Today was the last day of teaching in the Acholi and it was very emotional to say the least. As we arrived, the children seemed to be more excited than usual as they ran up to the team and held our hands when we got off the bus.
Both of the teaching groups taught maths and English until the porridge break. After the break, the children from both teaching groups performed songs and dances for us. They sang songs about their hopes and dreams for the future.
One of the songs that was performed for us said ‘we are ill and we request you to support our education, can’t you see how I am clever, we are struggling for a better life’. This brought tears to many of our eyes – Eve and Katie were the first ones to cry. The song made us acknowledge just how desperate the children are to get into mainstream school and to receive sponsorships to carry on all the way through primary and secondary school. For many of us it made us realise how lucky we are to be able to attend school and college for free.
After the children had finished their songs and dances, the teachers, translators, and women of the community played African drums and traditional instruments whilst dancing and shaking their hips and bums. All of the AfriDACA team joined in and the ladies taught us how to dance like them. Everyone dancing together in the church was a heart-warming experience. To see all the ladies and children smiling, laughing and dancing with us ‘mzungus’ made us feel welcomed in the community, and allowed the team to see the difference we have made to the children’s lives in such a short period of time.
When the performances had finished it was time to say goodbyes to the children. The majority of the group were brought to tears as the kids told us how much they wanted us to stay with them and told us their dream careers.
The afternoon lessons were cut short and the children and ladies performed for us again. Leaving the second group in the afternoon was just as upsetting as the morning group and the team were brought to tears again.
On our journey back to the bus the children from the Acholi community chased us all and waved at us as we drove down the road. This experience was distressing for everyone – even Lewis cried.
In the evening we went for a meal with the ladies from the community, they were great company and the food was amazing.
After a busy week teaching we are all now looking forward to a relaxed weekend in Mityana camping at the tea plantation
Note from Helen: there is no internet where we are in Mityana, so I’ll be posting lots of blogs on Tuesday when we get back.