I have been going around to schools, NGO’s, and medical facilities introducing myself and telling them the services I can offer. At schools I make a point of telling them I am not there to teach their classes, they already have teacher’s doing that and I am not here to take anyone’s job. I am here to partner alongside them and implement programs/activities they believe will benefit their students, staff, community, etc. I then hand them a descriptive list of ideas of things I can help them with. I also emphasize that I will bring the knowledge and they must provide the resources.
The schools all seem to think I am here to teach for them and after my speal they slowly change their thinking and get excited about other projects. One school I visited last week was really enthusiastic about me working with their students who are HIV positive in a creative writing club. We mapped out a schedule and agreed on space, materials, and the number of students (15 max). Today I showed up at the appointed time and was told there would be a few extra kids. My creative writing club turned out to be the entire P6 and it was their writing class. I had 112 students.
I don’t know if this is miscommunication or another classic example of Ugandan’s saving face and telling me what I want to hear and then making me do what they want later. The Head Teacher (principal) was conveniently away when I came so now I will have to make a trip back there before next week to reevaluate and figure out what is really needed. I feel like this is going to be a pattern in my work here in Uganda. Oh, Uganda . . . may God uphold thee . . .