Updates from Uganda

Our friend and colleague Ann Rich from the Mother Ann Foundation has been in Uganda for some weeks now. She has been busy working on her own nursery school project, but has also kindly kept us up to date on the work of our educational consultancy.

The consultancy has been doing many orders of school books and teaching materials for schools across Uganda. Ann performed an independent evaluation of the quality of the materials and the results have been outstanding. The consultancy is being widely acknowledged and it is gaining a great reputation in the field. We are delighted that this branch of work has gotten off to a great start and we hope to continue on such track.

Ann has also been busy decorating the classroom for her nursery kids where music lessons are currently also being held. Below you can see the charts, posters and fresh paint being used for decorating the room. For more details on her work, please visit https://motherann.org.uk/

 

 

 

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Happy Holidays

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It is the end of the school year in Uganda, and so all of our wonderful students have graduated and are off on a long Christmas holidays break. They will return in January when the new school year starts. We hope that they all have a wonderful and refreshing break, and thank them for studying with us this school year!

 

Nursery and Music School in Kampala

The politics in Europe are heating up, but we shouldn’t lose perspective – at least we still have a stable social security and somewhat sensible way of dealing with things. In Uganda, they had their General Election earlier this year – there were riots afterwards and hundreds of people died. It was only once the US sent their troop to the country that the situation calmed down. Business suffered, locals suffered, there was much unrest.

And this was because the same President took over power again and the election wasn’t deemed democratic. No matter what people in Europe are saying now, at least our voices are heard and taken seriously.

Now the situation in Uganda and in Kampala more specifically has calmed down. Our music school is offering lessons as normal on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays. The Mother Ann Nursery School takes place from Monday to Friday. In addition to this, the standard consultation services are running normally (teacher training, research, secretarial services, book services for schools and exam services for schools).

Thank you to everyone who has supported us during the past few turbulent months – and here is to continuing the great work!

 

 

Solution for Extremely Dry Hands and Feet

I think that I have finally found a solution to my extremely dry hands and feet. I’m one of those people who get very dry skin, in particular in the winter. In the summer, it’s not so bad – but now with a young child and pets around, I find myself washing my hands all the time and this in turn dries up my hands.

Over the years, I have tried so many different hand creams and only a couple have actually worked. In particular when living in Finland, with the dry climate and cold winters, I used to get horrible itchy and dry skin.

Now – finally!- I seem to have found a cream that works! It is actually a foot cream for very dry feet, but I was told that it can also be used for dry hands. So I had to try it out… and it works!

The key point is that a persistent dry skin problem requires more than moisturising – and that’s what this cream does; it works on the underlying cause. The cream is based on wisdom derived from the rainforest region in Central America. It features crushed allspice berry, which has traditionally been used by the indigenous people of Central America to relieve persistent dry, cracked, red skin on heels, toes and sides of the feet. The berry contains enzymes that help to restore healthy skin.

I can personally say that the power of the plant is certainly found in this cream – after applying it 3-4 times a day (just a tiny portion at a time) for a week, the skin on my hands isn’t dry and itchy any more. Now it’s summer time and the air isn’t as dry – so it’s yet to be seen how it works on my skin in the winter. But I am hopeful!

It’s great value for money as well – the tube is big in size and you only need to use a tiny amount each time for your hands and feet so it should last several weeks. And what’s more – a percentage of the sales will be donated to Malawi, one of the poorest nations on earth.

 

 

New Main Teacher at Kampala School

Our new Main Teacher Jonan is busy with students at the Kampala music school. He has done a wonderful job taking over from our previous Main Teacher Frank who was involved in a horrendous traffic accident and caught tetanus while in hospital. The fight with the disease was too much for him and he passed away just before Easter. He helped us with many wonderful ideas and excellent teaching during the first months of the school’s existence. He is missed by us all. At the same time we are lucky to have Jonan with us and wish him a warm welcome.

 

Natural Nectar for Beautiful Hair

No doubt most of us want to have beautiful, shiny and healthy-looking hair. It feels good when our scalps are in good condition and when our hair is knot-free and smooth. However, there are so many hair products out there that sometimes it is difficult to know which ones to choose. In particular since we all have slightly different types and textures of hair that vary in their degrees of roughness and tickness.

