AfriDACA Final blog – including thoughts from everyone DACA (in alphabetical order by first name!)

Helen: Camping, dancing, drumming, campfire, teaching more little children, parachute games, stories round the campfire……and now packing ready to fly home tomorrow.

See you soon everyone and thank you for being such amazing supporters of this wonderful team. Treat them gently on their return – they’ve all got lots going on inside that needs processing, and it’ll take time. But with the love that you’ve all shown through the comments whilst we’ve been away, I know that you already understand that. Happy reunions, and thanks again for letting me bring your loved ones to this pearl of Africa.

Have a good summer

And now over to the team:

Alice: over the past week I have experienced a lot. Meeting children who can’t go to school and doing the home visit have changed my perspective of things. Now I have realised how much I actually have. I am happy with the positive impact we have had on the children in the past week.

Chris: the last week has been life-changing. From the strong bonds formed with the Acholi children as we taught them and then had to say goodbye. In addition, I felt incredibly welcomed by the Acholi ladies and the wider community, including allowing us into their homes. I think we’ve all started to reassess what is important in life and I have begun to consider the impact of this visit on my life. I have also been unbelievably proud of the young people of DACA and I have been inspired by their resilience, determination, good humour and energy.

Courtney: overall, I’d say coming to Uganda has been a life changing experience. I’ve learnt some huge life lessons and most importantly not to take the small things like a working toilet for granted. The things I’ve seen whilst being out here have changed my perspective on life. Seeing people much worse off than me has enabled me to open my eyes to things that I need to change within my lifestyle. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity to give knowledge and to teach the children in the Acholi quarter, as they will remember forever the time they were taught by mazungus (white person). This experience has been a truly unforgettable one, and one I will continue to talk about. I’m honoured to be part of the AfriDACA 2019

Fidelis: visiting Jaja’s house when we did the home visits was one of the most changing experiences of the trip. We’d spent 3 days teaching the children by this stage, but we had very little context as to the conditions they lived in and the lives their guardians led. When introduced to Jaja, I was amazed at the joy this woman felt for simply having us in her house, and the generosity she displayed when she gave us the bowls as a gift. Each of the bowls probably represented a day’s wage for this woman, and she gave us ours just to show her appreciation. In the van back to the accommodation I sat and reflected on what we had seen and decided that the bowl was probably the most valuable I owned.

Jacqui: this has been without doubt the most rewarding ‘trip’ I have ever led. The team have made me proud every single day and they should be very proud of everything they have achieved and the impacts that they have made. It has truly been a life changing experience and has made me questions the choices we make back home. It has definitely put life’s problems into perspective.

Jade: 9 days in Uganda has changed my perspective of life at home completely, I have learnt to be more grateful for my education and family as most people in the Acholi tribe have neither and it has been really hard to not feel challenged about my lifestyle at home compared to the poor conditions the Acholi tribe struggle through. The most life-changing event for me was visiting a lady’s home, Jaja was very accepting and extremely generous considering she had very little. The home visit was very emotional and the bowl she gave me, which she could have sold and got a day’s pay for, is now my most important possession. I will make sure it is on display for everyone to see back home.

Joel: Going on the trip I was excited to go back and straight away I could see a big difference and how the conditions in the Acholi community has improved. This was great to see. As well they kept their positivity and welcoming and made us feel welcome and wanted.

Kelsey: the past week has been life-changing. Seeing the people live in this part of the world has really changed my perspective. It is difficult to understand how people live in these conditions when we have so much at home that we take for granted. The trip has inspired me to make as much positive change as possible.

Lauren H: describing this past week is really hard to put into words. I am thankful for being given the opportunity by DACA to be able to visit Uganda and teach children from the Acholi Quarters. This week has been so difficult but so rewarding at the same time. I will take away many memories from this trip as well as many life lessons. It has been an exciting 9 days so far, looking forward to the last few as well as coming home and sharing my experiences with my much-loved family and friends.

Lauren R: seeing children smile and laugh every day despite having to endure harsh living conditions and not knowing if an educational opportunity will arise has made me realise how much we take the small things for granted. I have built friendships and shared knowledge with young children and it is those friendships that have made this past week memorable. Although some days felt emotionally draining, I have had one of the most enjoyable and eye-opening experiences. This has encouraged me to be more open-minded in certain situations and make small life-style changes that may have a bigger positive impact.

