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Showing posts from September, 2015

Enkuto Eratukura #12: Progress and Paint Marks

Thursday 9th April 2015 - 9.30pm
Today was the day for me take the lead in a teaching and learning project. 
During Monday’s meeting, I had planned to try and work with Jonan, the head teacher at New Foundation Primary School on the Katuna Road in Kabale. The focus was to be on the coaching model that I had been using since moving to Fulham Cross, all with the aim of trying to improve the quality of teaching.
I had also arranged for Suweyda to run an Art session with a different class whilst I was with Jonan. 
Along with Huda, Molly and Sina, we headed over in a special hire to be greeted by a tidal wave of children chanting “abazungu” rhythmically at us through the gaps in the wooden fence.
New Foundation has a sprawling site set back from the recently re-laid road to the border with Rwanda. At regular intervals, large trucks, flanked by boda-bodas, would cough and splutter their way along, mingling their urban fumes with the early morning whisps of soft eucalyptus wood smoke from sm…

Like a Wilting Flamboyant

On Thursday 17th September 2015 I took a group of girls from Year 9 to the First Story Young Writers' Festival at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. The First Story project partners schools with a published writer who then leads a group of students in creating an anthology.
The event saw poetry performances from Caroline Bird, Anthony Anaxagorou and Andy Craven-Griffiths (who all instantly gained new fans), a lunchtime Q&A with Sally Green and an afternoon workshop to develop their creativity.
Alongside this, the teachers are also given the opportunity to attend a workshop to get new inspiration for teaching creative writing. The session I attended was led by Dan Powell, who introduced a technique of free-writing whereby a word is called out, every thirty seconds or so, and has to be woven into whatever you're writing.
Here is my attempt, evoking memories of Saint Lucia. The shack stood alone Like a wilting flamboyant Braced against the Atlantic winds, As they pushe…

Enkuto Eratukura #11: Conversations in Bugongi

Wednesday 8th April 2015 - 5pm
When lunch at Kigezi High School was over, I led the group down the precipitous hillside path, across the playing fields between the cows, and into the Bugongi area of Kabale. 
This area is still one that I know very little about, yet, every morning, it is the part of Kabale that I see emerging first from the mist as I look over my balcony at Green Hills Hotel. 
Its relatively enigmatic status, to your average mzungu at least, means that as an area I had no real judgement of the place, just the general assumption that this quater may be less well off than other areas of the town. Indeed, this was my first observation of the place in 2009 when William Blake’s mind came to my mind. 
I sent the group off towards the town in order to visit Royal Supermarket and I departed in a different direction to rendezvous with Liz to head to Phionah’s house along the Bugongi Road.
There are many small traders along the side of the road: ‘pork joints’, small bars and sho…

Goldfinger by Ian Fleming

With the occasional shadows of the clouds moving up the hillside from the Atlantic Ocean, my James Bond summer holiday reading continued this year in Blanchard, Saint Lucia. Sheltering from the occasional downpour, I settled down on the loggia to read Goldfinger (1959) by Ian Fleming – the seventh novel in the Bond series.
The novel opens with James Bond in the departure lounge at Miami Airport having just successfully dispatched with a Mexican heroine smuggling operation. Whilst musing on the dirty nature of his job, as Bond does so with increasing frequency through the first six books, he is approached by Junius Du Pont, a fellow gambler he’d met briefly in Casino Royale, to look into the Canasta playing of his playing partner. 
Auric Goldfinger seems to be on an inconceivably long winning streak and Bond, taking on this bit of private non-Secret Service work, soon discovers that, along with his assistant, Goldfinger is cheating Du Pont during each of their card games. It also does…