On Good Friday Laura and Tobi arrived at the international airport of Entebbe in Uganda. After a long journey and a short night at a hostel, they met Daniel and his girlfriend Charlotte in Kampala. Daniel, now for a few months part of our project group, currently does an internship at an Ugandan organisation which is specialised in renewable energies.
Together, the four took a so called “Matatu”, a large taxi, to Iyolwa. However, the trip didn’t last three and a half hours but 6 entire hours due to the traffic at Easter. Fortunately, the vehicle was already full at the beginning of the ride, so there was no need for time consuming layovers to fill the seats with more passengers.
The six of us participated at the ceremonial Easter Sunday church service at the site of the Secondary School and admired the acts of the dance group and the school choir. For this occasion, the Easter boar with a weight of 228 kg was slaughtered for the students and then eaten. It was a very lively ceremony where we also got to chat with the villagers and students.
In the first week we had the opportunity to meet several times with the architect and civil engineer Mr. James who designed most of the school buildings. As there is the interest of collaboration from both sides, Mr. James introduced us to the typical mode of operation in Uganda. After the discussion about our construction plan he explained to us how to work with the estatal authorities. The climax of our meeting was a trip to look at an infirmary and a church, both designed by him, as well as his own house which is situated in Tororo and offers a spectacular view of Tororo Rock.
To gain expertise from a medical point of view we consulted Dr. Oburu from Tororo. He showed us around his infirmary and gave us advice for the draft of our project. A valuable advice was for instance the importance of separating the boy’s dormitory from the girl’s sleeping room in the ground plan. The prevention of pregnancies is the main reason for the strict separation. Moreover, Dr. Oburu could show us his medical skills by stitching a wound from Andi, which he had brought from Germany.
Another partner outside the school who we met last week several times is James Wilson. He is a teacher at the Technical School Iyolwa and responsible for instructing the masons. We have been working with him for a longer period and therefore organised an ISSB workshop once again where the ISSB experienced workers Opio and Vincent supported us. It was important to do this training in the first days because of the upcoming exams at school and the subsequent holidays until May. Consequently we have taught approximately 20 students of the first grade the basics of the ISSB production.
Now we are looking forward to approaching the next tasks with a larger group.