Tales of the Unexpected
Elspeth Dugdale | May 9, 2022
One of the unexpected bonuses (challenges?) or terrifying/hilarious aspects of being in Uganda and at WTA after a while, is to find oneself in situations that you could not plan for or could never anticipate.....
Looking back, here's a list of memorable experiences & observations from last term. Some we have shared together & others we have endured/enjoyed solo:
- Using complex software to help design a whole new school timetable (J)
- Marvelling at a 4 hour old baby and his mother
- Getting forced off the road by police/Presidential convoy/ large coaches on a regular basis
- Being forced to reverse back down a game track by a large ‘tusker’ elephant for 15 long minutes
- Organising the hand-planting of the grass on the new 2 acre football pitch
- Finding a surprisingly decent swimming pool just in Luwero, complete with Carluccio’s umbrellas!!
- Enjoying regular French conversations with a new colleague from The Congo (E)
- Teaching Maths - definitely out of the comfort zone (E)
- Teaching A’ level General Paper lessons at 0800 on a Saturday morning (J)
- Giving an impromptu brickmaking explanation in the library (Phil)
- Being admitted to hospital (J) & driving ambulance-style to the hospital (E) *
- Dancing on stage at the music celebration to the huge amusement of the whole school (J & E)
- Rediscovering that small spider bites are still evil (E & Phil)
- Being completely beaten at chess by a super-smart new librarian (J - edit 'but not for long!')
- Discovering that Romeo & Juliet (Usborne version) is the most popular fiction book ever
- Watching the effective use of technology and visual aids in class teaching
- Discussing the cost of childcare for a new baby with a young mother (sadly, still at primary school herself)
- Enjoying & understanding a 2 hour Physics lesson (E)
- Learning the meaning of a new word 'burdizzo' (standard castration tool) - well known by every rural S1 student...
- Chasing a large fruit bat out of the house late at night with a broom
- Watching a student teacher control a class of 110 with a single clap of the hand
- Totally failing to do the same thing (E)
- Discovering that saying ‘Sshh’ with a raised finger makes the entire class collapse with laughter.
- Feeling secretly pleased that a 1960s Ladybird book about Napoleon (50p charity shop bargain) is a popular addition to the A' level History textbooks
- Teaching impromptu conservation lessons using a friendly chameleon (J)
- Scaring a whole group of 50 primary children with the same chameleon (guess who..)
- Being astonished (& frustrated) about the number of impromptu public holidays in Feb & March
- Discovering that Uber works in Kampala and is cheaper than a boda for 2 people
- Remembering in public that some English grammar is totally illogical, very irregular & often outdated - and almost impossible to explain.
- Watching the trained secondary teacher explain the same point almost effortlessly
- Meeting a leopard (accidentally) & a large python (deliberately) on the same day in Murchison (J - obvs)
*all's well that ends well...