Monday, July 12, 2010

Kampala Bombings

Link to Article:  New York Times
     I am not sure how many people have heard about the bombings in Kampala. Yes that is right, Kampala had bombings last night. I went out with a couple of friends to watch the world cup finals at a bar called Iguana. We had almost finished watching the game (we saw Spain score the winning goal) when all of the staff had told us that we had to leave for our own safety. I was terribly confused. I thought that the owner thought there would be unrest since the Netherlands lost (the entire bar was decorated in Orange and there was not one Spanish fan in the bar). They told us that we all had to leave out the exits and that we could not watch the last few minutes of the game. It wasn't until someone had said that there was a bomb that I understood why we all had to leave. I was so confused; a bomb in Kampala? How is that possible? Kampala is not a dangerous city at all. There are parts that I wouldn't walk through by myself at night time, but that is true of Toronto as well.
     My friends and I walked home last night after we were told to leave the bar. There was not much transport left to take us anywhere because everyone was taking transport home. Luckly we only had a short walk home. At that time we were informed that the bombings were just outside of Kampala so I was not worried about the bombings. Once we got home we were googling to try to find more information about the bombings. There were rumers flying around everywhere. One source said that there were bombings only outside of the city, another said that there were bombings inside the city, another said that only a few people were killed and the next told us that more than 60 people were killed. It was difficult to decide who to trust. I went to bed not knowing what was going on.
     When I woke up I went out to grab a paper and it seems as if the Daily Monitor was no where to be seen. I trust the Daily Monitor more than New Vision because the latter is owned by the government. I could only find New Vision and grabbed a copy to see if I could get any more information than the bits and parts that I knew. New Vision did not seem to be helpful. They claimed that approximatly 13 people have been confirmed dead. A simple google search of the New York Times or the Daily Monitor after reveled that 63 people have been killed in the attacks. I never trust New Vision. It seems that no one knows who organized the attacks although there has been suspicion that it was a terrorist group from Samalia. They are still investigating however.
     The city does not seem to be very disturbed today, the day after the attacks. There are no police swarming the streets. It seems as though the bombings may have been an isolated attack and I believe that we have seen the end of them. Everyone can rest assured that I am safe and I do not feel as if I am in danger in Kampala. The bombings were a bit of a fright the night that they happened and it was an unfortunate event. My thoughts go out to those who have been injured and the family members of the deceased.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Madame Jackie Pt 2

Hello everyone, or everyone who reads this. Yes I am still alive if
you were wondering. I know that I haven’t been posting much but it
seems that life has been very hectic lately. I have just come back
from Kenya and that was an amazing trip. I saw many different animals
on the safari that we took in the Masi Mara. It was a fun trip but I
won’t go into too many details about the trip. I am happy to be back
in Kampala working again.

This past few weeks I have been teaching at Sr. Miriam Duggan Primary
School. I know that I have posted briefly about this in my last post.
Teaching has been one of the most enjoyable things that I have been
doing here. I started off teaching English lessons but I have moved on
from that. I teach from the Primary 5 – Primary 7 grades because they
can all understand my English a lot more than the lower grades. This
past week I was teaching peace. I had a lesson plan which involved
getting the students to discuss the idea of what peace is, then I
moved onto peace symbols and at the end I had them create an outline
of their hands. This lesson was not the easiest that I have ever had
to do mainly because the students at the school are not used to
participating. The students usually sit in their desks and they only
speak when they are called on to produce an answer. This means that
they are not used to entering into a discussion. Trying to get the
students to speak felt like I was pulling teeth at some times. I
started with the Primary 4 class and I was disheartened. I felt like
they did not understand what it was that I was saying or maybe they
just didn’t want to pay attention to my lesson. The next class was
much more interactive and they gave me some hope. I learned later that
the Primary 4 class could not understand my accent. So we continued
with the lessons. The upper classes, Primary 5 and Primary 6, had more
to say on the subject of peace and I was happy to see the students
participating in the lessons.

This week Andrew, one of the American volunteers, and I are going to be
teaching about different diseases: TB and Malaria. So far it seems
like the students understand malaria and we seemed to underestimate
their knowledge. I have created the TB lesson and I hope that it is a
lesson where they will be able to learn something that they didn’t
know before. One thing that I tend to struggle with here is the
students who are advanced to later classes when they should have been
held back. In the Primary 6 class there are students who are very
smart and there are students who seem to be struggling with the
material. Most of the lessons are said verbally so the students who
don’t know the answer wait until the students who do know the answer,
answer the questions. I have also seen the report cards of some of
these students and it makes me wonder how they are advanced when they
would not have been allowed to do so back at home. It is a struggle to
be able to comprehend if everyone understands our lessons when there
is such a big class too! There are 80 in the Primary 6 class. Time is
running short. Wish me luck with teaching!