Uganda 08 diary - Day 10

This was our first full day in Ibanda - in fact we were a mile or 2 just outside the town, up a dirt track in a busy area of countryside that had within a small radius our Brothers' 700 pupil boarding school, a similar-sized girls' school run by nuns, a hospital, an orphanage for young children under the age of 5 (again run by nuns), the parish church and more besides.

The area was very lush and green, with 1,000 metre mountains and smaller hills all around (one of which we later climbed) and not too hot at all, barely getting above 23 degrees. This was not surprising given that we were at about 1,800 metres (6,000 ft.) altitude. A very pleasant climate indeed!

In the morning we were taken on a guided tour on foot by Bro. Adolf (far left) of some of the other nearby centres in the neighbourhood including this, the hospital.

The sign welcoming us to the local orphanage.

The Sister in charge shows us in.

Some of the youngest in the orphanage. Children are brought in for different reasons: some have lost both parents (most often through AIDS), others one parent and the surviving one does not have the means to support all their children, others are simply abandoned

For many of them it was the first time they had seen a "muzongo" ("white man"). Though most were initially very shy, when we came back to lead activities with the children the following morning they soon relaxed in our company and seemed to very much enjoy the dancing, music, arts & crafts, etc... that we provided (see next blog entry).

Kathryn making friends.

Later that afternoon, we were invited to meet the final year (A-Level) students. In England, most of these would be 17-18 years old. Here in Uganda there are many who do not finish their schooling until well into their 20s. Some do not get the chance (through poverty, having to work to support the family, etc...) to start primary school until they are in their teens. It was interesting to note that, like in Kasasa, the students in Ibanda were incredibly knowledgeable about English football. Again, like Kasasa, the 6th form (A-Level) Prefects had a very important role to play in the running of the school and often organised and led the many extra-curricular activities, the teachers often just letting them get on with things. Can you imagine trying that in England ("You're 'aving a larf!!")??

After the discussion with the A-Level students a game of volleyball. The locals were VERY good!

Like in Kasasa, we volunteered to help with the music for the Sunday Mass. They taught us their religious songs/hymns (many of which were incredibly catchy) and we taught them some of ours ("Happy Song", "Rain Down", "Lord I Lift Your Name On High", etc... - many of the locals actually knew the last one, though they all went down well).

A Christian "boy band" made up of pupils from the school.

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