Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cleaning and Cows

            Today was my first day in Katosi after being sick, and I am so thrilled that it was.  One of the schools that we work with, Katosi Church of Uganda School, had “Keep Katosi Clean Day”.  The students made signs and marched through Katosi cleaning up trash.  Leslie organized most of it and it turned out wonderfully.  We had wheelbarrows, brooms, and hoes donated and the children cleaned for two hours.  I donated latex gloves for everyone and we even had an escort from the police station.  The program lasted from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. so it was quite a long day.  The school has had “Keep Katosi Clean Day” for the past three years but they said that this was definitely their best year so far.  Everything from the opening ceremony to the closing assembly went smoothly and I have to admit that I got a little teary eyed watching the kids.  They are really playing an active role in their community and it was wonderful to see.  In addition to the cleaning of the community, Leslie and I have been judging the students for the past month on sanitation.  Each class was judged on the cleanliness of their classroom, personal hygiene, and the compound area they are responsible for cleaning.  The third grade won so we presented them with a plaque and the entire class received a toothbrush, pencil, pencil sharpener and notebook.  They were so excited and I am glad that we could help encourage the kids to take an active role in sanitation both in their community and personally.  The school decided that next year they would have the sanitation competition again and pass on the plaque we made to the winner next year.  So even though we did not start the “Keep Katosi Clean Day,” we added the sanitation competition and the award in addition to organizing the program today which further legitimized the program in the minds of the community and the kids.  The sanitation club did a skit on good sanitation practices at the final assembly and ten students wrote poems on sanitation and read them at the assembly as well.  Needless to say it was an inspirational day and I am so glad I was able to participate.  Leslie and I have been judging for the past month so it was a great close to one of our projects.  I cannot believe that I only have 12 days left, but I look forward to finishing our garden, the bio sand water filters, and my sanitation guide.  This has really been a wonderful experience.

            And speaking of happy endings, Anna, our cow, finally had her calf today.  She gave birth early this morning to a beautiful female.  It was very exciting, but I feel bad for poor Anna because they put the calf in a separate pen.  They do this because if Anna feeds her calf she will not let anyone milk her.  They obviously want to milk her for revenue so the calf is about ten feet away in a separate pen, and Anna will not stop mooing.  She is so loud! I hope that the protective mother in Anna dies down a little in the next few days or I will be getting up at 5:30 a.m. every day when she starts her symphony.   I say symphony because she wakes up the rooster who wakes up the rest of the chickens as well as the people in the house that Anna did not wake up.  But it is the experience right? J Until next time.


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