This morning, the weather was just like typical Cornish weather – rain. Because of this, it meant that we were unable to finish some of our outdoor jobs; however, we did manage to finish painting the staff room, primary class rooms and murals which displayed educational images of skeletons, plants, flags as well as the map of the world.
The girls painting the staff room had some extra help from several eager Ugandan students, ready with paint brushes! We had to put an extra coat on all the walls as well as paint the black boards – a very messy job left to Mrs Madeley…who indeed made a mess initially! By the time we finished, the teachers had a great space to call their own again!
As well as this this, we rendered one of the dormitories, called Lionel House, which the Red Group will paint next week. It was great fun to learn this new skill – not forgetting getting coated in render!
We also completed making the bookcases, sanding and varnishing the wood. It was therapeutic work although rather smelly with all the varnish! All the children were really excited to receive them as they will benefit their school significantly. The classrooms will be able to have their own bookcases.
At four o’clock we had an emotional gathering with our Ugandan friends where we danced, sang and said our goodbyes. The student houses put on their own performances for us, a particular favourite was a short play by some of the primary students! Not long after, Joseph, the student compare of the event, introduced the Gold Group Choir (as Mrs Madeley has now called us!) We serenaded them with a rousing rendition of “What shall we do with the drunken sailor?”, led by Ben P, but with our own special chorus at the end dedicated to our new friends. A special request from Auntie Annet led to a fabulous round of “Bella Mama” – what was wonderful was hearing the Ugandan students sing it back to us! Following final speeches from Annet and Mr Griffiths, we joined up with them all to dance a final dance before very emotional goodbyes with new found friends. Lots of letters and hugs were given out. Later than evening, the secondary school students were invited back to make bracelets and necklaces, most making them as gifts for each other.
Before we went to bed, we had to pack everything ready for a departure from Kamuzinda in the morning. We have had such an incredible time at the children’s village and have been overwhelmed by the love and friendship we have received.
Today started off as a normal day. However, later on in the afternoon, a group of 10 students walked over to a house affectionately known as “Sam’s House” – this is because Sam Wilkins, an ex-RLS student, came back to Uganda following his original visit and built a house for a very poor family he had previously met. Living in this house was a very sick but loving father, a strong willed mother and a beautiful daughter. We made the visit to give some desperately needed food to the family – they told us they had not eaten in several days as all their money was going towards medication for the father. As well as this, we all donated a small amount of money each to give to the family – 135,000 Ugandan shillings which is the equivalent of just under £30. For the family, this is about a month’s wages. Despite them having very little, they still offered to feed us. This proved too much for many of us as we were brought to tears by the poverty they face and their immense kindness. The family were beyond grateful for our generosity. We returned to the village with a new outlook on our own lives, reflecting on how lucky we are and how grateful we should be for the lives we have.
Lottie and Abby B