If you don't have time to read a longish blog article right now, save this one as a favourite to enjoy later. In July, my friend Graeme left the comfort and proximity of Starbucks of his office to go to rural Uganda to volunteer as a teacher for a couple of months.
He's finally got round to writing about his experiences. His blog "Hunting for Gems in the Pearl of Africa" outlines a bit about the history of Uganda, the philosophy behind Volunteer Uganda's programme and about the children he taught. I remember he posted on Facebook about how enthralled they were when he taught them about the solar system.
My Anna is so lucky - her attendance at school isn't dependent on my ability to pay. She learns in a modern environment with all the resources she needs. It breaks my heart to think of children who don't have access to even a basic education because their parents can't afford it.
I was also particularly interested to read about the Teaching First programme, which aims to introduce modern teaching techniques (ie not caning the children or making them learn by rote) into the country to make learning more exciting for the children and suited to their needs.
The work that Volunteer Uganda is doing will benefit the country for decades to come. Graeme has now become an ambassador for them, which means he spends time going round schools, talking to young people and encouraging them to take part in the programme.
This is a well written introductory piece. For his next one, I want to learn more about the day to day experiences he had out there, how he planned his lessons, what a typical day was, how often he was beaten at football by the kids,what he did at the weekends, that sort of thing.
This video, available on You Tube, shows Graeme in some, shall we say, interesting trousers and gives a flavour of his time there.