Kagera – Wednesday

The wind kept up through the night and we had to shut the windows. It was cool when we got up at about 6.30 to be, ready for a lift to NAPS at 8.00. Dorothee had got the shower working on Tuesday, so I chanced it this morning and it was great. The bear wires are somewhat offputting, but as long as you don’t touch them with wet hands you are probably safe. Nora came in early to cook us breakfast and then we packed our bags and waited. Thomas arrived at 8.00 full of apologies as the transport would not be ready until 8.30.

Eventually we got there and were introduced to the deputy head. The Headteacher was apparently at court trying to get the ownership of the new school bus sorted out. We met the Head of Academic Studies, who seemed very keen and on the ball. He had been teaching for one year, having got a B.A. in Education. He was hoping to go off to do an M.A. when he could afford it, so how long he will be at NAPS remains to be seen. He asked us what we wanted to do, so we said we were happy to teach if that would be helpful. He leapt at the chance, and assigned Christine to teach English to standard 6 and me to teach Geography in Standard 5. Then the Deputy head took us on a tour of the school, including the new dormitory block which was in the process of having its roof completed. When we got back to the offices the Head had arrived so we then had a meeting with him which was very enlightening.

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The new dormitory at NAPS, still to be finished

We were then brought to our respective classrooms and I was given the task of teaching ‘interdependence with the environment’. I got stuck in and after a few minutes the children started to respond well to my questions. There were some really good answers and soon the blackboard was covered with ideas. The Geography teacher sat at the back and seemed pleased. Break arrived and as the pupils enjoyed a mug of scalding hot tea and ran around the rocks avoiding the wood axe and cooking pots, we went to the staff room. Here we were given a mug of scalding and very sweet tea and a delicious chapati..image

The children seemed to have survived unscathed when we resumed our lessons. I decided it was time to write some things down in their books. It is very traditional and I had to write on the board and they copied it. I introduced them to spider diagrams and got them to complete one on their own. I finished introducing the topic by the end of the lesson and felt they had had enough Geography for one day, so suggested to the teacher that they should resume their normal timetable and I went off to find Christine.

She was on her own, but the impeccably behaved children were hunched over their desks writing things they thought children at Worlingham School in Suffolk would like to know about their school. We thought we should end at the next bell. Christine got them to write a set of questions they would like to ask the Worlingham children. We shall take all this home with us and pass on to Worlingham. We had about 15 minutes to spare so I suggested a quick game of hangman which they did not know, but quickly took to. It was only when I started to explain it I realised what a bizarre game it is and essentially not very nice. You have to guess a word before you get hung. Anyway they loved it and we played several rounds. The bell went and still no teacher appeared, so we had to send a pupil to find one. We went back to the staff room and then were invited back to the Head’s office. We really had nothing more to ask him, so he took us on another tour of the school and we inspected the new dormitory again.image

Finally it was time for lunch and we were taken back to the staff room for a plate of beans, rice and cabbage – very nice. Then we took some pictures of the children playing and eating lunch. Thomas came to pick us up at about 2.15 and we drove home where I promptly fell asleep – two periods of teaching and I was done in!

Dorothee and Christine set off for the dress maker with their material and then phoned us to say that they were in the Murgwanza market, so we joined them. Lots of beautiful vegetables being sold……or rather not being sold. A waste of resources. Since most people have farms there is no one to buy other people’s products. I bought some small doughnut balls and some peanuts. The ladies of course headed for the kanga stalls and came away laden with yet more material! We walked back along the back of the hospital, and I snapped away at some birds. Bizarrely we were asked the way to the football pitch by a young man who said he was a stranger. Luckily we could oblige. Near ‘Womencraft’ I got waylaid by some more birds and the ladies walked on. When I caught up with them they were in the middle of the local school talking to Thomas. He had had enough of his office and had come out for some air. He immediately suggested that we go for a longer walk, so off we went, walking and putting the world to rights. We think along very similar lines which is interesting and probably why we get on so well.

Back home there was a very acceptable pizza and some samosas for tea (I shall definitely come back fatter than I left). Dorothee went off to give some private tuition to a student and we settled down to read. Then Zaccariah (Director of Education) and Absalom ( Principal of KTCT) turned up and so we served them tea and pizza. It is nearly nine and bed beckons as we are going to the English service at KTCT tomorrow at 7.00 a.m.! We must be mad!

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