proud of you.enjoy tomorrow .cant what to see you hope you have took lots of pictures .love mumxxx

Unknown said...

Looks like you're having a very rewarding and enjoyable time! Keep making the most of it and enjoy your final day, vicky xx

Unknown said...

Loving the photo's & stories guys!! Look forward to it every day!! Got to say it does bring tears to my eyes though.
So your adventure is nearly over - Make the most of tomorrow & treasure every minute of your time there, the memories will last forever.
You are all an amazing group & remember you and only you have achieved this, making a difference to their lives, you should be so, so, proud of yourselves.
Looking forward to seeing tomorrows blog!!
Take care - see you soon!
Miss you loads Jack, lots of love & hugs mum, dad, jordan & shelly x x x x

Unknown said...

It's great to see that everyone is having a great time. These trips are certainly eye-opening for those who are lucky enough to go on one. The memories will stay with you forever - my own are still as fresh as if it were only last week!

Enjoy your last few days, everyone is looking forward to hearing about everything when you're home! X

Rachel Wheatley said...

What a fabulous week! You've all worked so hard and had amazing experiences. Have a great last day with the Acholi everyone. Soak up the memories, sleep well and come home and tell us all about it.

Unknown said...

hi guys , wow so lovely to read your stories and like jacks mum said it does bring tears to our eyes . we couldn't be prouder of all of you!!!
Sydney we miss you so much and cant wait to see you sunday ,give you a big hug miss you love you mum,dad and madz xxxxxx

Unknown said...

Hello Sarah Mcavery miss and Love you loads x . Have been enjoying keeping up with whats been happening during the week with the blog and photos and talking of photos is that a sh or shhhhh lol . I hope every one is enjoying there experiences and take some lasting memories home with them . See you soon love nick x

Unknown said...

Again another blog to be proud of. It's great to see that you have all brought your individual skills together to help and teach the children so much in such a short time. Fantastic work guys. Xxx (Effy, we couldn't be prouder Baba, love you xxx)

Unknown said...

As I sit here writing this you are probably saying goodbye to all the new friends you have made this week .
You will of brought happiness to all you have met and many memories would of been collected by you all , what you have done this week makes everyone so proud of you all from all parents and all your friends too .
Take care all of you and were all looking forward to seeing you on Sunday and wait to hear all about your trip ������������