Monday morning we went to the County Water Office and got the list of schools in the county. We informed them we were coming to scout in two weeks. On the way out we ran into the drunkest man I had ever seen at 10AM. He introduced himself as the education administrator for one of the payams. We were all laughing as we loaded into the truck commenting on the ridiculous concept that this man is looking after the education of our future generations!! But really, It was not so funny.
The information from the education office was very interesting. The county is huge but there are only 6016 pupils enrolled in school (4407 boys and 1609 girls). That means a lot of kids are simply not going to school and a LOT of girls are missing their education. Before leaving for Juba we stopped by the commissioner’s office to say goodbye. He insisted that we stay for tea. He had three people who were waiting for meetings with him who also joined us. When I was commenting on the lack of female enrollment in school the lady who was with us told a story about her struggles trying to go to school and how she had to sneak. They would not even put her on the roll, even though she was the top of her class. She is now a government leader in Juba. Before leaving I admired an ivory bracelet that the village chief was wearing and the commissioner took it of the chief’s wrist and gave it to me. I felt really bad taking the chief’s bracelet but the commissioner was insisting. I am going to try to give it back to him when I come back. But they are very common here so maybe the commissioner is going to give him another one in the meantime.
Finally back to Gulu Uganda. First order of business was to wash my hair and get some clean clothes. I basically gave the guys the day off and took some time to get myself organized, charge all of the batteries, return emails and do paperwork.