For centuries, natural products have been used in caring for our hair, in particular in more traditional cultures who live close to nature. In Polynesia, locals have used the extract from the bulb-like flower cluster of the ava puhi plant for thorough cleansing and conditioning of their hair.Being curious about the product, we tried it out on light-brown European hair, black African hair and mixed-race (half European, half African) hair. We can say that all types of hair were better hydrated, incredibly smooth and healthy-looking after just one wash. Ever since then we have all been advocates of this light shampoo and conditioner seen in the picture below. Please note the products isn’t sold in shops but can be ordered from me, and also that the prices are different in the UK market.

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The Power of Plants for Your Baby

Any new parent wants the best possible life for their child. The first few years of our lives build the foundation for the years to follow. Similar to emotional development and physical strength, these early years can build the foundations to good health, starting from good nutrition, adequate sleep and good quality baby products.

The baby product industry has grown significantly over the past decade, primarily because the importance of good quality and toxin-free products has been highlighted. Organic baby products have become very popular and parents or carers are more aware of what products they should or shouldn’t apply on their child’s skin and hair, in particular since their skin and hair are still very delicate. But how do you choose the best product for your child?

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As a mother of a three-year-old mixed-race boy, I have tried out a lot of the products out there. For delicate skin and for a curly hair, it has been difficult to find suitable products. Some of them suit his skin but not his hair, or vice versa. Because of this, we had to buy separate shampoo and body wash for him, until I discovered an amazing combo that leaves his skin very smooth and his hair soft and clean. This shampoo-body wash is made of the hibiscus flower extract. The product is based on ancient wisdom, as parents in ingenious cultures have long used special flowers and plants to cleanse their babies. This amazing shampoo-body wash is based on an ancient recipe from Southeast Asia and Central America. And it really works – it helps to moisturise and maintain a healthy scalp while cleansing the skin and hair.

Moreover, the wash has been tested on extremely sensitive and eczema prone skin, and it has proven to do wonders for such problematic skin. Personally I have very dry skin in the winter, but with the help of this wash, my skin has been much better hydrated this winter.

If you would like to try this product out, do get in touch! It is not sold in the shops but we have access to the whole sellers and will be glad to help you.

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Also, from every bottle of oil sold, we donate 10 percent to the Nourish the Children Foundation in Malawi that provides food and basic education to children and their families in Malawi. So, while helping your child (an perhaps yourself) feel great, you also help children in Malawi lead better lives.

Drop us a line at Tiija.Rinta@gmail.com if you would like to order a bottle or two. From personal experience, we can say that one bottle lasts you for at least two months in daily use so it’s definitely value for money!

Music to Kick off the New Year

Here is a beautiful and inspiring piece of music by an up and coming artist – his voice touches you deep down and the lyrics speak in volumes. You will no doubt hear his music in this New Year, as he begins his new musical journey:

https://soundcloud.com/dilatedacademy/black-soul?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=twitter

THE NEXT STEP (6)

