Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Little bit of Music, Not so much Dance

Well I am finally in the middle of a typical work-week after the unexpected events of last week (which seems like ages ago). We had our usual Monday morning meeting with the entire staff, which was great and a guest speaker talked to us about mentorship, entrepreneurship and achieving goals. She was very interesting to listen to and is actually a partner at the largest female owned venture capital firms in the United States, which was pretty impressive.

That night we had a going away party for our out-going country director who has been with the organization since it began and was invaluable in establishing the relationships we have with schools, administrators and other officials and organizations in the country. All the mentors gave short (mostly) and very heartfelt goodbye speeches to her, interrupted occasionally by interludes of dancing (very amusing). It was a wonderful event to be a part of at this point of my time here because it really emphasized how meaningful the organization has been for so many people, the kind of family relationship that has developed between the employees and volunteers, as well as the unique and innovative, ever-evolving work that happens at Educate!

That set the stage perfectly for my Tuesday where I spent most of the morning researching for the Poverty Manual I've been tasked with writing (have I mentioned that on here yet?... I think I have, but it's a resource for the scholars to use in developing their community entrepreneurship projects), and in the afternoon I went to observe one of my mentor's classes. This was a really interesting class to observe because it is sort of a pilot program to see if this curriculum works in settings other than schools. It was at an orphanage which takes in street children and empowers them through music. They sang a lovely little song about Educate! before the class started (see first half of entry title!). Anyways, it was really chaotic at first, but eventually about twelve kids showed up for the class and they discussed "advocacy writing." Despite the multitude of distractions around them (kids playing trombones, little kids yelling to each other, "mzungus", i.e. white people coming over to say hi with no respect that there was a class going on) , they were really enthusiastic and interested in the material. Next week they'll be reading their advocacy papers outloud, so perhaps I'll try to be there for that!

In more disappointing news, and getting to the latter part of this title, me and a few friends were supposed to go see the Ugandan National Contemporary Ballet tonight at the National Theatre (already bought tickets and everything), but security issues are preventing us.. :(. There are just concerns going around that there may be more attacks especially because the African Union Summit is being hosted in Kampala this week. So anyways, I understand the reasoning, but it still sucks. Guess I'll just have to be on the look out for when they're performing next!

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