Today was restful, with all of our students spending time with their hosts as their home stays near their ends. Unfortunately that meant we were not able to gather to celebrate Christina’s birthday so we’ll have to make that up to her tomorrow.
On a beautiful, sunny day yesterday we packed into two vans, along with the 14 Bishop’s school prefects and a handful of their teachers. After about two hours but only 30 km of bumpy dirt roads we decended into the Great Rift Valley and about half an hour later, the green hills suddenly gave way to open grassland as we entered Queen Elisabeth National Park. We spied some local wildlife along the way, but our objective on that day was a visit to a fishing village within the park, on the shore of Lake Edward, which provided both Groton and Bishop’s students with a glimpse of a very different, struggling community. Despite the obvious poverty in the place, we were surrounded by as many smiling, friendly children as ever.
Bishop’s Headmaster Kham had arranged this joint outing, which included a talk from a veteral fisherman on the beach, lunch in the town meeting hall and a traditional dance performance by a troupe of local children.
One of the two vans was lucky enough to catch sight of two elephants as we headed back out of the park for the ride home, which turned out to be just about as long and bumpy as the ride there. When it comes to impact on roads, New England frost heaves are no match for a Ugandan rainy season!
Tomorrow morning our students will gather at school, marking the end of their home stays, and we will head out with them and their student hosts for another day trip. Details on that after the fact.