‘Well, I spent a little bit of time in Morocco after visiting my family in Nigeria’, Sheila said with a thick American accent and rolled the coin in her palm. ‘I was just curious to see the place since my family are Muslim and we are marginalized in most of Nigeria, yet in Morocco we should be able to be more free. But I am not sure…. The country is so traditional.’
She looked deep into Ted’s eyes. ‘Anyway, what’s it to you. You look like the kind of guy who probably doesn’t care much about politics.’ She laughed a little and put the coin in her pocket. ‘Or are you from England? You seem to have a fancy British accent.’ She laughed some more and shook her head so that her thick black hair waved from one side to the other.
‘Oh, hmm, I am from Africa actually, and I do care about politics. But I moved to Switzerland when I was young and then to the UK. So I guess I am both European and African’, he explained and smiled at her. She had a warmth to her that made him want to touch her hand, but he restrained himself.
‘That’s awesome’, Sheila said and looked around at the people walking past. ‘Similar story as mine, except for me it is Nigeria, Austria and then America.‘ She kneeled down next to Ted and offered her hand to him. ‘My name is Sheila, by the way. And yours?’
‘I am Ted’, Ted said as he shook her hand. The warm feeling seemed to intensify with the hand shake. Why was he drawn to a woman who was so much older than him?
‘Are you on your way to the US?‘ he asked, to get his mind of the warm feeling.
‘Nah’, she said and stood up again. ‘ I am going to Malaysia, to visit a friend who runs some training programmes for locals there, in the rural part of the country. I am just… sort of traveling a round for a bit before heading back to San Francisco. I need some time…. just for myself, I guess.‘ She looked baffled and started tracing the line of her turquoise skirt. Ted noticed that she wore a crystal ring on each finger on both hands, bangles clicking away to the movement of the hands, and dangly earrings. And even a nose piercing, and was that an actual dread lock? This woman is intriguing, Ted thought.
‘Same for me, I suppose’, Ted said. ‘I am going to Taiwan to stay at a Buddhist monastery for a while, to help them over there to teach English to the monks and local kids. I needed this trip for myself, to have time and space for myself, whilst doing something worthwhile.’ He also started feeling unusually nervous and reached out to his shoe laces to untie and tie them again.
Sheila looked him deeply in the eyes again. ‘So we are on the same boat…’ She smiled. ‘What is making you do this, if I may ask?’
Ted hesitated for a moment. What was in fact making him do this? It wasn’t just his family, though getting away from them was one reason. It wasn’t just his girlfriend who wanted to get married and start a family. It wasn’t just the pressure that he felt to be somebody in the Western society. Nor was it the lack of will to study to become that somebody.
He shrugged. ‘Many different factors I suppose. Ranging from more personal to simply wanting to experience living in a different culture.’
Sheila nodded knowingly. ‘I guess that we are on the same boat on that one too.’ She laughed. Her laugher seemed to echo through the airport hall.
‘Oh I need to run’ she shrieked. ‘My flight is taking off soon. You take care and enjoy your time in Asia. Hope you will find yourself’. She laughed and waved as she ran past the golden Buddha statues that seemed to be transmitting tranquility to the hall.
‘Bye’, Ted shouted after her and realized that the silver coin had dropped from her pocket and was lying in front of him. And then he realized that he had not asked for her email address. Oh you idiot, he cursed himself, just before falling into a peaceful doze and being suddenly woken up by an air hostess who advised him to board his plane as otherwise he could miss his flight all together.

THE NEXT STEP (5)

The humidity hit him in the face as he stepped out of the aircraft. Ted felt sweat starting to tickle his neck. Oh boy, it was true what they said about it being much more humid in Asia than in Europe, he thought as he walked across the airport lounge. The heat in Africa that he had experience was nothing compared to this. Somehow humidity made all the difference. The twelve hour long flight from London to Hong Kong did not help his energy levels either. He could feel how his skin and hair were dry and he was desperate for some water.
Ted stopped at the restroom before proceeding to the gate for his connecting flight to Taipei. Splashing his face with cool water and drinking some from the water fountain next to the restroom made him feel more alive. In any case this is part of the experience, he mumbled to himself as he looked for the correct gate number.

The Hong Kong airport was a very busy place. So many people had their stop-over flights here, on their way somewhere else. Ted sat down on the ground by his gate and watched people walking by. Swirls and swirls of people.
Ted was staring at the floor when he noticed a silver coin rolling towards him. He picked it up; it was a silver coin from Morocco. As he was staring at it, he felt a shadow above him.
‘Hey, that’s my coin. Thanks for picking it up’, Ted heard a female voice say and then saw a light brown hand reach out for the coin.
Ted looked up. The woman talking seemed to be in her thirties, perhaps early fourties. She had a wide smile with white pearly teeth, her black hair making a frame around her pretty face. She was dressed in a clourful floaty dress that framed her beautifully.
‘Oh, okay, there you go then’, Ted mumbled and handed the coin to the woman. ‘You are coming from Morocco?’ He asked and blushed. Why was he acting so weird? Why did this woman make him feel that he should be saying something to her? Why did she make him feel as if she could see right through him?