AfriDACA Friday

Helen here, team leader, writing the blog at the end of a very successful week in Acholi Quarters. The team are all fine, but tired and emotional having had to say goodbye to the children that they have worked with all week, and through whom they’ve had perspectives on life turned upside down!

It’s been a tough day – the last day always is, but they’ve coped so well, and had lots of hugs and smiles amidst the tears for the children. With both the morning and afternoon groups we did some fun but educational lessons to start, then joined together after break for a chaotic hour of relay races, parachute, singing and dancing.

None of us are desperate to hear ‘Bungalow’ again for a while, but Fidelis has been an absolute trooper in teaching it, and then putting up with the regular requests from the children for him to lead it again, and again, and again! Goodbyes are always bittersweet, and today was no different – there is a lot for us all to process.

Now its out for a meal to celebrate the end of the week. Six of the Acholi ladies are coming with us, so it’s a chance to treat them as well. Hence I’m writing the blog partly as everyone is too drained to write, and partly cos most of them are busy getting glammed up!!

Tomorrow is a gentler day which they are all ready for, and not a sandwich in sight for lunch! You’ll hear more about what the day contains in tomorrow’s blog. Then Sunday we are up to Mityana for a couple of rural days before time for home – advance warning, internet is sporadic where we stay upcountry so there might not be a blog Sunday – I’ll do what I can though.

Each one of you should be so incredibly proud of your young person out here – they have each been willing to step out of their comfort zone at various points and in various ways to give the children the best week that they could within the constraints of location, resources and weather conditions. They have all been superstars, and I’ve so loved leading this week, and seeing each of them grow and develop as they dig deep and find inner qualities that have maybe not had the opportunity to shine before. They have supported each other, laughed together, cried together, stood in for each other, and stood by each other – really brilliant!

Thank you, for giving me this chance to introduce your young person to my favourite African country, and my favourite project in this country. Have a good weekend, Helen 🙂

16 Comments:

  1. Amazing, I feel like I’m filling up reading this. It’s so difficult to say goodbye, bonds and friendships have been made throughout the week and I imagine it’s so tough to have to walk away. You can take heart in that you have given each other memories that will last a lifetime and left indelible prints on the hearts of the children whom you made so happy in your time there.

    I’d like to say well done to all of you, I’m sure there were some incredibly difficult moments, both physically and emotionally as you all processed what you were seeing and learning and I think you’ve all done a remarkable job, and not only helped the Acholi people but broadened your own horizons at the same time.

    Enjoy your meal later and your relaxation time tomorrow, you all deserve it!

    Love you and miss you Courtney – see you when you get back, lots of love, Dad xxx

  2. Hi Helen; thank you for your hard work organising the trip, for taking our children there and for looking after them so well. I’m looking forward to hearing everything from Alice when she comes home and I know these will be memories she will treasure forever as I am sure everyone else will too.

    Not as many smiling faces today- seems like a very emotional day. It’s obvious from all the photos over the week you’ve all bonded so well with the children and given them your all. Enjoy your meal and tell us all about it tomorrow and have a good day tomorrow.

    Alice, tomorrow we are meeting Rebecca’s friend Esther 🙂

    • Domino the rabbit

      Hi Domino here. Hope you enjoy your meal tonight. All I got is hay and nuggets.

      • Domino stop complaining that’s your favourite!!!! Alice I think he’s attention seeking because he misses you!

        • Well done everyone. A memorable experience for you all. Have a great weekend you deserve it. Thanks to Helen and team and of course Miss Barnes and Miss Jordan for making this experience possible.

        • Hi! It’s sad that you’ve finished teaching now. 🙁

          I hope you have enjoyed your meal!! 😀

          I’ve been busy at the Buero again. They had a concert on and I ended up setting up and down. Then I was helping out at the bar.

          If you weren’t so busy this summer I’d suggest you fo some volunteering there. Maybe you can when you are less busy.

          Hope you’re still having a good time.

      • Chantel Ibbetson

        Well done to all of you guys great experience what youve been doing and helping all the children. So proud of you courtney we love and miss you lots enjoy your eve out amd a chill time tomorrow love you mum danielle n reggie n willow xxxxxxxx

  3. hiya kel,
    count down now can”t wait,love and missed you loads.so proud of you and all the other students.big thank you to miss barnes and the other volunteers for this opportunity.and thankyou to john and sophia and family.and i am sure miss barnes and everyone else deserve a big cheer and clap from all students,xxx

    • Good lad Fidelis! All those nights running cubs etc have helped you XXX
      Can’t believe you forgot to pack Ur ukelele!
      Have a great time on the next stage of your trip, love you loads xxx

  4. Hi all. Thankyou Helen for your amazing blog and thankyou to all of you for letting us follow you on your special journey. Wow what an emotional day for you all saying goodbye to everyone I can tell by reading that the bond is very close even after such a short time. It makes me very proud and happy, sad, greatful and lots of other emotions. God only knows how you all feel… jade I cant wait to see you and hug you. love looking at all of the pictures makes me very proud of you and all of the team. so cant wait to hear all about your time there. Rhys is missing you lots. Enjoy every day now guys as time goes so quick but memories last forever. Love to you jadey and all xxxx

  5. P.s. England beat Uganda today 64 to 32 at netball.. woop woop xxx

  6. Thank you for today’s update Helen, it sounds like it’s been a lot of fun but also very sad having to say goodbye to the children & the women. Hope you’ve all had a lovely meal tonight & have a relaxing weekend. You’ve all done amazing & we’re looking forward to hearing about your next few days. Love & miss you loads Lauren R. Big miaooowww & purrrr from Oreo – he’s fine btw xx

  7. I hope you all enjoyed your meal. Have a relaxing day tomorrow

  8. Charlie and Kalim

    Good evening Courtney darling, today is truly an amazing day. I’m sure you’ll be over the moon to know that Kalim had his interview yesterday night. Guess who’s a gardener??? That’s correct, Kalim can now trim your hedge and cut your lawn – at a cost of course. Now I’m sure you’re all giddy now I’ve enlightened you on this news, however, no inappropriate jokes please. (I know what you’re like coco). In other news I managed to get tickets for someone today. I don’t know if you’ll know him he’s not that big you see. I think he’s called William Gallagher. I’ve heard he’s big in Manchester. Anyway I’ve been listening to “techno disco tool” by Mella Dee on loop for a solid 9 day now because I loveeee TeChNo lotta love for you from Charlie and Kalim xxxx

    • Bet it’s been the best experience ever! Hope everyone’s had a good time and enjoying the remaining days. I’ll put a £10 Megan was the first too cry!! 👀.

      Missing you like mad – love you x

  9. Bet it’s been the best experience ever! Hope everyone’s had a good time and enjoying the remaining days. I’ll put a £10 Megan was the first too cry!! 👀.

    Missing you like mad – love you x

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