Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Last Blog

Well this is it.

To those of you that don't know, I returned to the UK about 2 weeks ago.

I was planning to spend the full 9 months in Uganda but my time was cut short to just under 7 months.

The reason for my return is because my mum is ill and, at the time, the doctors were unsure on the time scale left for her so because of this I made an immediate return.

But I am very happy to report she has made a good recovery. Obviously, she's not completely out of the woods but I can spend the time with her now I have returned and prepare for uni in September.

Due to the quick return home, I didn't get to say bye to many of the friends that I made in Uganda which is sad and was a little hard to deal with. Also, because it was a shock to come home so quickly, it was quite hard to adjust. Obviously it was, and is, great to see my family and my friends but not having that chance to say good bye and prepare myself to leave was quite sad and emotional.

My time in Uganda was AMAZING. I loved it! I really did. It has given me a lot of thoughts about my future and what to do with it. I definitely think that I would like to spend more time out there especially teaching because there is a real need for education and the children are very willing to learn. But I definitely put this all to God because He knows what I'm going to be doing. I'm going to go down to Marjon University in Plymouth and get my degree in Sport Development: Physical Education and then maybe spend an additional year doing a PGCE so I have the equivalent to a teaching degree. But, so far, that's all I know about what's happening.

Uganda really was an amazing time and I loved it. All the people I worked with were so willing to help others and also to help me get used to the culture and the different ways of doing things.

The Smile Team are great. They really are a very busy bunch of people but they always do their best and care for those they are working with as well as those they are helping through Smile.

I am definitely going to miss everyone; I already do. But Mom and Dad have said they want to send me and my sisters and my sister's soon-to-be husband out to Uganda for a couple weeks next year so they can experience the amazing experience I did even if it is for a short time. (See you soon Smiley people!)

At the moment, I'm looking for part time jobs while I wait for uni to come around which is always fun. But I've already got an interview tomorrow which is exciting but it's also making me nervous as I haven't had many interviews before. But being myself is all I can do so fingers crossed!

I wish the best of luck to Anna and Rachel who joined the Smile team recently. I hope you have a blast of a time in the 3 months you are there! And to Ruth, I miss you! We are such good friends that I definitely think that you can't get rid of me that quickly and I'll definitely be seeing you a lot upon your return. Enjoy your time with the girls and all my favourite children that we all have grown to love. Enjoy your time you three girlies! I miss you and can't wait to hear all the stories.

But anyway here is some of my favourite photos of my time in Uganda. It's not in any order, just some of my fav!

One of the many selfies we took

Christmas party at Blessed

The kids club team

Foolish man built his house on the sand

Wise man built his house on the rock

Myself and little Matthew

Making chapati

Another selfie - way back from the Equator

Church - Gabit and us lot

Last group picture before Tasha and I left :'(

Welcome home banner :D

Teaching at Ruth Mother Care

Us lot at the Equator

Fred tried my sunglasses on

Textbooks at RMC - Thankyou for all your support!!

Ken's meal out before he left - The Gang

Saying Bye Bye to Ken

Saying Hello to Anna and Rachel

Ruth and I on a rock in the middle of the river - Safari 

Us lot and Moses on Safari

Us lot and Moses - being cool



Baboon - I still don't like them!

Teaching with Moses

Us lot and Teacher Ruth and Middle Class

Digging holes with machetes! 

Moses, Ruth and I with some of the kids

Myself and Becca 

Preparing for the Christmas Party - Myself, Moses and Brian


Some of the great kids we worked with!

At Heathrow before leaving for Uganda!

Arriving in Uganda with Innocent, Alex, Bennie and
Shavan took the picture!

Being caught in the rain leads to being soaked!

At the end of our time in the village

In the village

In the village

In the village
Arriving home in 12 degrees, I was very cold!

At training for our gap year!

Kathryn signing off for the last time xxx

Saturday, 4 April 2015

So many changes

Hello blog readers,

It has been quite an interesting few weeks, from Tasha arriving, Text books for Ruth Mothercare and Ken leaving. And now Anna and Rachel arriving here Wednesday night. Our container from the UK also arrived last week, so it has been pretty eventful and busy these few weeks!

