Today we all had an early start eating breakfast and getting ready to leave for 8:30am so we could travel to the Acholi Community. After a 20-minute drive we arrived at the small church where we were going to learn about bead making. We spent about an hour learning how to, and then making our own beads, which required a lot of concentration. The beads are made by rolling up pieces of paper over and over again and then squashing them into bead shapes. They are then strung together and then varnished and dyed different colours. For the record, Michael is the best at bead making (so he thinks). We then went on a tour of the community. The first stop was to visit the home of one of the ladies who makes the beads she was called Lillian. It was quite shocking to see what small and poor living conditions her and her two children live in. She told us the story of her life, about how she is originally from North West Uganda but had to flee to the south to escape the war that was taking place in that part of the country. The story she told was quite emotional. It was quite a shock to see the living and working conditions that people in this community live in. It’s very different to what we are used to! At the end of the tour we were at a quarry, where members of the Acholi community work collecting and smashing rocks. We learned that the women who smash the rocks all day only earn the equivalent of 50p a day! And if kids do it rather than go to school then they only get 10p a day. Some of the team had the opportunity to smash some rocks themselves, which was much harder than it looked.
After we had lunch, we headed to another part of the community where we played a lot of different games with the Acholi children. The children were really excited to see us and joined in with everything we had on offer for them! We played games like football, elephant football, beanbag races and lots of other fun activities. In the middle of this it started to rain – HARD!!! So we had to all take shelter. This didn’t stop the fun though as the children and us took part in sing-alongs both in English and in the language that they speak in Acholi. For the rest of the evening we just chilled back at John’s house, regaining our energy for tomorrow’s activities. We brought lots of beads back from the ladies and set up our own shop where we could buy some souvenirs and things to remember our bead making experience.
That’s all for today, Michael!
p.s. Kayliann’s the king!
p.p.s. We love hearing your comments – so keep them coming :)