It seems like only yesterday that the blog was updated, but it has been almost a month but so much has happened, some good, some not so good.
Power disruptions have been horrific, but we have muddled through the darkness for night after night, sometimes playing some boardgames, sometimes discussing the future of the village or sometimes just discussing something wacky or even Dr. Who.
The whole school went home to their villages in Northern Uganda – Kitgum and Lamwo districts – a fortnight ago but this was part of the overarching plan, which was to check on and potentially harvest the sugar baby melon crop. We have planted now 50,000 melon seeds spread across both Western and Northern Uganda and we have watched them grow these past couple of months. One lot took a month to germinate, as there was not enough rain, another batch was attacked by fungus and others by insects. Another batch grew very well and then became a playground for squirrels – do squirrels eat melons?
Last Monday Charles (13) called me to say that his melons were ready for harvesting and the next phase of the plan was brought into being. Grace, the School Director in charge of welfare for the students, has been researching locations to sell the melons this month and she is now going to be working with Charles on logistics. More next time on this…
The other melons are going to be ready over the next four weeks from the reports, but the Chrysalis School members have also been devising a unique village tour, we are terming the KitLam Tour. Actually it’s just the boys, as Nancy is doing a tour of her own to Sudan this holiday and Mercy has deported herself to Bweyale hundreds of miles away to find some suitable land for the melons and so could not be included.
The KitLam tour is designed to raise the profile of our young students in their village, giving them a chance to deliver interesting and exciting activities in their home areas. They will be bringing cornflakes (their favourite!) to the village kids, painting, discussing the formation of a village Young Social Entrepreneurs club, even discussing poultry keeping. The whole programme is in the photo below.
Organising this has been a challenge. Firstly, I am now back in the UK, internet went off, money ran out, power has now been off for two days and today Peter and Morrish struggled to find any transport to get to Kitgum, where the tour would start! I am just hoping against hope that the first session, Namokora subcounty, goes at least a little professionally!
The only camera we have is up there, so it will be a little while before we post any pictures. However, we believe that this is the first village tour of its kind, so I hope the pictures will be precious, when they come. I’m still waiting for the first pictures of our melons….
Finally, our Chicken House has now been built and this week we will book and buy the chicks. We have been debating this week as to what surface the chicks should live on, as a cement base was not originally planned for. What do you think? Do we need to have a cement floor for the chicks?