"Thank you - you have tried!"
By Alex Todorov
Day two in the wonderful Bukinda was no less exciting than the first. We got started on the projects we came to do and continued to play with and get to know these extraordinary kids.
The Peace Centre kids get up at 5am everyday for personal study, before they do chores and head off to school at 7. And we think the IB works us hard! We started our day a little later (!) and went for a long walk on the hills and in the valleys surrounding Bukinda. It was a tough walk in the baking heat, but very beautiful. We passed many kids on the way, some tending to livestock, others hiking to collect water from the standpipe, and others just playing amongst the banana plantations. These kids should have been in school, but their families must not be able to afford the fees... even though they are only a few dollars for a whole term. Again, I couldn't help but reflect that we take our education for granted.
The first task I was assigned today was chopping wood to be used as fuel for the stove. I was shown how to do it by Henry the cook and it didn't seem too hard, but it was quite difficult and pretty exhausting. I had to choose between accuracy and power when bringing down the axe, Henry didn't have to sacrifice either and made mincemeat of the logs. The locals tried to be encouraging about our failings, and commented, "Thank you, you have tried!"
The team were then split in half and some began work on some murals for The Peace Centre, whilst others were hoeing, digging and evening out the land in preparation for building a chicken coop. I was in the latter. Manual labour in the equatorial heat is not the best combination and it was far from easy. But it was satisfying the see the land gradually level out, and to accomplish it all as a team.
In the afternoon as the childen filtered back from school we began to play various games with them. I decided to try and teach some boys Rock Paper Scissors but it was surprisingly tricky. Satisfyingly I managed to explain it to a ten year old boy called Zion through the mysteries of non verbal communication, but I needed the translation skills of Isaac, Peace and Golden's oldest child, to explain the intricacies of what's actually a rather bizarre game (why does paper beat rock?!) to the rest. As I did this other students played with the kids, chased balls, tickled, danced, sang and just continued to bond with and get to know them.
It's great to be here, to be doing and not just planning, or talking.
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Who are we?
A team working alongside Golden Magezi in Bukinda, Uganda, running an orphanage that provides kids with love, family and an education.