Wednesday 07 April 2010 - Marion Stagg
This was my first day to run the art class at Bukeka School. Having already enjoyed teaching painting at Kavule where the children produced wonderful works of art, I was looking forward to offering the same to these youngsters who had never experienced the medium of poster paint. I had prepared a laminated instruction card so that the teacher helping me could explain what subjects to choose from to paint a picture. In reality they could paint any subject they liked but it was helpful to give some ideas to get their minds working. The children in both schools turned out to be very artistic and it was interesting to see that everyday subjects such as chickens, jerry cans, table, chairs, people, trees, houses etc were colourfully painted with the fat brushes I had brought. However, there was a tendency for everyone to copy exactly something that was offered just as an example! They were very well behaved and shared the paper plates of paint with no problems. Each plate had two brushes which had to be kept with that colour, just changing brushes to use another colour and on the whole this worked well. As each picture was completed I decorated the walls of the classroom by using blue masking tape at the corners to display the paintings. Everything was going so well that I decided to give them another challenge by showing how we make folded paper paint patterns. (At Kavule our second project was to cover their hands with paint to make colourful hand print designs.) I had to repeat the procedure several times as each new class came in to enjoy the experience. Although the weather was very hot and I found it quite tiring I was really pleased that everything had worked out as I had planned and I found it was a very rewarding activity. At Kavule I had no problem with finding water to wash out the brushes as the water-harvesting tank was always full. (It is the rainy season here at the moment and the water is channelled off the rooves of the dormitories and chicken house.) Here in Bukeka the water has to be fetched from a water hole half a mile away. This job is given to the older school children who take the five gallon yellow plastic containers to fill with water, carrying them back to school on their heads, winding their way through the countryside on narrow tracks. So, the teacher Christine helped me to wash the brushes out in a paper plate filled with a dribble of water! Unfortunately, we are having trouble attaching pictures to our email reports but when we get back home look out for the photos that will give such a better idea of our time in Uganda.