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Uganda-Report 2019 – one day in the Visionary Learning Center

By Test Jens, 04/17/2020 - 19:39
Uganda-Bericht 2019 – Ein Tag im Visionary Learning Center

Namaganda, 18. 11. 2019 (Deutsch) Today we have nothing special planned and can recover a little from the efforts of the last days. The Nile waterfalls and especially Kagulu Rock have left clear traces in our bones. A good opportunity to introduce the school grounds in more detail.

There are strict regulations in Uganda for schools, which are also strictly controlled. However, only the private schools, not the public ones (otherwise the controlling authority would have to spend its own money to remedy the deficiencies...). Unfortunately, the Visionary Learning Center is lumped together with commercial private schools, although no school fees are charged and everything is financed by donations and what Eddy earns in Kampala.

One condition imposed by the authorities was the complete fencing of the area. So last year the school got the big gate. The fence also makes it easier to keep farm animals.
The buildings on the left side are not yet plastered. This was made up for in December 2019.

In front of the classrooms on the right side you can see strange iron bars standing upright. They are used to build columns that will later support the extended roof. This way a shelter for the children is created, which protects them from rain - which can become very heavy here, as we will see later ourselves - and sun. This construction project has now also been implemented.

The small house with the sooty window cutout is the kitchen. No chimney, no furniture or the like - just a few fireplaces and loose stones around them to put pots on.

Very important is the water point on the school grounds. The next well is far away, many things would not be possible here without it. The pump broke down in early 2020, with dramatic consequences for the school and the neighbours living here, who are also allowed to use the water and urgently need it. With the help of generous donations fortunately the pump can be repaired fairly quickly.

In the morning we see the children playing happily. Then Raphaela has the idea that each child should write a greeting in our diary. In a short time we caused another casserole of children. The children have a lot of fun filling out five pages of our diary.

On our second day - it seems like several weeks ago – when we visited the families of the godchildren, Tapenesi was not at home. Today we are making up for the visit. Again, a larger group of children is on their way with us. On the way, Raphaela tries to balance a bowl of bananas on his head in an African way, which helps to amuse the group.

Tapenesis grandmother is very happy about our new visit. Tapenesi is very touched by the letter and the presents that Evelyn and Axel sent her.

We are about to say goodbye, when we are asked if we would like to take a look into the house of Tapenesis' grandmother. The house is rectangular and made of bricks, and it has a corrugated iron roof. There is only a wooden door, no windows or other openings. As we go inside, we immediately feel the stuffy, hot air that took our breath away the first day we entered our guest hut. At that time we thought that we could not sleep in the air at all, but that is the reality for the people here. And many people live in it. It is dark, there are no windows or furniture. Cords are tied to keep the clothes in. If you are lucky, you might have a mattress (Eddy has provided many children and families with mattresses).

There is another very small, round building with thatched roof. The kitchen is located there. Thoughtfully we return home to the VLC. The memory of Tapenesis' grandmother's house is still firmly anchored in our souls as we write these lines. We will never forget it.

On the way back the children pick flowers and small blossoms for us. Since we are very happy, we get more and more colourful plants. Unfortunately we do not have a vase or similar to keep the bouquets. But I have the idea to decorate our thatched roofs with them. The children also find it great and are eager to participate.

The day ends with a magnificent sunset that bathes the whole scene in a mystical red light.