Firstly I would like to say a MASSIVE THANKYOU to everyone that has donated towards our fundraising for textbooks for Ruth Mother care! We have successfully bought the books and given them to the school for which they are very grateful and we have already seen them being used. We have actually raised more money than we expected so any of the extra money is going to be used to finish the school building and add some extra benches/desks and various other things. But thank you again for your very kind donations, as it will go very far. Follow this link to see the Head Teacher – Teacher Ruth and p1-p3 saying thankyou for their textbooks!


Some of the children with the new school textbooks!

Tasha has joined us for 3 weeks. She has brought over many ideas for teaching and she has studied nutrition at university so is giving a nutrition talk to the parents at the slums, to help them understand what is good for their bodies and the best way to look after their children through food nutrition. It has been a very exciting time with Tasha being here as at Ruth Mother Care we have planted seeds so they can learn about how a plant grows and what it needs to help it grow. It is very exciting as they have started to grow!
Tasha also brought with her ruler which can be personalised so we got the children to colour and we wrote their names on it so they all have their own ruler which they can use at school.

Children with their personalised rulers!

Picking up Tasha from the airport

Planting seeds

Ken has sadly returned to the UK. We are very sad to see him go, but for him it is the right time to go. He has done some amazing work here and he has helped all those he has worked with and I know that he will be missed by everyone here! It is a little weird adjusting to Ken not being here, but we have lovely new arrivals to keep us entertained. On Ken’s last day at Ruth Mothercare we gave the textbooks but also as a thank you to Ken for teaching these past few months they put on a small performance. It was really cute. Here is a link to one of the songs they sang for Teacher Ken. 

Before Ken left we took a trip to the Equator! It is 1 hour 30 minutes drive, so not too far. It was cool and there were lots of local shops with local goods, which I bought two pairs of trousers and sandals. It was a fun little trip us three and Innocent, and it was nice to take a trip away from the busy life at Smile.  

Ruth, Ken and I at the Equator

Meal out before Ken left (starting from the left, Gabit, Innocent, Ruth, Bennie,
Alex, Tasha, Bashede, myself, Ken and Ronnie)

Saying bye bye to Ken (myself, Moses, Ken, Ruth and Alex)

The container arrived full of aid last week. It had taken a while to arrive and got held by the authorities. But thankfully it has arrived safely so the aid can  now be distributed as and when.

The lovely new arrivals are Rachel and Anna who are with us for the next 3 months. They are excited to be here and can’t wait to get stuck into the work.
As I was writing the blog Anna, Tasha and Ruth created a little Haiku to sum up the past week: (They definitely should create more!)

Rachel and Anna
Arrived into Entebbe
And Ken left boo  hoo

Picking up Anna and Rachel from the airport

Easter week has arrived which means we get bank holidays off (Good Friday and Easter Monday!) It is very nice to be able to celebrate this time of year elsewhere as we can experience Easter in Uganda a country where it is predominantly Christian/Muslim country. Also the End of Term holidays are at the end of the month YAY. The term has been very long, especially compared to England where you get half term and the term is much shorter. Here the term started at the start of February and ends at the end of April without a half term! So Ruth and I are definitely looking forward to a break from teaching.

I think that is most of what I have been up to recently. Of course the work is still going on and I’m still enjoying it, especially working with the children.
I have been requested that for those of you that don’t have Facebook that I blog the posts that posted on Facebook on the Smile Charity Uganda Facebook page so you can receive the updates also. So I will do that in future. For those of you that do have Facebook check out the page at https://www.facebook.com/smilecharityuganda?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
as there is slightly more information and it is updated regularly compared to my blog.

Happy Easter Everyone!!

Sorry for being a rubbish blogger!! I wrote this two days ago, then went out and didn't finish it. Started to finish it yesterday and the power went. Then yesterday in the evening tried again and the internet contract needed to be paid as we forgot. So here is me finally doing and finishing and uploading my blog!!

Kathryn signing off! xx

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Long time no blog!

