Following our informative if somewhat overwhelming meeting with the Education Authority we headed off to the Architects. The last time I communicated with them was in October to tell them that the 4 storey school would not work and to halt on all further work whilst I searched for land.
So here I was cap in hand.....and no land!! Help!!
So we sat....and we sat....and we brainstormed ideas of HOW we could design something that could work, and after 3 hours we basically stripped the design down to the bare facts.....we needed 9 classrooms and a toilet block. Out went the dormitories and the staff quarters, out went the library, the music room, the office, the store and the kitchen and what we were left with were 9 classrooms across 3 floors and some toilets. We discussed how we could successfully relocate some of what we were losing within the community area but for now the absolute basics that we needed were 9 classrooms and some toilets! There it was the distinctly no singing and dancing design in all its lack of exciting glory.......but.....as serious possibility and at this stage our ONLY option!!
So when it comes to the build of our school that is where we are so far! The plans have been submitted and now we wait.......for how long we don't know, like any planning anywhere there can never be a fixed time frame. For me this time round I am not setting a date to be in Uganda to build. I am going to sit patiently for an outcome and when i get the big fat approval...1. You will hear me shouting with joy and relief from the rooftops! 2. Then I will decided when building can commence!
All the other areas we have omitted we have now found solutions for so things I hope are on the up! We are not out of the woods yet....but we still have that dim candle of hope at the end of the tunnel and I am gonna cling on to that hope for dear life!
Doing any project in Uganda is tough......but my goodness when things do go well, that rewarding feeling is immeasurable! Whilst sometimes I am pulling my hair out at the challenges we have faced over the years and thinking how I could be having a cushy life of ease back in the UK without all this responsibility and expectation, I would never give this up!! Doing what I do in a developing country is one of the most challenging, rewarding, stressful, amazing, UNPAID jobs in the world...and I love it!