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Showing posts from January, 2012

The Bakiga Window: Revisiting Faith

It’s been a damp and chilly start to the morning and the students have been particularly resistant to the idea of getting out of bed. I suspect that there may have been some late night silliness, but I have no proof of it - after all, students will be students.
It is Friday 15th April and having roused the last of the sleepy students and marched them zombie-like down towards the town, we arrive at the Wise Parents Day Nursery. Accompanying us is Grace Kamusiime who has been working with us for a few days as an unofficial Rukiga translator.
Our visit is to be a fleeting one. We are heading up to the High School and have many things to do prior to this afternoon’s basketball tournament, but it is just enough time to cause chaos that will take the nursery teachers an hour to put right.
The little boys immediately begin to kick a football around in a form the game that most casual observers would say looks more like rugby union. There seem to be no goal posts. There appear to be no teams…

The Bakiga Window: When the Power Goes at the Petrol Pump

Yasin, the quiet, unassuming bus driver who so readily helped me make contact with the Islamic school has got a look of concern on his face. In his soft voice he seems to be articulating some point of concern to the petrol pump attendant in Rukiga.

It is Saturday 16th April and we’re filling up the Kigezi High School bus, ready for the journey to Lake Bunyonyi. Following the showers of the morning, the clouds have now parted and are beating a hasty retreat into the distance, allowing for the sun to slowly scorch the earth.
The reason that Yasin is looking nervous is not immediately apparent as I stand at the side of the road, taking a photo of the bus. He starts to walk towards me and in his hushed tones imparts that the electricity has cut out.
In my immediate stupidity I respond that there is nothing to worry about as it’s a petrol station not a power plant, but the problem is a little bigger than that. The issue seems to be that the attendant is unsure about how much money she needs …

A Small Slice of Africa in Snowdonia, Wales

The best way to describe many days in the Welsh summer is 'murky'. Simple as that. So it was, with the rain drizzling slowly down, that I embarked on a walk accompanied by a small group, from our base at Snowdon View in Plas Gwynant to Beddgelert around five miles away.
Armed with food, flasks of tea and water, an Ordnance Survey Landranger map and a compass, we set off in a direction that took us away from the main road and around to the rear of Llyn Dinas - a lake in the middle of the Snowdonia National Park.
In spite of the aforementioned murk and the slight sensation of feeling like a sponge absorbing the fine rain, the walk was exceptionally pleasant and tranquil. Only the occasional rustling of leaves on the trees disturbed the quiet. From a promontory about half way into the ramble, it felt as if we had left the modern world well and truly behind – there is no doubting that this landscape is typically Welsh.
Upon arrival in Beddgelert, a small town on the junction of t…