Although we were all up early (as usual), today was a fairly quiet day. Most of the team went back over to NVI after breakfast to carry on with some of the painting in the business classroom and to paint the floor in Yunusu’s workshop. Some of the team went over to the local hospital to give some donations of blankets and clothes to the maternity unit. In the afternoon, quite a few of the team took boda bodas (little mototbike taxis) into Jinja to do some shopping.
What a wonderful day today was. After breakfast we all went over to NVI in our Sunday best, for their church service. As we pulled up, we could hear some beautiful singing coming from the hall, which we followed. Walking in was a very moving moment! There was a group of students on the stage singing ... and a sea of students in the congregation. Some were standing, some sitting, some singing and some dancing, but all were praising and it was just wonderful to see and be a part of. We all loved joining in with the songs and prayers and watching the skit performed by the students. Edison invited us all on to stage to introduce us and we all introduced ourselves. It was lovely to see all the students smiling back at us, but quite emotional and a little overwhelming. After the service, the UGA students, old and new, were asked to stay behind. This was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, find out how the students were getting on and welcome the new students who were there.
Gill: I was so thrilled to meet Anita (one of our students) at the entrance to NVI chapel on Sunday. She had taken on the role of usher and ... (someone the other students can go to if they feel unwell). I later had the opportunity to meet and talk with her and Lukiah – our other student. Lukiah had not reported for year 2 of her textile course and following a conversation with Joseph (one of the staff), we found out she could not return to NVI because she could not afford to pay for transport! So, we quickly sorted that and were so blessed to see her return. Amazing that just £20 (a lot for Ugandans) enabled her to return to college and undertake her second year.
After leaving NVI, we had a quick change back at the hotel before going for lunch and then heading over to the Nile Park. Arriving at the park, we were soon followed by hundreds of UGA students from NVI. We set up some activities, split the students into groups and had the BEST afternoon. The students and UGA team all had so much fun! We played ‘domes and dishes’, a very competitive team game where you have to turn cones over to make a dome or dish shape. We also played ‘Duck Duck Goose’, which we renamed ‘Chicken Chicken Goat’, some parachute games, an egg and spoon race, some team ball races and the pairs races which included a three legged race, piggy back race and wheel barrow race. What I think struck many of us when we looked around was the faces of both the students and UGA team. There was not one person who didn’t have a huge smile and all you could hear was cheering and laughing. The games were followed by cake, soft drinks and ice cream (not an easy thing to transport in the Ugandan heat!) This gave the students and team time to talk, mingle and catch up with one another. It was a really wonderful day and we all came back tired, dusty and very happy!