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    This visit to Uganda, was in collaboration with an NGO called 'The Walking School Bus' which is based in Vancouver, Canada. As a part of this tri… Read More
    This visit to Uganda, was in collaboration with an NGO called 'The Walking School Bus' which is based in Vancouver, Canada. As a part of this trip my role was to facilitate art workshops in three schools in Mbale Town, Uganda. The material generated as a part of these workshops will be used to construct a storybook around the lives of the people living their. This album of photo's captures a glimpse into their everyday lives, elements and the palette of the landscapes visited. Read Less
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Uganda
Mzungu! How are you?

Bricks, coffee beans, bright eyes and smiling white teeth. 

We had bumpy bus rides, on kaccha muddy roads throughout our stay here. Uganda, and Africa in general is blessed generously by Mother Nature. As soon as you leave the capital city of Kampala, and head towards the smaller villages there is an uninterrupted skyline only dotted with trees. The mud from the roads creates a spattered gradient along all the trees that are lining the side of the roads. Only the main highways are coated in cement or tar. The people are laid-back, relaxed but they have a hard life owing to the lack of basic facilities like electricity, water supply, public transport etc.

This visit to Uganda was possible due to 'The Walking School Bus'. My role was to facilitate art workshops, and use it as a medium to connect with students from three different schools located in Mbale, Uganda. The work done here is going to be complied into an on-going storybook project. These images capture moments along with patterns, the elements, the humour-in-daily-life and the smiles of the countless students who taught me.
They overcome their shyness quickly owing to their curiosity to explore anything new and unknown to them. 
They are quick learners, nimble with their fingers, bashful and bold at the same time.
It's a house, most of them in the villages of Uganda look like this. A wall, windows, a tin roof and a door to keep out the forces of nature and wildlife. 
 People opened their hearts, their houses and their doors to welcome us.
(Don't miss the intricately patterned bricks above the doors and windows)
Dinner, patiently waiting in a hardware shop, at the local Mbale market.
Christmas dinner? A gobble of turkeys behind a house.
A pile of bricks drying outside a house.
A paroxysm of smiles, A class of students, at school.
I couldn't take my eyes of this adorable kid. 
New friends I made on the way to the Hadassah Primary School in Nabgoye village. 
While I was lucky and had to walk much lesser than a mile...to reach the school...
...There are others who walk more than 5-10 miles to reach the school. 
They walk through forested land, crude roads and battle through different problems each day, just to reach school. 
The Hadassah Primary School has over 200 students. Most live as boarding students within the school premises. 
They were lucky enough to have basic classrooms, some with benches, a small library - storeroom, they taught local music, and offered midday meals to their students. 
Maslow's hierarchy takes on a whole new meaning here. 
On our way to the Semai Kakungalu School, we would pass by this Muslim school each day where I made two more friends. 
This little girl is taking a 'Gap Year'. 
Her family could not earn enough to pay her tuition fee's. If she is lucky, she might rejoin school the next year. 
The problem of plenty. Too many students, few schools, few classrooms, few teachers, few materials and fewer opportunities. 
All the pencils, colored pens and crayons (anything that you could write or draw with) disappeared during my workshop, they were nicked by the children.
But it was only so they could draw or write things while learning.
The Art Room is outdoors, wherever you find some space and shade.

Dining rooms are also outdoors in the village schools. 
With a Starbucks apron tied tightly around her waist, she is a local food vendor in Nabagoye. Armed with a tiny little stool, and two buckets of food, she walks up to the schools everyday to feed breakfast to more than a 100 children in Hadassah. On this particular day banana chips, fried bajji’s and slices of avocado was on the menu. Coincidentally we sat and worked under the same mango tree in the school, which made us colleagues.
We went to the local market to purchase new materials and art equipment before the next workshop.
This is a glimpse of the local market at Mbale Town.
A new day, a new class and a new school.
Q. What does 2 boys + 1 ladder + 1 tank = A bucket of water, for our painting workshop!
Colour, inking and patterns being taught at the Jonathan Netanyahu Memorial School in Putti Village.
The classroom allotted to me was outdoors with enough space, sunshine, some insects and no tables - messing around with inks, at Putti Village.
The basics of working with Poster Colours.
How would you read, write and create? Without pens, pencils or crayons!
We left all our extra stationary that included paints, pencils, crayons and more, back with the students at this school.
Artists, showcasing their artworks.
This time I was not a workshop facilitator… I was just the local sign-painter. 
 Enosh, the former Headmaster of the Jonathan Netanyahu Memorial School, outside the newly, semi-built chicken coop 
which was to be home to a 100 chickens that would soon be providing nutritional eggs for the students in the school. 
This chicken coop was built by 'The Walking School Bus'.
Sipi Falls, from a distance.
Sipi Falls, when they're not falling. 
A boat ride to the Murchison Falls. 
At our first game drive, in one of the biggest parks of Uganda: Murchison Falls. 
We met the African Elephant...

...the Ugandan Cobb.
White breasted vultures. 
And what are you looking at?
Meet the team and my friends. 
After spending a little less than a fortnight together walking, working and planning. 
We got muddy, panted up the hills, were bitten by mosquitoes, borrowed insect repellents & sunscreen, and enjoyed different sights. 
Eating beans and rice (most of the times), sharing bumpy bus rides, waving out to children on the way. And celebrated long days of work, over a drink.

Together we have spent 15 amazing days working together on each other’s projects. From setting up a chicken coop for a school, planting two small vegetables patches for them, running a reading program, doing a bus survey and taking up art workshops across all three schools that we visited and documenting all of it; these are just a few of the things we accomplished on this trip
Muzungu! How are you? This is how everyone greeted us, everywhere we went.