Hello to all the pupils at West Meon Primary School and Mahyoro Primary School. My name is Mr Stanley and together with my colleague, Mrs Green, we visited Mahyoro Primary School early in August.
I’d visited Mahyoro once before two years ago and remembered what a beautiful drive it was. My memory was absolutely correct as we passed some amazing crater lakes and fields and hills covered with crops. Another added bonus was that just about the entire road through Katerara and on to Mahyoro had been resurfaced, which helped our progress no end.
We arrived at the school to a great deal of excitement and with many visitors present. Aside from the headteacher, Ronnie (the Twinning Project coordinator) and all of the teaching staff, there was also the local Catholic priest, the local Anglican priest and the head of the school management committee (what we would call the Chair of Governors). We sat down to a proper Ugandan style assembly with lots of speeches, singing and dancing. I was particularly impressed with P3’s singing and dancing. Mrs Green and I both had to give speeches which went down well with the children. The children of Mahyoro had also written letters to their counterparts at West Meon Primary and these were handed over to me with great ceremony.
After the assembly we were taken to see an exhibition game of tag rugby. Some of the teachers had recently attended a tag rugby training course and there had been a marked improvement in the standard of the children’s skills. The teachers were very pleased when I complimented them on how they had implemented their training. From there we went to lunch where tilapia was served along with rice and matoke. You won’t ever hear Mrs Green or I complaining about having to eat tilapia.
Ronnie took us on a tour of the school after lunch. He showed us the crops that they grow which are then sold to raise money for school equipment. They are particularly successful in growing maize and bananas. For crops that are more difficult to grow such as coffee(due to a lack of rain) they plant another plant next to it which retains water helping the coffee plant to grow. He also showed Mrs Green the composting toilets they have before we came across a group of girls playing a game. It involves three girls and the idea is for the two girls on the outside to throw and hit the girl in the middle with a ball made from rags. The girl in the middle has to make a tower out of four bricks as many times as she can without being hit. I was allowed to join in and was much more effective on the outside than in the middle. The children were highly amused every time I was hit.
Eventually, it was time to go and we said a sad farewell. I will also have a soft spot for Mahyoro as it is in such a beautiful location. I can’t wait to return again some day soon.