Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Les Journaux Africains: Green Hills Hotel, Kabale, Uganda - 10.31 07/04/2010

Our students are starting to get into the swing of things now, and the tiredness of being on the trip is manifesting itself two ways: firstly that the dark rings are showing around their eyes and, secondly, that one by one the students are taking it in turns to be ill. 

A rabble of cheeky boys.
Regardless, no visit to Kabale is complete without dragging a band of students along to the Wisdom Day Nursery in the town. Feeling a little bit weary myself, we headed down the hill towards, what I referred to last year as, the 'Poor Quarter' of town. This route takes you past the imaginatively titled 'Pork and Beer' bar with its pig carcass hanging outside beneath the veranda, along a dusty red road inhabited by confused chickens, feral pigs, people going about their daily business and numerous staring eyes.

As we arrive at the nursery, the kids are having a whole-nursery play and learn session outside. As they see us arrive though the corrugated iron gates, silly things start to happen. Looking fixatedly in our direction results in them bumping into each other, falling over, crying and screaming from fear and then running around excitedly.

Undoubtedly they have seen bazungu before, but the mix of shock and excitement becomes all too much for them.

When calm is restored, and after introducing ourselves to a few teachers and children (those brave enough to stay near), we decide to play games. At first we join in some local game which involves being in a circle and dancing and chasing and shouting.

Following on from this I make the decision to introduce the play-school classic, the 'Hokey-Cokey'. After a couple of rounds I regret this decision. The younger kids fall over, the bigger ones bump into each other and more crying ensues. All of this happens to the soundtrack of me singing "You put your right leg in..." et cetera, at the top of my voice, like a prize eejit.

A sweet little'un called Gifty.
Once I'd succesfully injured a score of children with what I though was a fun game - when I was younger anyway - I begged someone else to think of something new to play.

Luckily for me, most of the children enjoyed the game and wished to remain on good terms with me and not hit me!

Whilst we're all on speaking terms, I figured that the time had come for us to get ourselves to Kigezi High School. The day is already filling up with things to do. I have promised to take some of the students along to Greg and Jeff's Kabale Art Centre that they're in the process of setting up at the Edirisa, a bar/hotel opposite the Little Ritz.

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