After a difficult first month in Tanzania, here we are, at Entebbe Airport in Uganda, somehow doubtful of how it's going to be like as first volunteers ever at Victory Nursery and Primary School in Bwindi.
From the promising smile of Peter, the head teacher of the school who picked us up at the airport, everything got better and better every day. Here are our best moments and the lessons we learnt in Uganda - thank you Victory School!
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Little men and women ready for lesson Victory School in Bwindi, Uganda
THE NURSERY GANG
During our volunteering experience at Victory School in Uganda, it had been almost impossible to not ot hug or play with the nursery kids. Between 3 and 5 years old, these mini men and women had left us with so many smiles, the sound of their voices still calling us and their small hands trying to grasp ours without letting it go for hours.
One tiny man we fell in love with was Rutaro, the funniest kid we have ever met in our life! You couldn’t walk in the school without noticing him or him noticing you and running towards you with his short legs just to briefly touching your hand and then running away.
Everything about him was funny, starting from his perennial running nose and dirty jumper from the porridge and posho he was eating. He acted like a little man – certainly he knew already at 2 years of age what he wanted as he walked alone to Victory School on his first school day, leaving his mum at home wondering where her child has gone (even more as she had chosen a completely different school for her son!).
We can’t wait to see him growing up. Or maybe, we just want him to remain this young forever to put a smile on every face he encounters.
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Rutaro, our little man, smiling for the camera (Bwindi, Uganda)
DANCE, SING, PLAY, REPEAT
If you happen to visit Bwindi and its beautiful Mountain Gorillas, spare some time to pay a visit to Victory School as well – you won’t regret it!
Some of the students, from different age groups, practice dancing, singing and playing music every week to perform in front of visitors. In particular, on a monthly basis, they put up an awesome performance at the UWA gate (Uganda Wildlife Authority) in Bwindi for tourists who are going for gorilla tracking.
These kids will touch your heart with their passion and talent – our favourite songs have always been “You are welcome to Uganda” and “Wonderful environment”. The children also prepare some Rukiga dances (typical from Bwindi region) and their enthusiasm will make you dance and sing along!
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The amazing energy of these students during their Drama/Dance class in Bwindi, Uganda
IS FATHER BETTER THAN MOTHER? OR RURAL LIFE BETTER THAN CITY LIFE?
Possibly the class we enjoyed the most at Victory School in Uganda was the debate class which is held once a week for primary levels.
The participating classes (usually two at a time) chose a topic to discuss, comparing two opposing realities or subjects such as “Fire is better than water” or “Mother is better than father” or “Village life is better than city life”. There is always a chairman, surrounded by the proposers and the opponents. The rest of the class can participate as public and can intervene at any time, if allowed by the chairman, to enquiry, correct, object, inform or agree.
Every debate follows a clear schedule and participating to these debates has been an accelerated lesson on Ugandan culture and on Bwindi life particularly. It has been extremely interesting to listen to these young kids and teens debating about social, cultural and economic themes, gender roles, rural life, trying to grasp their point of view.
For example, why father is better than mother? Because he provides for the whole family. Or why is village life better than city life? Because city children are less well-behaved than village children as they spend too much time in front of the TV.
We are so grateful for this intimate insight inside local life and mentality seen through the eyes of Ugandan future generations!
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The motion of today is "Is father better than mother?" - Bwindi, Uganda
We always keep our door open for new projects and ideas – we’ve been already volunteering and travelling in Nepal, Philippines, Malaysia, Tanzania, Uganda and we are currently in South America - stay tuned for more!
As our motto says: we travel, we learn, we grow.