At break there was no porridge. I didn’t want my daughter Shamim to go hungry, so I went to the canteen and held out 500₴, and told the lady I wanted as many mandozas as I could buy for that much. Turns out, 5 (500₴ is about 20-25c). I went to give them to Shamim, and then started to go because I didn’t want to stand over her while she ate. But the second I moved away a huge hoard of hungry children crowded around her, ready to mob her. She looked like a scared rabbit, clutching her food to her and trying to eat it without having it snatched away from her. So I moved back and glared at the other children (over 30 of them) and they backed off. I told them all off, saying that I could give her extra food if I liked because she was my daughter and their Mamas and Jajas could give them all extra food when they liked. The children all agreed, but didn’t move away. They all stood in a huge semi-circle around us. I felt like I was a body-guard to a rock-star.
Soon even my presence wasn’t discouraging them, and more children were coming, so I brought Shamim with me to the library, so she could eat in peace.
After break I went to P2. The teacher Lydia asked me if I was teaching. I said that I wasn’t aware that I was, but I was happy to. She asked if I could, as teacher Dennis was sick. So I taught mathematics (division by 6). The lesson went well, which is good!
We went to have lunch in the library, and were sitting down to eat our lunch when the word spread: “There’s a mzungu here! What’s she here for?” A grumpy, middle-aged mzungu lady came out and marched into the library.
“Where’s Jen?”she asked.
“Gone to town.”
“Why isn’t she here?”
“Because she’s gone to town.”
That made the lady even grumpier. She told us her name and that she was from the library association, as though that was likely to produce Jen. She then told us that she had expected Jen to be here. She refused to look either Esther or me in the eye, which made me think that she was used to all the Ugandans being subservient to her, and having two other mzungus around was rather throwing a spanner in the works.
“Are you two part of all this Christian stuff, or for the library?” she asked us, looking at the table.
“We’re part of the Bushikori Christian Centre Support Committee,” Esther replied, obviously trying to keep her temper. I was tempted to say something snarky.
She marched out, and as she did, she asked another Ugandan, “Do you normally eat in the library?” Esther replied that it was because we were here and the staff didn’t want us mobbed by the children. She didn’t reply, but marched out to her car – an extremely expensive range rover. I ran over to the windows to see this car (Esther’s house is worth less!) and she glared at me. So I waved. Dan and Linus thought I was hilarious, but they were both very put off by Ms KB, and both said that she talked like she was a superior officer in the military.
Incidentally, she was over an hour late for her appointment, so Jen assumed she wasn’t coming, and that’s why she went to town!