I had an eventful weekend! On Saturday, I went to Sports Day at Gabi’s school. The events consisted of some dances, relay races, and other fun activities. Ritah and I even got to participate with Gabi for one of the events. It was so cute seeing all of the little kids competing and having such a great time. Sports Day was definitely one of my favorite activities that I have been able to participate in since I arrived in Uganda. Saturday afternoon I was invited to Joel’s house to meet his family. Joel, a 16-year-old boy in the village, has been friends with Roberta for years, and has stopped by a few times to check in on me and hear about Roberta. His mother speaks no English, so I did not stay long, but it was nice to be able to give her a hug and tell her how much Roberta and I appreciate Joel.
On Sunday, Daniella (my new roomie) and I went to Entebbe for church. She knew of a little chapel that holds a contemporary service, so I was happy to be singing the music that we often sing at my church in Chicago. After church, I went to the Uganda Wildlife Conservation and Education Centre for the “Behind the Scenes” tour of Entebbe zoo. There were some people from Indianapolis that were in my tour group, so it was great to have some things in common and meet more people. I got to meet some of the animals too! We got very close to the cheetahs and lions, but we got to feed the chimps, giraffes, and elephants. My favorite though was that we got to pet the rhinos. It was so cool to be so close to so many of these animals. The Centre said that they try to mimic the natural habitats of these animals, who all are native to Uganda, so it was a convenient way to do my own version of a safari.
Tomorrow, Mark and I will travel to Hoima. Wednesday, our plan is to visit a school, meet some guardians of the children in the Road to Hope program, and meet a child at his apprenticeship. On Thursday, I will visit two schools and meet with some local hospice workers to receive updates on how things are going. Mark will travel home Thursday, and I will stay on Friday for another home visit and then take the bus back to my village afterwards.
Needless to say, I am so excited to finally be in the environment where I can see these children in their school and home settings. I already know so much about each of them, that I cannot wait to actually see how the RTH program is at work in their lives. However, I am also nervous. I know their files are just a snapshot of their lives, so while I have some context going into this trip, I know that there will be nothing like seeing what their daily lives are like in person.
Upon return to PCAU, I hope to be able to write some stories about these children and be able to further understand how the RTH program truly works. I have seen little pieces of it here and there with meeting George and Aken (students in the program), but I have never been on a home visit, so I hope to be able to add some context to their stories and files after I meet them. If you are not already familiar with the amazing work of the RTH program, I encourage you to check it out before my next update!