Published: July 27th 2012July 27th 2012
I feel like there is so much to try and catch up on and I only have a few minutes on the internet tonight. I'll post as much as I can
If there is one thing I have learned so far, it is that perspective changes everything. During our time in Uganda, my perspective, view and beliefs chagned in so many ways. I have started to think about what it important and what isn't. The last week in our house in Uganda, we learned to get make meals, get ready and put make up on in the dark. The power was out most evenings and we got used to making our meals with headlamps on and eating by candle light. It was funny, because now when the power goes out it doesn't even phase us, we just carry on doing whatever it is that we are doing. I have learned what we need to survive and all of the things that we take for granted on a daily basis.
Last Saturday we held a graduation for the first class to ever graduate from Rwentutu! What an amazing experience it was and we all looked amazing in the African dresses that we had made specially for the day! We had brought gowns and caps for the children and their families were so excited to see them graduate. For most families, these Grade 7 children were the first in their family to ever graduate. We hope that some of the students will go on to secondary school, but that often isn't the case. The school fees are just too much for most families to handle.
While spending time in classrooms I realized that children are children no matter where in the world you are. They still love laughing, having fun and learning, even though the trials that they face are so different from the ones children in Canada face. As we drove to school each day, it continued to surprise me how many school aged children are unable to attend school. Although the reasons are different for everyone it is hard to imagine so many children not being offered the opportunity to get an education. The saying it takes a village to raise a child is used all over the world but I have never seen it in action the way that I have in Africa! Everyone pitches in to take care of children. Teachers teach with babies strapped to their back (or in their arms...a skill I quickly learned to master), they cut and make food for their children and other students, they stay in dorms with the children. EVERYONE helps out!
There were three really hard moments last week....
1) Finding out that both teachers I have spent time with have malaria and are quite ill
2) The school semester having to finish earlier than expected because there was no food left, even for the boarders
3) Having to say goodbye to a group of children and teachers that have literally CHANGED my life!
We arrived in Tanzania last night and are in a whole new world. It is SO different from what we experience in Uganda. Today we had an amazing safari and tomorrow morning we leave for the Serengeti and two nights in a tented camp. I promise to try and blog on Monday to talk about all of the amazing experience and adventures in Tanzania!
One of the main differences that I have noticed so far between Uganda and Tanzania, aside from the landscape and animals that we have seen is the decreased police and military presence. Although we never felt unsafe in Uganda, there were ALWAYS police and military members around and we got stopped multiple times every day on the way to school at "police checks". Apparently with muzungas in the car they usually just want to say hello.
I hope everyone is well! Have a great weekend!