I set my alarm this morning for 7:30, the latest I have set it yet, but I still overslept. But today we were going to Kiwuliriza Primary School, so I knew it was going to be a good day. (And it ended up being great.)
As we entered the gates of Kiwuliriza, the perpetual red dirt engulfed us. Yet, as soon as it cleared, we were greeted by smiling faces. The Headmistress, Grace, welcomed us and appointed us to different classes. Dana was working with special needs children, Irene was teaching music, my mom (Wendy) was teaching First Aid, and Calen, Madi, and I were in separate classes doing a postcard-writing activity. (The most difficult part about this was talking about ourselves for five minutes beforehand). In the Primary 5 class I was in, the children’s smiles were contagious. They were so enthusiastic and thrilled to be writing to their “best friends in Canada”. “I love you so much” and “I want you to visit me here” were very common among the postcards. It was hard to leave that class, but it was break, and we had other jobs to do. Except our next job was not so easy.
Let’s just say that we didn’t need as many recorders as we did patience. The Primary 3 students were thrilled when we pulled out the 50 recorders Irene had brought. However, this thrill caused for lots of playing at every available moment. So Irene tried to teach “Mary Had a Little Lamb” over the beautiful sound of 50 screeching recorders while I circled, fixing twisted recorders and shushed kids every once in a while. In the end, though, you could faintly hear the melody through the roar, so it was a success.
Irene’s interpretation of “The Napping House” was fun, though. Lots of students piled into the class and crowded around us, little girls touching my hair or grabbing my arm at any opportunity as we listened to the story. They found the snoring granny hilarious. I loved this part of the day. The children here that have such darkness in their lives can brighten your day so much. Whether you’re being tackled by a group of kids like Calen today, or if just one holds your hand, it’s really something you remember.
And tomorrow we are off again to Kiwuliriza, and with some sleep, it will surely be another crazy, tiring, and amazing day.