Scottish Charity Number: SCO36069

6th February 2011

New Term by Keziah Berelson

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KB v. YKM:

And I’m finally back to Myanzi for the new school term, after travelling over 800 kilometres across East Africa!

We’ve headed home at the end of the dry season, and its astounding to see how far the landscape is affected. What once used to be lush red soils filled with weaving deep greens of maize fields and papyrus plantations has given way to an orange dust track complete with yellowing banana plants an upsetting lack of ripe fruit.

The school term has just begun for the year 2011, and this has meant a few changes at the project. Our neighbours have got new uniforms (Richard looks very dapper in his green shirt and black shorts), and most afternoons are spent covering books with newspaper – or just attempting to read the Lugandan articles, and getting laughed at during the process. The Masters have returned from Sorotti, with a very flash new phone, which fills weekends with the sounds of Chameleone and Coco Finger. Deo has finally began building the start of the Good Hope Initiative Orphanage, and as soon as the rains come we hope to help out with building (I think my role in this might just be tea maker and general morale commander …).

I’ve begun teaching at a third school – Bright Sky Primary, for P5 and P6 SST (East African Geography and History), which has given me a full chance to sample all 3 cooks’ posho and beans – I have to say St. Noa’s tops them all! St. Emma’s has a new P4 class – and so I teach them all day on Tuesday, although there are only five of them … but it’s nice to see the school growing …

The start of term has been slow to say the least, as elections are to be held on the 18th, with results on the 20th. This has meant that many pupils won’t be coming to school until after the results, as election fever seems to be sweeping the district.

The NRM (YKM’s party) have a strong foothold in rural areas, particularly in the West of Uganda; however, this may be helped by the ‘election pollers’ who we’ve seen offering bribes of 2000 Ushs for votes, or the ‘rural electrification programme’ that is ongoing to push electricity from Myanzi town, all the way to Mubende. This mainly consists of a rowdy group of very laddish builders ” waheyy Mzungu!” … everytime! To pick up electricity poles and plop them down a little further along the road. I don’t have much hope. But it does look good though?

Opinion is split on how the elections will go … between Museveni winning a landslide, and the rather split opposition keeping quiet, or uproar if Kizza Besigye decides to release his ‘untampered’ results before the official results.

Meanwhile, I’ll wait to see how the lads have got on up the road, as I attempt to swallow my gargantuan Bilharzia tablets!


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