With the grid now complete we were ready to start drawing. The murals we would draw would be educational so that the teachers could use them as a teaching aid for the students. The pupils don't have a lot of resources, they don't have lots of textbooks like we do in the UK and this is why it would be helpful to paint educational resources on the walls. The first mural we were to draw was a large world map. It was a very new experience...the paint was unlike anything I'd ever used before (for one thing it was incredibly runny!) and we didn't know how many coats it would take, how well it would mix, how quickly it would dry or how far it would go! We just had to play the whole thing by ear really.
The drawing out was quite a time consuming part of the project. James and I both took part in this stage which made it go a little bit faster! Although drawing is not a skill James uses often, he was very good at drawing the map because he has a great interest in world geography and with the grid layout acting as a clear guide, it was hard to go wrong! After a while we got a good system going - James drew out vague shapes where the land masses should roughly be, I followed behind him altering the shapes slightly to give a bit more detail and make them slightly more accurate, also giving them proper coastlines and then Cannu and Morning started on the colouring in of completed land masses. James marked the countries so that the boys would know what colours to paint them; we had 4 colours to work with (yellow, orange, purple and green) and we tried to make each country a different colour to it's neighbour. This was purely to make it easier to tell each separate country apart and we soon painted the border lines between each country black which gave further definition.
For those of us who were painting, the next stage after gathering the necessary tools was cleaning.
The surface had to be cleaned properly for the paint to look it's best. The walls, although from far away looked white, up close you could see that they were covered in orangey dust, dirty hand prints, pencil scribbles and all sorts of unidentifiable marks. The cleaning might not seem like a very important stage, It would be easy to think "Oh it's OK, once the bright colours of the mural are on the wall the dirt will be hidden." but this would not be a wise approach. If we didn't clean the walls first the paint would have gotten contaminated with dust and wouldn't be the pure cream colour we wanted. The finished mural wouldn't have had a smooth surface as the lumps of sticky stuff were raised and uneven and the pencil scribbles would have shone through the paler shades of the dry paint. I think often we can take this attitude in life - the idea that we don't have to deal with dirt, it can just be covered up!
There are a lot of different stages to building. I don't know that any particular stage is more important that the other; many of the stages seem to need the previous ones to happen before they can come into being. For example, you need bricks to make a wall, walls before you can plaster, plaster before painting etc. Each stage is different but important, and necessary for the completion of the building as a whole.
So when James and I arrived in Buwasunguyi you could see that St. Mark's school was right in the middle of a process. Some classrooms were plastered and white, some were bare brick and most were lacking windows. There were doors with big padlocks on every room but since the windows were simply holes in the wall you could easily climb in through them! The classrooms which we worked on had already been plastered where as the local men went to work on one of the bare brick rooms next door.
I have just arrived back from my first mission trip to Uganda, Africa. I don't know where to start...it was amazing! I will use this post to give a brief overview of the trip as a whole and then use the next couple of posts to look more specifically at the projects we were involved in.
On the 5th of October, James and myself joined two lovely people from Bolton and we flew out to Entebbe, Uganda together. We had met Carla before as she works for PFJ (the group through which the trip was organised) and she preached at our church earlier this year. We met Martin for the first time at the airport, he is a very nice guy with much knowledge - he's a builder/preacher/rubber expert....just try and find a topic he doesn't know about!
We left Carla's house in Bolton at 2.30am, headed to Manchester airport and after a change in Amsterdam then a quick stop in Rwanda we finally landed in Entebbe at about 11.20pm that night! From there we drove about an hour to Kampala where we stayed with Mama Sarah who looks after orphans at Blessed Hill.
Welcome to the blog...
Here you can keep track of current projects, find insight to the thoughts behind some of the work on display and hear about various upcoming events.