Soft Power Education….

Hey all. Rachel and Jessie here to tell you all about our SECOND week in Jinja. We worked for a NGO based in Britain called (we told you earlier!) Soft Power Education which concentrates in “beautifying” educational facilities and providing extra curricular activites not often available in the Ugandan public education system. As the debriefer/coordinator, Shaz, that led us through it called it…they’re brilliant. We were based in a small Muslim school called Siidiq and we got to do loads and loads of painting. Because the roads were bad during this particularly rainy rainy season…we were set up in one of the classrooms at the school. All of us (nearly) were sleeping shoulder to shoulder on small but respectably comfortable foam mats and had mosquito nets given to us to string across the room in a rather creative fashion. (Kudos Camille). So the living situation was probably the most “basic” we’ve seen yet but it was pretty cozy and we all got closer…literally. The most challenging part of these new “roughing it” accomodations was the utter and complete total lack of showers. Nothing. Nada. It was good that we were all in it together though…lack of showers and suffering and eventually mastering the pit latrines. Go us! (And by us we mean the girls….it’s much more impressive for us). On the flip side…sparse environment aside…we did have the total and lovely luxury of having a personal cook asigned to us to provide three meals a day for our entire group, so that we could concentrate on painting instead of cooking. Which is a good thing…because even if we did try to cook for ourselves it wouldn’t come close to coming to the savory culinary masterpieces and Peter (god bless him) unfailingly delivered three times a day. He was an awesome guy all around and we all enjoyed his company (as Peter himself would say…FACT). So our days were usually pretty busy… we had breakfast at 8am and would work til lunch around 1-ish and then we would break up into two groups and learn some basic Swahili. It was really awesome. Roy aka Mwacigwa was an excellent teacher. Knowledgable, good humoured and excited. After the day was done around 6 we would have a couple of hours of downtime in the evening. All in all we managed to get a lot done, considering that the paint required multiple coats and we were all proud to look back upon our work before we left. Good stint. Peace! Jessie and Rachel