VSO Cluster Project - Lake Mburo July 2010
on Postcard from Uganda (Uganda), 05/Nov/2010 13:00, 34 days ago
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In July of this year, the Mbarara and Bushenyi Cluster (VSO volunteers) took a group of children and their carers/parents and some hospice staff on a day trip to Lake Mburo. The hospice children were our chosen project for this year - last year we supported a youth group and gave them money to build a chicken shed and set up an egg selling business. The kids treated at the hospital usually have cancer, HIV or some other type of terminal illness. We organised packed lunches for everyone (chapattis, mandazi (a bit like a donut without the hole), fresh fruit, boiled eggs and juice). Peter, a VSOer from Bushenyi had photocopied lots of pictures of wild animals for the children to do 'shading' (colouring in), though some of the parents had as much fun as the children doing this.Lale Mburo, a national park is just over an hour's drive from Mbarara, but the vast majority of local people will never have visited it, even though it has significantly reduced rates for Ugandan and school children enter for free. We planned to do a game drive and a boat trip - the park is one of only two places in Uganda where you can see zebras, the other place being in the far north of the country. There are 100's if not 1,000's of impala/Ugandan cobs (a small antelope) in the park, as well as bush and water bucks, wart hogs, buffaloes, hippos and crocodiles and loads of different birds. It was a really good day, with lots of excitment on the bus as everyone spotted the animals. Some of the parents, especially the mothers 'feared the water' (were scared) and so didn't go on the boat trip, but funnily enough were more than happy for their children to go! As well as spotting lots of animals and birds, we also had a few games of football and lots of time for 'shading'!Ed, a now departed VSOer and Jane (in red hat) a current VSOer watching the kids colouring in their pictures - Jane did a great job grading the pictures and wrote lots of positive 'teacher' feedback on them!One of the mothers thoroughly engrossed in her 'shading'!Getting ready to see hippos, crocs, kingfishers, African fish eagles and lots more on the boat tripMichelle (in white skirt), also a now departed volunteer getting ready to strike in the women and children football matchThis was one of the 'goalies' with her baby strapped to her back... it certainly didn't stop her lunging for the ball!Group photot!A few weeks after the trip, Peter made a fantastic mural of Lake Mburo and stuck the cut out pictures that the kids (and parents!) had coloured in onto it. We took the mural along with lots of photos to Toto ward, one of the children's wards at Mbarara Hospital where the kids from the hospice receive their treatment.Some of the children and parents helping us to put up the mural on TotoWard and sticking their photos on itA job well done ......smiles all round!The very impressive collage on the not so impressive ward wall!