Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Are Muzungus Necessary?

Along with the other UVP team in Kasambika 1, we went to visit Kasambika Primary School today to conduct some surveys with a group of students as part of our hand-washing program. As we arrived, I saw some familiar faces that play soccer outside our house. As I said Jambo (Hi) to them, they smiled out of embarrassment and ran off with their friends. We met the teachers and all of the students under a giant tree in the school yard. They even sang and danced for us! Afterwards, we began the survey with the students. The Ugandans from each team led the survey and walked around the group of students to ensure they understood the question and they answered in the right place. After trying out the first 3 questions, it was clear that most of the students were confused. It is at a time like this that I reflect on having international students on the team. With none of us able to speak Lusoga, we could only sit and watch as our Ugandan peers toiled with the survey. The combination of poorly worded questions and an inability to read resulted in our teams staying at the school for 2 hours rather than 1. Once we finished the survey, we said our thanks to the teachers and the students and headed home. Hopefully our visit to the school next week won’t be so disastrous. On our way back, we were followed by a convoy of students and even walked all the way back with some of our football kids. I’m slowly learning Lusoga from some of them!