2015 has been pretty quiet for The Real Uganda. We’ve had just a few new volunteers each month. June should be the craziest time of year and here I am writing a blog post on a Monday afternoon. Admittedly, I’ve been stressed over it. Volunteers keep things going with their creativity, encouragement and love. Our partner organizations rely on them for much needed free hands and funding. Don’t get me wrong, I love giving small grants out for projects, but I sincerely believe well prepared, well managed, international volunteers are the best way to effect change at the grassroots level. Cultural exchange demystifies, opens up possibilities, inspires young minds. I’ve watched it happen for the past 10 years… but that’s for another post.
Basically, for 3 weeks straight, I’ve been online for hours everyday sending out funding proposals and letters of inquiry to corporate and private charitable foundations, gap year companies, travel agents, and a tonne of former volunteers. I’ve made some progress toward securing our future. To celebrate, I decided to take Saturday off.
Fernanda is a current volunteer, from Mexico. She’s working at Grace Primary and Day Care Centre. Daily, she teaches a variety of students, helps the cook prepare meals, and gets sweaty in the garden. She wanted to do a fun day with the kids. She invited me and our other volunteers to join in.
We rocked up after lunch and the kids were ready and waiting. We headed straight to the garden to harvest beans. Fernanda pushed Jordan in the wheelbarrow, while Liz and I followed. The other kids dawdled along, impressing the other volunteers as they shimmied up mango trees and rained down the sweet, ripe fruits. Once we got there, everyone knew their job. Pulling up bean plants, making small local piles, pulling up more bean plants, building up those piles. Paco was having races with the kids, Fernanda gave us some music from her pocketed iphone, Peace and Miracle picked long grasses to tickle everyone’s necks. It was rad. Before we knew it, all the beans had been picked.
We loaded up the wheelbarrow with our bounty and headed back to Grace for some mangos and a showing of the Lion King on Fernanda’s laptop. It was incredibly relaxing, stress free, and fun. I’m rejuvenated.
Volunteering in Uganda is win win. You become a more peaceful person. The kids have fun. We all contribute to a greater good – Grace Centre’s beans are ready to eat!
Here’s a slideshow of our day. If you want to see yourself in photos like these, check out our website for details. If you like what you read, fill in our online application form.