Again the day started with rain. It actually felt cold though how could this be when weather at home is snowy and frigid. Pisie and I found ourselves in sweatshirts and raincoats but Tony seems oblivious to the cold. By 11:00 we were shedding our wintery garb and agreeing that it was warm and summery.
It’s been another busy and productive day. We visited two schools.
The first was a primary school called St.Yowana Mana Mizzeeyi-Kayunga. This was their first visit from The MoonCatcher Project. After endless rearranging of desks, some of which were carried across the schoolyard by helpful boys, we managed to squeeze in 241 girls between the ages of 9 and 14.
Phoebe is a rock star! She got those girls to answer questions, share personal stories and ask questions. I did the calendar part of the curriculum where we teach the girls to plot their periods so that they will know when to come to school with their kit. I felt a little rusty, but after a while, I got the hang of it again and the students were able to answer my questions and understand how to figure out their cycles. We handed out 50 kits with promises of returning with enough for all the other girls.
In the afternoon we went to a school that Maureen and I had gone to last year. Maureen called this “the sad school” because it was in desperate need of almost everything. We had taught in a room with just slats for walls. Each board had a good 4-5 inches of space between it and the next one. We couldn’t believe the condition of this place and wondered how the students managed to learn anything. We met a girl there named Desire who really stood out and we have been able to connect with her again this year. Desire has now graduated from this school but we brought her with us today to help with our class.
Earlier today Phoebe had said something about looking forward to my reaction to the school but I didn’t pay that much attention until we drove through the gate and found a school that had been completely transformed. With a grant from Japan, St Mary’s has become a beautiful place to learn. They have not only redone all the classrooms but have constructed a new kitchen and canteen and places of worship for both Muslims and Christians. I was speechless! The pictures below are of Desire standing in front of her school last year and again with the remodeled school this year.
Our afternoon class was amazing with girls role-playing scenarios of pregnant girls confronting their mothers and the man who put them in that position. It was the best improv I’ve ever seen. It drove the message home that it may be best to wait until after you get your education to think about motherhood.
The time at St Mary’s ended with success stories, what we can do better, and talking to boys about what they know about menstruation. We handed out another 50 kits with promises of more.
Back at our hotel we had about an hour to get cleaned up and meet in the dining room for dinner with our friends Juliet and Priscilla. Weighty talks about homophobia in this country ensued. This can be a difficult and dangerous place to be if you feel that everyone is equal.
We leave early tomorrow for two schools very far away. We are tired but feel good about what we have accomplished.