We have been on project about a week now, arriving last Sunday to Bodondo school just north of Jinja near the river Nile. The journey over was a little challenging with most the group missing a flight connection but getting a free stay in Istanbul Hilton Hotel courtesy of Turkish Airlines.
When on project we stay in a school classroom, sleeping on mattresses on the floor. We wake at around 06.30 for a 07:00 breakfast followed by chores before starting the building work at 08:0. The building has been tough so far - we first had to dig holes in the ground but the site given to us was very rocky with some holes hitting bedrock only a few inches deep. This was challenging and meant we tired quickly. However we had extra help for locals in the community and even youngsters aged 11 were showing us how it was done! The last few days of the week we spent sanding the apparatus (which was welding whilst we dug), did a little painting and began cementing on Friday - the hottest day yet adding an extra challenge to the manual labour. Since the first swing frames have gone in their holes, the whole group is beginning to feel a little proud already of the playground as its beginning to take shape!
Aside from the building there has been the opportunity to interact with the local community by running arts and play sessions from 15:00 – 17:00 in the afternoon, which consist of cutting, gluing, painting and making toys with the children and playing games such as duck duck goose, stuck in the mud and traditional Ugandan games. This is a fun part of the day where we learn more about the children and they learn about us - they have become particularly excited whenever someone begins taking photos and have the tendency to crowd round the individual demanding more selfies of themselves!
We have just had our first weekend off where we had the chance to go into Jinja for some great milkshakes and massages - to relieve our sore back and shoulders and also been able to take part in activities such as kayaking, tubing (floating down the Nile in a rubber ring), horse riding and bungee jumping. So far the trip is going smoothly and speaking on everyone's behalf an incredible experience.