Meet Tonny

My name is Tonny Wandera and I am from Uganda. I am a member of Mercy Scouts group which is a charity organisation too. The Mercy Scouts group is registered under the Uganda Scouts Association which is also a WOSM registered member.

I am a scout leader in Mercy scouts and 4th Mercy Scouts group which is another group that was formed in the slums situated a few kilometres from the capital Kampala. Both groups are community scout groups and we have a number of projects that we do to ensure that there is a change in the life of our young scouts as well as empowering and developing skills in them.

I started scouting when I was a young boy in primary school with breaks but in 2013 I became a full time scout when I joined Mercy Scouts. I learnt more about leadership skills after completing the Basic Training Course which prepared me to become an assistant scout leader. Most of my time is dedicated towards volunteering in Mercy Scouts International and helping people from our community. In my service at Mercy Scouts, I came to learn about a lot of new things including my awareness about KISC hence developing the desire to extend my volunteer services to the international community.

Questions and Answers

What’s been on your mind this week?

It’s a couple of mixed thoughts about my days here at KISC and home. Autumn season has come to an end and as Short Term Staff we get ready to leave so that another season starts with new Short Term Staff members. Lately, I have been thinking about my achievements at KISC and also what I need to do in order to leave a mark that at KISC.

How do you typically start your day at the centre?

The start of my day at KISC slightly depends on where I will be working that day. My day in catering starts at 6:30am when I wake and take a warm shower. I make sure that by 07:00am, I am in my pink T-shirt with looking clean and fresh ready to prepare breakfast at 07:15am. It takes us (catering team) 15 minutes to do breakfast setup and by 07:30, guests and all other staff members come for breakfast. It's always ready.

However, when working in house or grounds, my day starts a bit later when i wake up at 07:00am and am ready for breakfast by 07:30am. Each morning at exactly, 08:00am, we're all ready for the THOUGHT FOR THE DAY, this is when we get food for the soul and minds. Every thought presented during that time keeps us motivated through the entire day.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve found about living in Switzerland?

Among others, seasons. The change in seasons was so surprising to me. A few weeks ago, we had green pastures and colorful trees and suddenly started turning white and the whole area was covered in snow and coldness. The temperatures that drop to minus degrees also astonishes me.

I also realised that switzerland has its own time refered to as Swiss time. When you are on time

Cheese fondue or Schnitzel?

Cheese fondue. It's a memorable and traditional meal at KISC and Switzerland in particular. The rest of the meals are so delicious and irresistible but the cheese fondue has always a significant meaning.

Why should someone apply to be a Pinkie?

To have a lifetime experience here at the Permanent mini jamboree. Above any other points, living the dream of our founder Baden-Powell is the priority that any scout should consider. However, anyone should apply to be a pinkie if they want to make international friends, acquire leadership skills and becoming volunteer hence contributing towards world scouting. Once one becomes a pinkie, they get to learn more work skills in different fields like guest service, catering and also developing their own skills in fields like communication, maintenance and programme development.

House or Grounds?

It's hard to choose. I love working in both areas because am exposed to different experiences from these fields. When working in house, one deals more with guest services like check ins and checkouts, cleaning and doing laundry services. In grounds however, we focus on things outside the chalet. We do recycling, cleaning campsite, leading work parties and snow clearing along the paths. 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while working at KISC?

In catering, it was really hard for me to grasp the recipes and also gain confidence with what I was supposed to cook. It never lasted that long though because there is always someone ready to help and we follow the recipe instructions. What used to make things hard was preparing different kinds of food for specific dietery requirements. Now I feel completely happy that I have learnt from that challenge.

When was the last time you cooked and what did you make?

It was on 20th of November, we prepared pad thai with prawns for lunch and chicken curry for dinner. I made both standard options for that day. I can’t wait to cook again. This week, I will be in catering from 26th-28th. It's a nice way to wind up my season.

If you had one song to remind you of your time here at KISC, what would it be?

Among many songs, there is a song that my roomie and bestie made me like so much. It is a contagious song and all the 2019 Autumn shorties love it. It is our is a song by Nadav Guedj known as Golden boy.

What would you say to someone from Uganda who is thinking about applying to be a Pinkie?

I would tell them not to give it a second thought, but instead just go ahead and start applying straight away. To become a pinkie is a decision that no one can ever regret in life. For the period of three months that I have been a pinkie, I have made friends from all parts of the world and worked with different people. The experience is breathtaking and you will never get it anywhere else. It's only when you become a pinkie. You will be able to learn new scouting, catering and guest service skills. You 'll also enjoy the cool Alpine environment beautified with the huge rocky mountains and valleys. The locals are so welcoming and once one gets here, it feels like home at once.  

Complete the rest of this sentence: “KISC made me…”

KISC made me meet the world and now I feel the sense of international belonging in the big community of scouting.

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