Hello friends! I’ve come across some photos of the happy times I spent with the children at Brain Trust PS, only a few weeks ago though it feels a lot longer!
As I think I’ve mentioned previously I only spent half a day at the most teaching at the school as my energy levels are not what they used to be when I ran Hollies Pre-School and 3rd Poynton Guides for quite a few years! Also the heat and the perpetual movement of dust around the school was terrible! I often coughed and had streaming eyes, feeling too uncomfortable to really enjoy what I was doing some of the time . The reason for the dust was the long dry season when the drought in the area dries everything up and this year it was prolonged! People were unable to plant their crops as they should have been doing, which means that some might have difficulty feeding their families! At school the fact that the classrooms have dry mud floors, open sides and no windows or doors everyone was suffering with the choking dust! I hate to think what all the dust is doing to the lungs of everyone particularly the smaller children! Anyway more about that later.
The fact is I did manage to give each of the seven classes (5-14/15 year olds) plus three nursery groups a portion of my time, and I tend to forget the bad bits when I remember those gorgeous children, without exception, really!
Hope you enjoy my memories too!
Please click on first photo to work through slideshow and read descriptions
Learning about shapes is much more fun when you can make a picture with them. I take everything I need for lessons out from the UK with me. The ‘mats’ are made out of the bags the mosquito nets come in. Otherwise the children would be sat on the thick dust.
They listened while I talked about the properties of the different shapes, helped by Innocents mum who translated where necessary. She would make a wonderful teacher but never had the money to train. Then the children worked silently to make their pictures.
Using glue was new to many of them but they soon got the hang of it! I made glue sticks out of old ice cream boxes!
A regular visitor to my lessons was this very elderly teacher who last year told me he was retired but not yet tired!
I did notice a big decline in his health this year and Charles confided with me that he was seriously thinking of having to ‘send him back to his village’.
Proud of their achievements!
Judith on the left and the class teacher at the back.
Break time and these children played in the thick dust like it was sand!
Some had bought a few shillings to buy sugarcane. Devastating for their teeth as they suck on it and rarely have a drink to wash the sugar away. And of course, are unlikely to have a toothbrush or toothpaste!
The opensided hall with the rough wood classrooms for the younger classes in the background. No protection against the dust!
Often a toddler joins us, the child of a teacher.
I often get stray animals wonder into a lesson and this time it was the turn of this goat 🐐 that decided to join us! Charles caught him and tied him up to await the return of its owner.
A favourite from previous years has been to make necklaces with wool and drinking straws. The nursery classes were very pleased. Thank goodness for the mosquito net bag mats. Can you imagine what this activity would be like without them!!
I drove the pickup down to school as it was too hot to walk as I usually do and we were delivering a few nets afterwards too.
I wonder if any of these children will still have their necklaces next year? I’m saying that as I have seen two older children wearing theirs as we delivered nets to their homesteads!
Now we have a few books I’m trying to get the teachers into the habit of taking some to their lessons for children who have completed their tasks. You can see what a hit they are!
The discussion that was going on between these children was great though I couldn’t understand it if course!
They all got a sticker too! Thank you Fiona!
Now what animals are these? I think I may do a whole school project about African animals next year. I have found that in these village schools they know the names of animals but often don’t know what they look like, even the teachers! They had no books so how can they know!
The joy of books! Thank you Brussels Airlines for allowing me extra luggage allowance to enable me to take books etc out to these children. And to those who donated money for me to buy books once in Uganda.