12 April 2011

Last Spelling Competition

Another term and another spelling contest. It had been 2 terms since our last contest and in the meantime i had forgotten how competition makes me feel. At the very least, i sweat a lot under the tin roofs... at the most, i start choking up when i have to tell students, "I'm sorry... that's incorrect." Their crestfallen faces are terrible to see. Some just hang their heads and silently shuffle back to their seats! I try and give motivational speeches before and after, emphasizing the importance of their "trying." I keep telling myself that competition is good for these young ones, they learn all types of life skills and it motivates them to try really really hard.

The thing that revives my spirit is morning parade. Morning parade never fails me! When all the school's students are lined up, looking very smart in their class lines, I stand up and deliver the class winners' certificates and everyone is full of smiles. Lotsa times there are impromptu congratulatory singing concerts. How can that not make me feel better?

"The rain was raining" as they say and it delayed most of the schools. I even got stuck on the road in the downpour. After a late start and many life skills-esque activities, we started the contest. It took about 2 hours to go through all the students. The last words were "gnaw" and "recycle." (I felt like a trickster...)

Thankfully my friend Willysha had stayed up late the night before to help me make badges for everyone and we gave them out after the contest. The students were very thankful (as usual) for the gifts and for the opportunity to participate and have a good lunch. Even after two years, i'm amazed at the polite and respectful manner of the students in Uganda.

Nkumba's Spelling Contest:
St. Theresa Kisubi Girls P/S, Nkumba Primary P/S, African Children's Choir P/S, Bethel P/S, St. Charles Lwanga P/S and Sure Prospects P/S

04 April 2011

GLOW day in Kisubi

I loved the way all of the university students kept peeking in to see what we were doing. As i was walking around trying to keep the day organized, students kept stopping me asking what was going on. "Why are there primary students at the university?" "What kind of game are you guys playing?" The rest of the students would just look on for a while as we played our games, i think with a little bit of envy as they entered their classroom for a 2-hour lecture.

We had 5 schools participate with 20 students from P4 to P7. I think one school must have misunderstood the qualifications; when i saw the youngest arrive, i thought she had just come along to escort her big sister to Camp. She was 9 years old and did great keeping up with the 12 and 13 year olds during our activities.

We started out with "Big Booty", a game the girls love playing if only for the name! After a few other "Get-to-Know-You" activities, we started with our sessions. The day was full! The usual fare of Self-Esteem, Goals and Women's Health information. The counselors (a mix of university students and primary teachers) gave them plenty to do, so the day flew by and suddenly it was 5:30.