Uganda Tour 2015

Carol’s View

Board member Carol Lycette is on her sixth trip to Uganda with Sister Schools. Here are some reflections of her trip so far…

March 31, 2015

I arrived in Uganda just a few days ago and I am struck (again) by the busyness and industriousness of the people here. The roads are full of cars, trucks, taxis and motorbikes. The markets are bursting with shops and shoppers. The tradespeople are busy making furniture, bricks, baskets and clothes. The food stalls are beautifully arranged with fresh tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, cabbages, pineapples and bananas. The hills and fields are lush and green as the rainy season has started and people are tilling their fields and preparing to plants their crops. Live is abundant here and has me hopeful.

We have done 5 school visits in 2 days, each one different but one thing is the same, they are full, full of children intensely focused on learning. At Kibiriribiri Primary School they are smartly dressed in purple uniforms. The first grade class could be like any class anywhere in the world with 25 to 30 children, writing quietly in their essay books, listening to their teacher go over the a,b,c’s. As I peek in the window a few kids look up at me and smile then go back to their writing. As I Iook more closely I see the children are sitting on their knees on a dirt floor using their small wooden benches as their desks because they don’t have desks. There isn’t a door in the door opening, there aren’t any windows in the window openings and there are no lights in their small dark classroom. What they do have is a teacher who cares, pencils and paper to do their lessons and so they have learning. I am reminded that learning can happen in many different environments and all it takes is curiosity and the desire to show up and be present.

Chalk and chalkboards are still important teaching tools in Uganda.
Chalk and chalkboards are still important teaching tools in Uganda.
Kibiribiri classroom
Kibiribiri classroom
Smart student in his smart purple uniform at Kibiribiri.
Smart student in his smart purple uniform at Kibiribiri.

I am so grateful that I can be part of the Sister Schools program that helps these kids get the basic school supplies they need so they can be here learning. I imagine every one of these kids 20 years from now owning their own shops full of delicious foods, beautiful clothes, becoming teachers and running their own businesses. Our children back in Seattle should be so proud and feel happy to see and hear what a difference they are making for this kids in the pretty purple uniforms.

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