Thursday, February 03, 2011

Les Journaux Africains: Staffroom, Kigezi High School, Kabale, Uganda - 12.45 09/04/2010

This was another hectic morning that involved getting down to Edirisa early-doors to carry on the decorating work. The plastering of holes was all but finished off yesterday, but one small corner still needed my attention. I was armed with my radio this morning and so, like a real builder, I drank tea, listened to Ugandan pop music and made a mess of my clothes.

A few of our students were on hand with Frankie being sent on regular trips to the hardware store, Sarah (who is very tall) painting the ceiling and the rest of the students attacking the walls. A notable absentee was Ruth who appeared to be running on what I hear so often called 'Ugandan Time' - late!

After a while, my job was completed. Still on my schedule for the day was to give out prizes for the poetry competition and to attend the inaugural 'Jimmy Cup' five-a-side football tournament up at the school.

During my first Fanta break of the day, I realised that Charlotte had been waiting patiently for me to finish my work, rather than interrupting me mid-plastering.

All photos © Jeff Vanderpool
We had a chat for a while and talked about how life had been treating her back home near Mbrarara. It seemed like geography was insignificant as I heard of the ups and downs of a young high school leaver finding her way in the big, bad world. Conversation naturally turned to money and chances of sponsorship. Would she ever be able to afford to get into University? How could I help?

The nature of the beast is that these conversations often turn to money. As ever, I say that I will see what I can do, fully aware of the problems that come with breeding and cultivating a culture of financial dependency.

After purchasing a banana at an inflated price - voluntarily I might add because the four-year-old seller was so polite - I headed to the Royal Supermarket. My mission here was to buy prizes for the poetry contest, but knowing that we are soon to be cut-off from civilisation when we head to Lake Bunyonyi, I took the opportunity to stock up on Pringles too.

After a crafty sidestep of the children begging at the door attempting to barracade me into the shop, I ran over the road to a group of boda-bodas and headed, like a crazed cowboy, up the hill to the school.

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