Sorry for not blogging, mainly because I didn't have my laptop then I got it back and my hard drive crashed. So then had to replace it but now I have a working laptop woo!

So what has been happening?

Well, we have settled into the routine again. It's been in full swing for about 4-5 weeks now. This is the routine.

Monday - Catch up Classes at Family Believers Church - for those who don't go to school.
Tuesday - Ruth Mother Care School teaching
Wednesday - Ruth Mother Care School teaching
Thursday - Community Outreach
Friday - Kids Clubs

It's very tiring especially teaching for 3 out of 5 days, as it is quite early starts in the morning. But we are efficient and plan for it, so we aren't thinking on our feet too much. But the teachers out there understand that you do have to think on your feet as it never goes exactly the way you plan it!

The last 2 weeks at Kids Clubs I have been at Blessed Word of Life Church. This is a project that Smile has been working with for a while and currently they are rebuilding the church to make it a better structure. The next things to be done are the windows and doors. Sadly I haven't taken any pictures of the church, But I will this week and post them in my next blog so you the many readers can see what it is like. The children at Blessed's Kids clubs are fewer than at FBC around 20 so the number is much more manageable and they are well behaved as most of them go to school. It is good to teach there as they listen very well and you know that they have understood the meaning of the story and how it affects us and the way we should live our lives as Christians.

We are fundraising for textbooks for Ruth Mother Care School. As there are currently no textbooks that the children can use, and only a copy that the teacher uses. Also using textbooks can really help with the children's learning as it won't be just copying from the blackboard which they currently do and for those who are visual learners it can give a much better way of learning being able to see pictures and colours of what they are trying to learn. One textbook costs only £5, and because we will be buying in country and due to the exchange rate we are hoping that we will be able to buy more for the money here in Uganda, If you are willing to help us and raise money for the
textbooks follow this link to donate online. There is also more information about the school, and many pictures!


This weekend has been quite an eventful weekend at the house. On Saturday we had no water, so a few trips were made to fetch water, but that did mean cold bucket showers! I am definitely not going to miss them ever, nor will I ever get used to them. They are always a shock to the system of how cold they really are! We went into town also on Saturday just us gappers which was fun, including a trip to the post office which meant parcels from our families (which included creme eggs for me WOO!) and a late Christmas present from Anna for all of us!! Which was great as it included many sweets for us! Thankyou Anna!! See you soon! We ate lunch out and went to a pizza place which was very very enjoyable! We did a bit of shopping and then went to church for Saturday service. So it was a very enjoyable day. On the other hand that evening is another story. It was late and I was about to start the washing up when Ruth and Ken exclaimed there was a mouse in the kitchen! I repeat A MOUSE!! I discovered as of yesterday I am ok with bugs and insects but not so much with rodents! I was looking for said mouse on my hands and knees behind the cooker using a torch, when it starts to run towards my face!! I will admit I screamed which made Ruth scream also and run quite quickly out of the kitchen! The boys decided to move the cooker and fridge to find said mouse and kill it, using sticks. But it wasn't found. I suggested it might have been in the pots and pans cupboard, it was opened and someone saw it run out. But it has not been seen since. I for one have definitely been on guard when in the kitchen waiting for said mouse to appear again!!

Today was a good day, I awoke and washed my clothes. Washing your clothes by hand is never fun and always takes longer than expected, 2.5 hours today! There is also a risk on getting sun burnt while washing especially on your hand/arms due to suncream running off in the water. I then watched a film while eating left over pizza from yesterday. After the power decides it will go off at around 1pm and didn't return till 7pm. So I went on a bit of a cleaning spree, washing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom, sorting out my room and tidying it. We watched a film on Ruth's laptop as it had enough battery life also. But thankfully it came back on so this evening hasn't been spent in the dark. And I get to write my blog!

Community Outreach team (Ken took the photo)

Ken teaching P3

Catch up Classes 

Please share the link of our fundraising efforts for Ruth Mother Care so we can raise as much money as possible! Thankyou!


I think that's about it really!

I will try and post more frequently in the future.

Kathryn signing off! xx