Another busy day at least for Stu and myself. The others went with Solomon, one of the park rangers on some mongoose monitoring in the morning, but had no transport in the afternoon, so were unable to visit a girl guides group.
Stu and I were off to Mahyoro Primary School to induct them into the Twinning Project. This involved a long drive up into the hills past Kafuro and we estimated that it might take us two hours. Yowasi’s headteacher, Winfred, had kindly given him the day off so he could accompany us and we also had Jan, the community ranger for Kafuro Primary School.
Yowasi was in particularly fine form today and was laughing and joking throughout the journey. The landscape we travelled through was spectacular with a crater lake being the most amazing view of all. There were parts of the journey which could quite easily feature in a travelogue on the BBC. Unfortunately there were some sections of road that were very difficult to negotiate and Stu did a brilliant job of driving.
After two and a half hours of driving we found the school where we were met by the headteacher and the Twinning Project Leader, Ronnie. They were delighted to become part of the project and thrilled with the information about West Meon Primary. Yowasi was a class act as he outlined to the staff that the Twinning Project was not a charity, but a partnership. Stu and I took loads of photos and videos which we will pass on to West Meon.
The school itself contains 450 pupils and is set against a backdrop of hills. The school site is fairly large and the classrooms appeared to be in fairly good conditions. Ronnie had attended training laid on by the Twinning Project a couple of years ago and the school had installed eco toilets as well as embarking on an ambitious tree planting scheme which had only been partially successful because of dry weather conditions. Music appeared to be quite popular at the school; as well as the traditional African drums the school had a glockenspiel and a variant on a double bass. The children were keen to display their expertise.
The school organised an assembly where the letters and posters from West Meon were shared amongst the pupils. There was a selection f songs and a cultural dance which Stu managed to film. After that we became aware of some bad weather closing in and had to leave. We were happy that Mahyoro were so enthusiastic about the project and will become valuable members.
After a long drive home we were invited to visit Robert and Joseline, two of the park rangers and their daughter Amelia. As I discovered last year being invited to a Ugandans house is a big deal even if you think it will be a ten minute visit. Robert and Joseline had cooked us a full meal which was delightful and we were very grateful for their generosity. The unfortunate part was that we had already ordered our evening meals at Tembo, so when we got there it was a very quiet table as we tried to eat a second meal. To say I was bloated would be an understatement.
I felt really tired at the end of the evening and went straight to bed knowing that Friday would bring a visit to Bukorwe, the longest journey of our visits to schools.