All before 10am: Evan bought new gum boots, a tie and an electrical power strip since his were stolen from his duffle bag; Sue bought some new fabric for the sewers; Dave bought 7 brooms and 5 squeegees to clean the classroom floors at Muko High School. Then we picked Generous up from Barclay Bank and Evan, Sue and Generous got Evan’s new sim card for his cell phone and minutes for the three Ugandan cell phones we use while here. This was an amazing feat for those of you who have been here and know downtown Kabale!
We arrived at the Bishop’s house at 10am sharp for our meeting with he and Sam, the new Head Teacher. It was wonderful to meet Sam. We had a lovely discussion about the future of the school and our hopes and dreams. Sue shared with the Bishop and Sam about ACT’s vision of always focusing on self-development of our programs here – not simply providing aid – for that is not helpful to these developing countries.
After our meeting at the Bishop’s house we traveled to Muko High School and proceeded to meet Godfrey, the Deputy Head Teacher, Davis the Director of Studies and Grace, the Bursar. A 1.5 hour walk around the school grounds afforded us the opportunity to see all the improvements that Guma has been hard at work supervising. It was impressive. All the floors in the classrooms are brand new requiring them to break up the old concrete floors and starting afresh. What a job! There are several classrooms painted a nice, bright cream color which will be the color of all the classroom. Some shutters have been replaced and will be painted. The carpenters were there working diligently on the new bunk beds. We realize we are still about 10 bunk beds short for the students we expect next week. Each bunk bed is $50. If you know anyone who would like to donate for that, please pass it on. At Dave’s suggestion, they are using the broken bunk beds to create walkways for the rainy season. Also, there are single desks being constructed as well.
We walked into one classroom and there were a couple of dozen of the teachers who were painting the classroom. They all seemed very happy and I asked Sam and Davis if their morale was high with all the improvements. They said definitely yes they were very happy.
A meeting in Sam’s office with Godfrey, Davis, Grace, Generous, Guma, Dave and Sue achieved the completion of a very, very long list of questions sent with Sue for answers. In addition we finally stopped at 4pm for lunch (rice and beans) and then returned until 6:15pm working on the document that Donna Block Clampett had revised. Many of the suggestions were accepted so we are initiating an Honor Code at the High School and and Honor Council with some student representation for the first time! The students will sign a pledge of the Honor Code as they begin school. We also planned Monday, Feb 5th for the student/parent arrival and a celebration of the opening of Muko High School in partnership with ACT! I will be describing the agenda for the event in a future blog. It will be momentus.
Dave left partway through our meeting to meet up with Moses who was beginning to boil the substrate for the mushroom gardens. They then walked through the demonstration garden and Moses took him down to a local coffee growing coop by Lake Bunyonyi. This is an operation that is growing seedlings for farmers.
As we drove back to Kabale, we left Evan in his new home! He seems settled and was more than ready to leave the hotel and begin his Muko stay. Dave brought his orphan, Andrew, back to Kabale with us. Andrew has never stayed in a hotel before and had a bit of trouble with motion sickness in the van but we just finished our 8pm dinner and plan to settle for a game of Farkle in a few minutes. We wish everyone back home well and want to assure you that everything is going very, very well.