Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Big Ben!

Jubilee Bridge!

A phone booth...I tried to go down to the Ministry of Magic from Harry Potter but it wouldn't work!

Buckingham Palace...the Union Jack is up so the Queen is in!

St. Margaret's Church at Westminster Abbey!
We made the most of our 8 hour layover in London with the world's fastest tour of the city!  My friend Kelley and I talked in a British accent the whole time!

Fun in the village

Oh yes...this happened!  In this village the ladies mentioned that they would like to learn English from us.  I thought that was a great opportunity to t each them a song and dance.  This is the result!!

Nile River

WOW!  The Nile River is so cool.  Not only is it the longest River in the world, it is also one of the only ones that flows from South to North (the South Platte River here in Colorado also flows this way!) The Nile, unlike the South Platte is full of hippos, crocodiles, monitor lizards, and monkeys!

You have to look very closely but there is a monitor lizard!



This banana tree has just been planted so there are not any bananas on it to eat so I decided to try out the leaf!
Uganda is right on the equator so it is very tropical and they grow a lot of fruits.  Watermelon, Jackfruit, Pineapple, Papaya, Mango, and my favorite...BANANAS can be found growing all over!

Kindergarten at Musana

It has been so great getting to know the teachers here at Musana.  I have been able to talk a lot with Domalie, the P1 teacher.  Her students are 5 and 6 so I have decided that is similar to my kindergarten class.  Interesting fact though...kids are not allowed to go into the next grade until they have passed all exams from the grade before.  So there could be kids who are 10 years old in P1.  Also, as soon as they pass all exams for that grade, they can move to the next grade even if the year is not over.  I was able to meet a wonderful Musana student who is 11 years old in P1.  He was found living alone on the streets a couple of years ago and had never been in school before.  We have been playing some learning games together in the evenings and he is doing great! 

A kindergarten end of term exam!

Kindergarten report cards!

Class posters!

I love this school anthem!  I want the same for my class.  We will sing and dance with joy together!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Drats again!

I have a few more posts ready to go to finish out my AMAZING time in Africa.  Unfortunately the videos are not uploading.  I will have someone help me troubleshoot this to see if I can get everything finished for your viewing enjoyment SOON!!


Musana school has a large room that they call the resting room.  It is part of the nusery school for 1-5 year olds.  We were tasked with creating centers in this room so that the children would have activities they could do in the room in the afternoons.  First we cleaned out and sorted what was alread in there (and disposed of mice, lizards, frogs, and ants that came climbing out of the buckets), the we arranged activties in centers that they kids could do on theri own with little or no instruction.  It was a huge hit!  Moments after we finished kids were trickling in to sit down and do an activity!

This is why I am here!

Wow!  I have been holding off blogging about our time with the teachers becasue I have really not had all of the words to say.  Over the course of the week, the teachers would arrive each day dressed in their Sunday best with the notebooks and pens ready to learn.  Each time something new was said that struck a cord with them, you would see their eyes light up and their smiles grow wider.  We spent lots of time working on kinesthetic learning as the auditory and visual are already part of their class environments.  They loved the activities and seemed very ready to be able to use them in their classrooms.  We had each teacher make cards for their classes (alphabet cards for the younger kids, definition cards for science and social studies, and math facts for the math teachers.)  We taught the teachers how to play matching games, memory (their favorite), and other games using their cards.  We also taught them about having the kids who finish their work early being able to have access to the cards to work on while their peers finish.  Another objective of ours is to get books into the classroom.  As a mostly oral culture, reading is not something that is seen as necessary.  We taught read alouds, comprehension with reading, and incorporating reading into a lesson.  One day we read a fiction and non fiction book about rockets.  Then we got to go participate in a lesson about rockets.  Finally we taught the writing process on how to write your own paragraph on what was learned.  WOW!  We also discussed the importance of movement and brain breaks in a lesson as well as learning how to play the game BINGO and the many uses for it.  I feel as though I am learning patience, humility, gratitude, professionalism, commitment, and respect through my new friends at Musana.  One day the headmaster was not able to be in on the trainings.  He sent this message to his staff through the head teacher Muza, "I apologize that I will not be in attendance today.  Please though represent me and this school as well as you can during your time with our visitors today."  Those teachers represent their school so well (and I later learned that most of them are under 25!)

Enjoying some time together after class!

We were learning about having book buckets in your classroom for books that the children can read.  When it rained, we used the book buckets to protect our hair!

Musana's head teacher, Muza!


Writing a non fiction paragraph about rockets.

Word wall and a graphic organizer for writing!
Introducing the concept of kinesthetic learning!


The many things you can do with note cards!

Alphabet BINGO!

Having fun with the paper that we punched the BINGO tokens out of!

Reviewing our day and setting the stage for the next day!

Musana Women's Projects


The Musana craft room is on the Musana property and women work there to make bags, aprons, etc. to sell to people coming to Musana.

The project employs 30 women to make necklaces.  Each woman makes 20 beads an hour.  Once the have a sufficient amont of beads they begin to make the necklaces.  I made 3 beads in an hour all of which they threw away laughing that they were no good!

Juistine wrote a business plan to create a shop for her village.  People can go to her to a variety of different food items or spices.

Alice wrote a business plan for a solar panel.  She uses it to operate power strips.  People in her village pay her to be able to charge their cell phones and other devices.

Florence wrote a business plan to have a brick business.  She now meks bricks that she sells for 100 shillings a piece.  She also loves to pose for pictures!
Not only does Musana help orphaned and neglected children; provide eggs, chicken seed, sweet cakes, and milk to their local area, educate over 400 local kids, and employ only Ugandans to run their operations...they also help women who want to be empowered to provide for their families.  Through the Musana women's projects, women learn a skill and are provided with the resources to be able to write a business plan to purchase the necessary items to profit from their skill.  Once approved, they recieve a micro loan and once that is paid off (with the money going to other local women), they are able to provide for themselves and their families as well as bettering their villages.  These women are amazing and such an imspiration!

I kissed a frog

We found a frog today.  Irene had so much fun chasing and catching it so that when she asked me to kiss it, I did!!


Monique, one of our group members, is a yoga instructor.  She taught the Boda drivers yoga at one of the villages!


Everything we have been eating in Uganda is very good!  The local bread is called chipatti and it is a flatbread like Naan.  The local cuisine is mostly vegetarian with lots of rice, potatoes, and curry dishes.  The chidren eat posho and beans everyday for lunch and dinner.Posho is a corn flour cooked with water to make a porridge type dish.  It has the consistency of mashed potatoes and it very similar to grits (Audrey- this is the same as the Mielei Pap we ate in South Africa!)  The locals eat their food with their hands (I tried it and it is harder than it looks!) There is also an abundance of fruit available for eating! A favorite meal for most was something called a Rolex.  It is an omelet (made from Musana eggs) rolled up in Chipatti like a burrito!