Uganda 08 diary - Day 11: Finding Nemo

In the evening we had a visit from a lovely Irish nun who had been working in various places around Uganda, including Ibanda itself, for about 40 years. She invited us to visit her community up the road before we left, which we duly did (see future diary entries).

The day ended with a film show for the whole school in their Main Hall. Prior to our arrival in Ibanda with a data projector and dvd player, speakers and a selection of dvd films in tow, they would watch films (mainly on VHS) outdoors on a TV placed in the side doorway of the Hall with the pupils (only a limited number at a time due to the size of the screen) sitting on the ground below. When I realised that we were going to be showing the film to the whole school (700 pupils) I started to get rather nervous, but not because of the size of the image. The projected picture showed up really well right to the back of the hall.

The nerves started because I had decided to show them "Finding Nemo" - a safe choice for pupils of mixed ages from 11 up to early 20s, but obviously not the most exciting perhaps for late teens/young adults more interested (it turned out) in gangster/crime films. And the nerves got worse when i realised that the speakers I had were of very good quality but rather small and not powerful enough to fill the hall, especially when the older pupils at the back were having their own conversations laughing, shouting, disturbing the rest of our group sitting 2/3rds back, etc... This was (I think!) the one time in the whole trip that I came close to totally losing my rag. I had to stop the film about 3 times to lecture those at the back who were clearly spoiling the enjoyment of the film for those younger pupils in the front half of the hall who were quite clearly transfixed. In the end, the older ones at the back were just about won over by the film's mix of high energy comedy and action

So a qualified success, but one that didn't do my stomach any good due to the sustained stress levels for 90 mins.

I must, however, say that the acclamation we received when I announced at the end that we would be leaving the equipment behind for the school to keep was rapturous and genuine. They did certainly appreciate our efforts. I advised the Brothers to try and get hold of a more powerful hi-fi system for future showings. One of them said that had he known we were going to have these problems he would have brought over one from the community house which he uses for whole-school events. You live and learn.

"Phew!! I'm glad that's over!!" Packing away after the show.
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