A couple of days ago, an English friend of mine, who has spent a long time in Uganda, said one of the things he loves about this country is the unexpected – not knowing what is going to happen each day… this is so true!
Let me just share some of the unexpected for me from the past week…
While staying in a local family’s house in Kampala I had the joy of welcoming bed bugs/fleas to my body and now after returning home, Dan and I spent a good half day dousing all my travel belongings in hot water and then washing them. Now that’s a first!
I was truly blessed to visit the wonderful and much talked about ‘The Bridge Primary Resource Centre’ in Wobulenzi where my intern, Rachel, and I trained some 50 primary teachers from the local area. These teachers were eager to learn, engaged, enthusiastic and loved learning new skills.
On the final day of training I wasn’t feeling so great (coming down with a flu – those bed bugs possibly sucked out my energy!) so intern Rachel stepped up and was like a steam train and totally carried me through the training! I feel so honoured to have such an incredible intern from Concordia Volunteer Abroad Program who is just as passionate about teaching teachers the skills to teach reading that I am. Check out Rachel in action leading one of our new phonics songs in Wobulenzi.
One of the other beautiful things about Uganda is the different ways teachers appreciate children in class, different clapping rhythms, etc. We were surprised that in this particular area teachers’ didn’t know ‘Salamander’ – a common clapping rhythm where the recipient must do a little dance to the beat of the clap. Once Rachel and I introduced this one, they couldn’t get enough Salamanders! See the teachers and The Bridge staff receiving our Salamander on the last day.
Finally, one of the Serve Direct volunteers gave a beautiful, yet powerful speech to finish the training and presented me with a poster of a quote from Nelson Mandela. Extremely touched (and holding back tears) I accepted the generous gift. Although a little tired and possibly needing more energy, I am excited to be serving God through education and empowering teachers here in Uganda.