Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Elliot and I had a good time going to Uganda. We met with the leaders of two private schools there. The schools could not be any different, while at the same time both attempting to improve their communities. Mityana Secondary School is run by a competent local government official who used to be a school teacher. The school has quite a bit of building infrastructure and has about 400 students who all pay a decent amount to attend his school. He hopes to one day run his school for a profit while at the same time providing a top quality education for a low fee. Unfortunately the school lacks textbooks and books for their library. I have been, and will continue to, work with another individual to secure outside grant funding for the books. The second school that we visited was a private primary school called Little Angels Primary School. The school is run by a local woman, who also used to be a school teacher. She stopped teaching school several years ago because she, correctly, identified her local community as not being able to deal with the growing number of AIDS orphans and others children who are not able to afford the cost of school. She runs the school out of her home and several adjacent buildings. There are about 20 orphans who board at her house, and there are about 200 students who attend the school on a daily basis. The school lacks pretty much everything, including school supplies, adequate infrastructure, a clean water source, their latrine is about to overflow, and the orphans that board with her have to eat millet porridge twice a day with some sugar cane for lunch. Uganda was on a school break when Elliot and I were there so the only kids that were at Little Angels were the orphans that were staying there. They were quite shocked to see us, but warmed up to us fast! They put on a little show to welcome us to their school: The classrooms at the school, which has about 200 kids that are enrolled, are small and are constructed of a hodge-podge of reeds, wood and aluminum, which is I was told is better than the large tree that were using, especially in the rainy season. The classrooms, however, are not water proof and many days during the rainy are cut short due to heavy rain. This is a shot of the room where the girls sleep: Both the boys and the girls that board at the school sleep 2-3 per bed. A couple of beds did not have mattresses, but rather old clothes that were laid out like mattresses, and none of the beds had bed nets, so malaria was a problem. Elliot and I were able to address those problems for the kids. Elliot and I also got a couple soccer balls for the students to use. Here are some pictures of the game Elliot played with the students from the school: A shot looking from the school back towards the town of Mityana, with their 'water source'(really just a stagnant pool of water) at the bottom of the ravine.
Here is some video of our bus ride to Uganda. Keep in mind that you drive on the left side of the road in Uganda. Also pay attention to the guy on the bike who somehow makes it out alive. This is how our driver drove after our first flat tire, but before our second, not that that slowed him down or anything. All the shaking is from the road, the camera was braced on the seat in front of me.