Just before midnight on Saturday night, after 16 hours travelling on three flights, we finally arrived in Entebbe Airport in Uganda. The initial excitement wore off for some us as we realised there were 6 bags lost in Amsterdam where we had made a connection earlier that day. We filled out the necessary forms and made our way out of Departures where officials from Fields of Life met us. They helped us with our 43 bags to our waiting bus and van. Our first night was spent in a guesthouse in Kampala.
On Sunday, our bus driver for the the first two weeks, Anthony (who we have nick-named 'Anto') brought us to a shopping centre to buy supplies and change money. Then we set out for Masaka.
Little did we know but the 580 students and 15 teachers of the Living Hope Primary School waited all afternoon for our arrival. We picked up Pastor Maria, the Director of the school, nearby and drove to it where we were met by swarms of singing and smiling children waving flags they had made which said amongst other things, "Uncle David and your team, you are welcome." The scene was overwhelming.
We were greeted with open arms by the teachers on getting out of the bus. We were then led to our seats where Pastor Maria and all the teachers conducted a ceremony which thanked us from the bottom of their hearts for the extension and our coming to run a Summer camp for the children.
It was then my turn to give a little speech. Given that I was completely unprepared, to say it was daunting is putting it mildly. I expressed our gratitude for the warm welcome we had received and expressed how the pleasure of being there was all ours. To make us feel at home, they put on a traditional Irish slap-up meal of chicken, peas, potatoes and gravy. They certainly did their homework. It was delicious and we're all still standing.
On Sunday night, we returned to the Hotel Zebra where we've now installed ourselves. It is a basic hotel with clean, comfortable rooms and food that's second to none.
The Summer camp has gone on without any major hitch over the past two days. All of the Ventures are taking to it like ducks to water. Some of the activites had to be adapted due to the level of English of some of the younger kids but otherwise it has run like clockwork thanks to Eoghan Cleary's work on the timetable and of course the months of preparation and training undertaken by the Ventures. Anyway, I'll let them fill you in on the rest.
At this stage parents should be receving my texts but if not, contact me. I'm available all the time on my Irish number. Alternatively, my Ugandan number is 00 256 784 597 351.