Today we made our way to a little rural nursery school outside of the town of Mukono. It was an over 2 hour drive day. I am finally beginning to grasp the driving patterns here: everything is fluid… there is no defined stop lines or any lines anywhere for that matter… if there is space before you, you move into it…. honking eliminates any shoulder checking. It is what it is and nobody gets upset. Btw, Dana and Calen finally spotted the boda driver with helmet on, jacket backwards and flip flops. Meanwhile, I am still hunting for the lady with a basket of pineapple on her head.
Peer Nursery School is a relatively new 3 room brick building right off of a country road. We pulled up to mounds of dirt and grass in front of the school and found little wee ones in amongst the tall tall grass. Founder Ruth took us inside and spoke to us in her very quiet voice about her vision and how the school came to be. Soon after, the kids took out the bags of balls and toys and it was Christmas morning for the children. Fire trucks, balls, books, skipping ropes, ponies, and Little Peoples took over the dirt mounds in no time. Straw mats were brought out and small cluster of children surrounded different books under the shade of the banana trees. We participated in a circle time of pathetic singing to end off the morning for the kids.
Ruth was able to share with us some of the trials of the humble start of a new school. There are many expenses to be covered and collecting fees from the village kids is never easy. One term of school fees costs 50,000 Ugx and only about half the kids pay half of that amount. At the same time, Ruth has to pay her head teacher 150,000 Ugx a month. On top of that, she is renting the building she is using right now but has her own land to eventually build and expand her nursery school just down the road. I was very impressed with her vision and her passion for the children. I mentioned to her that perhaps we can form a partnership between her school and mine in the future. Ruth was very much in agreement.
After our visit at Peer Nursery School, Andrew took us to a Rolex stand where we enjoyed some locally rolled omelette in chapati. It was delicious!! With our bellies full, we hopped back into the van and Apollo, our fearless driver, manoeuvred us back to the comfort of our big house on the hill.