Friday, 9 September 2016

Kabale! Bless me Twice!

Basic arithmetic, to read & to write are fundamental rights.

That's just as far as it goes. However, it is appalling to learn that 67 million children worldwide have no access to education and more than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. Approximately 38% of African adults are illiterate, which is at least 153 million people.
It is after such horrendous realizations that Rotary lays out basic education and literacy as a major area of focus with a goal to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy.

                                               (Some of the desks that were handed over)

The rotaract club of Kampala South who prefer their alias "Southern Knights" got into a partnership with the people of Nyakijumba, a village in Kabale district, west of Uganda, just as to see this endeavor come off the papers and onto the ground, into reality for a primary school for the local children of school going age.
The first weekend of September, coincidentally, in the basic literacy month on the rotary calendar, saw the Southern Knights, partners, friends of guests take to the colder parts of Western Uganda to administer the realization of a primary school in Nyakijumba. The major project day, Saturday, 3rd September, involved majorly equipping the school with desks, chairs and just as well, making sure their is at least a stone floor foundation laid to keep away jiggers. The Southern Knights are a very industrious populace and had a completely hands on project with all and sundry getting down and busy with the different tasks.

                                                   (The few desks we found at the school)

A desk is a piece of furniture used in, among other places, school. There had been discomfort on the pupils end while they were trying to find the best learning posture and owing to this, by the time we left the school premises at least 20 wooden, strong and well vanished desks had been provided to the school. The desks designed in a simple sturdy form have pigeonholes in which the pupils can easily store reading material.

                           (The not so qualified civil engineers conjuring something for the floor)

The desks were the easy part of this project. The pupils had an issue with soil floors, turning muddy and dusty depending on who was the iron man in the climatic game of thrones. The largest parts of the day were spent describing the best floor for the pupils. A stone floor. To realize a weather resistant floor, a few levels had to be fit and  complete with stone, gravel to ensure turgidity and firm base. This was the sub-floor, through which and form of wiring or plumbing would be done, also the layer of moisture resistant composite sheeting. Subfloors provide underfloor heating and without radiant heating, the floor would suffer puncture openings to facilitate both heating and air conditioning. After this level is done, another will be put on top of it as the finishing.

(More debris for the different floor layers)


                                                          (Let's get the debris in)

In an inadvertent twisting and turning of events, the Southern Knights used the chance of being in Western Uganda to invite us to the beautiful scenery that is Bunyonyi.
Atop the beautiful undulating landscape of Kabale, is a lake that was named locally for its being a habitat of "little birds" hence the name "Lake Bunyonyi."

                                                  (Lake Bunyonyi) Photo by Kabugo Emma

There is a certain calmness borne of naturally existing water bodies and Bunyonyi is no exception. The sound of the water when hit by an external object, the ripples that form and the rays of light that fumble to kiss at the ripples all compose a very beautiful scenery. "Hoisted" at 1962 meters above sea level, lake Bunyonyi is believed to be the second deepest lake in Africa, that many have come in contact with after the Gorilla trekking. The charm of this blue expanse is flattered by beautifully terraced hills, with islands that appear to be in motion as you approach them. Each kind of motion the earth makes with respect to it's axis and sun's position makes a new and glamorous creation with the waters, with the winding sun at the twilight creating the most beautiful silhouette, to simply tell that at Bunyonyi in this particular hour, it's happily ever after.

                                         (The not so funny canoe ride.It was for "tying" a heart)              

Having had primary school education in Mukono district, there is so much respect I attach to water. I do not get close to water unless I am taking a bath or doing some washing. Swimming and I will forever (probably) be at loggerheads. Up until that day, a canoe ride was never on my wishes. After seeing the life of the water and a few jibes from the loquacious Ehmar Kabugo, I jumped onto the canoe for a ride, right at the death of the sun. The twilight. The silhouette. The horizon made love to the smooth sailing waters of lake Bunyonyi. It was a very calming experience. I was on water, floating, and in a canoe. I am certain the fact that there were two guys and four ladies on that specific ride drove my adrenaline into high gear of firmness. Midway the canoe ride, the sun had bid us fairwell and the last of its rays struggling against the horizon to pierce through the now velvet darkening sky. It was so peaceful and magical. At this time, when the wind blew right, in phase with the waves from the lake, one could hear the birds hum to beautiful tunes, soothing one to sleep.
For what it's worth, I cannot wait to go back to that place.

                                    (Part of the delegation to Kabale. Notably missing is THE BOSS.)