When we finally set off from Kampala to destination:Masaka on Sunday morning (after nearly a year of preparation), we had no idea of what was to come. After stopping quickly at the equator, we collected one of the teachers of living hope primary school to find out that the kids had been waiting since morning for our arrival.
The enthusiasm of the children as we pulled up the drive to the school was literally breathtaking - I had a laughing with excitement/ crying with amazment and happiness fit! It was the most amazing and unique experience I've ever had and will be extremely hard to beat!
They were clapping and singing a song they wrote for and about us while running with our bus. When we finally arrived to the school itself and it was time to get out of the bus and meet these incredible children, we were all overwhelmed with happiness to finally be meeting them and we were all overcome with happiness.
We each stepped out of the bus, greeted by hundreds of children, parents and teachers. The teachers hugged every one of us, as did some parents and children. A few children waved their signs saying 'welcome uncle David and your team', shook our hands and some grabbed on to some of our wrists while we walked into the school. I don't think any of us have ever experienced such love or kindness from people that didn't even know us.
They then made sure we were seated and comfortable and the teachers, head boy, head girl, principal and director - Pastor Maria all introduced themselves and gave us their welcomes. A group of the kids sang us a beautiful song which they'd written for us and then followed some traditional dance. After the welcomes, we were given beautiful food, all hand prepared and beautiful. They even made us some Mashed 'Irish Patato'!
In short, what I have noticed and learned already from our visit and working with these kids is how incredibly nice, warm, welcoming and enthusiastic these people are. It comes as a shock how much they truely appreciate our visit and all the activities we are doing with them. These are amazing people, happy to have everything they have (although it's not very much by any standards), enthusiastic all the time - even when it's getting ten year olds to sing ring a ring a rosie (try that in Ireland) and so grateful for all the small things that in Ireland, wouldn't even qualify a bat of the eyelash, i.e: The Excitement that throwing a few tennis balls or giving them balloons can bring.