Posted: 25 July, 2019

East African Playgrounds – Report by Phoebe Codrington (class of 2016)

Achievements, Alumnae, General, News

Following her visit to Putney to deliver a fascinating PIE talk last term, Phoebe Codrington, travelled to Uganda to continue her work with the charity, East African Playgrounds (for which Putney fundraised).

Here’s her report:

I came home yesterday after an incredibly long journey but it was so worth it! The trip was spectacular! I met some wonderful people both from Britain and from Uganda. The most rewarding aspect of the trip was definitely building the playground.

We had a week in our school where we dug, cemented, painted and sanded all different elements of the playground. We had ‘Creative Play’ in the afternoons where we were able to spend time with the children; this was so rewarding and so much fun as we could see how their teaching methods are both similar and different to ours. Being able to spend time with the children was wonderful as we were able to experience first-hand how they perceive us, as well as better understand their way of life.

 

During the second week we began our trek around some of Uganda’s most beautiful lakes and mountains. At times it was hard to push on through the heat and exhaustion, as well as difficult terrain and poor weather, but it was incredible to see more of rural Uganda and its people. The final day was the highlight of the trek as we saw the last remaining silverback gorillas in the jungle – at one point, the silverback which my group had been tracking, stood up on his hands and feet, climbed a small tree and completely tore it down, it was quite scary but thrilling too!

Last Tuesday, we had our Open Day with the other group who had worked on our playground the following week; this was a wonderful day as we were able to celebrate our achievements with the school and local community. The school showed their thanks by performing songs, poems and dances in their classes. It was lovely and in return we showed them some of our British culture by doing a ceilidh for them – there were 9 Scottish members in our group so they led the way there!

I wish I could put all that I have done and seen in the last month into an email to show you what a marvellous time I have had, but alas it wouldn’t do it justice.

Thank you once again to all those at Putney who helped me fundraise, it really really means a lot to me and to EAP.

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