What started not so well with the switch from the orphanage program in the teaching one, ended surprisingly very sad. I had little teaching experience before starting to teach English to my baby class at the Fort Portal School in Uganda; 2 and 3 years old baby chickens.
I usually try to distance myself from a place or from the same persons in order not to get too attached to them and eventually settle in that place. Sounds weird but this is me, a very weird person whom still has no clue what he wants from life.
I began to think about the last day at the school one week before leaving Uganda. I was wondering if I will cry or how sad I will be. I was saying to myself that neither of the two things will happen. I heard stories before from the other volunteers saying that kids asked them: Are you going to cry on the plane?
The last day began like the rest of the day. Woke up at 7.45; had a light breakfast, the usual coffee and waited for my boda boda to take me to the school.
On the way to the school, I started to fall suddenly sad. It was about to be the last day with my kids. Standing on the floor with them, surrounding me, smiling and laughing at the chicken on the book I used to have to teach them different things.
The last day was not to be a normal one. Exams were coming and I assisted them in filling the papers. Even the baby class had exams. They had to draw, to make some drawing correlation and other things. To be, for their aged, it seemed very hard. I never had an exam when I was in the kindergarten.
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I assisted them, had the last lunch with them and watched them sleeping on the benches and on the floor for the last time. Not sure if it will be the last time in my life. I definitely want to return to the village and my baby class in 4-5 years to seem them how big they have grown and maybe this time I will be able to speak in English with them!
The last day was a bit chilly and rainy and except for the last hour we stayed in the classes, not being able to go outside and play. Giving them the gifts was a special moment for me and hope for them. But the moment I received my present, I was speechless and no words can be put on paper.
First day at school: being in a remote village, they rarely have seen a muzungu. At first they were a bit afraid of me. Of course, things changed till the end. One of the kids even started to cry. Here name was Rita. I tried to talk to here, take here in my arms, but she continued to cry for the rest of the day.
I never had lunch at the school. Even if they would have given me some biscuits or mattock I said no. Not because I was afraid of getting sick, but taking food from them would have been a bad thing, like stealing food from them. And food at the volunteer house and a lot at lunch anyway.
Guess from whom I received the present? Rita! Not sure what she said to her mother or whom said to here, but I got a big package. It was nicely wrapped. What was inside it? A bottle of juice, a handkerchief and some biscuits. Well, it was the lunch I never had and the lunch Rita used to have it every day. I would have loved to take here home with me!
One of the hardest part was buying something for the kids. I did not have a huge amount of money to spend and being almost 50 children I had to find something not to ruin my wallet. And useful for them in the same time. Lunch time was the moment when I realized what to buy for them. Handkerchiefs. Only 2-3 of them had some and they were old and dirty. And not all of the kids went straight to the washing place after the lunch, so there clothes were dirty too.
It wasn’t easy either buying them. Had to go to 3 different shops in Fort Portal to buy it!
Like Orpheus I never looked back…. Probably If I had I would have stayed forever…
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