Megan: I am so thankful for the opportunity of coming out to Uganda and I am so glad I came. Seeing how much the children – the whole community in fact – appreciate such little things has been so eye opening. Also, what has struck me the most is the massive aspect of family within the whole of the Acholi Quarters, and although it has been an amazing 12 days I am excited to be home and see all of mine again.

Toni: this week has been packed with a variety of emotions. I have felt happy and sad, but most importantly I have felt welcomed. It’s almost as if I have found a home away from home. The Acholi Quarters, and all my experiences in Uganda, have made me feel grateful for all the small luxuries I have that I wouldn’t usually bat an eyelid at. Uganda, and in particular the spirit of the Acholi Quarters is something that I will never forget. I hope to come back in the near future, the people here are truly wonderful.

16 Comments:

  1. Chantel Ibbetson

    Omg wow proper got me reading all your blogs you all should be really proud of yourselves and embrace every experience. Courtney am so proud to call you my daughter you are growing into a beautiful young woman and i love you so much cant wait to give you a big hug when you get home safe flight back and see you on wednesday morning xxxxxxx

    • What an amazing trip you’ve all had. Thank you again to Helen and everyone else who made the trip possible and thank you Miss. Barnes and Miss. Jordan for taking them all on this amazing adventure.

      I’m looking forward to hearing more over the next few days as you settle back in at home Alice.

      See you at the airport Alice and Kelsey.

      • Cheers guys for taking good care of our precious children. You have been amazing with your blogs and help to give me a snippet of your experiences. When you come home you’ll spend lots of other time reflecting on what you’ve seen an you as a group will have a bond that will last forever. Don’t feel guilty for what you have but go forward and make the most of every opportunity given you are all so rich beyond your wildest dreams it’s the small things that matter. Joel pedder you have the biggest hug waiting for you love you mum dad Jaffa Helen Sam xxxxx

      • It really has been a pleasure reading your blog. Loved the pictures. Looking forward to your return

        • Hi Joel pedder when you land can you please wait for me at Joe’s kitchen and coffee house just as you come through into arrivals. See you soon safe journey guys xx

      • Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow Fidelis XXX safe journey. Love be you

  2. It certainly sounds like the trip has been an experience that will live long in your memories and have a positive influence upon your lives. I’ve really enjoyed reading about all your activities and the impact they will have had upon the people you have met, and vice versa.

    Molly, Bubbles and I are really looking forward to welcoming you (and your Ugandan mud stained clothes) back home. <3

    • Well done one and all. Sounds like you have all had a wonderful trip and made memories to last a life time . Loo, we’re all looking forward to seeing you in a a couple of days. We’ve missed you loads. Safe journey home, see you at Manchester. Mumx

  3. Sounds like everyone has had an amazing trip!! Good to hear from you Meg , see you at the airport.

    ps – The car is fixed so no more worrying if we are going to brake down!

  4. thankyou to everybody for making this special trip possible,a very big well done to all the students that have experienced a life changing trip to such a lovely part of the world,
    kelsey,we cant wait to see you,give you a big hug,so proud of you,you are a beautiful young lady,both inside and out,love you loads,safe trip.xxx

  5. Wow! What fantastic blogs from you all, straight from the heart. You are all so rich in a different knowledge now. Thank you to all for making this trip happen. Have a safe journey home & can’t wait to see you Lauren R & hear all about your life-changing experiences – in your own time of course! We love you & are sooo proud of you xx

    • I have really enjoyed reading your blog! It must be so sad to leave after all of the experiences you have had there. However, Alice I am very excited to see you again so you can tell me everything in person. 🙂

      Have a safe journey home everyone!

  6. Charlie and Kalim

    Dear Courtney,
    A tear rolls down my face as I write this. I see that this is the final blog, and it’s an end of a journey. It saddens me knowing I will never write beautiful messages to you again regarding whats been happening in your absence. As this is the last message I feel as if we need to go out with a bang.
    In all seriousness, We’re incredibly proud of you Courtney. What you’ve done in the last few weeks have genuinely opened our eyes and has truly shown us what kind of person you are. We’re thrilled knowing we are friends with such a selfless person like you. The work you and everyone else has done for these children have been truly life changing.
    PS. We’re also extremely proud of the rest of the group, not only have you made me and Kalim proud you’ve made the whole of DACA proud representing us. Wishing you a safe travel hope with love from Charlie and Kalim xxxxx

  7. Well done everyone! Have a safe journey home, looking forward to seeing you soon Courtney. You’ve made me very proud. I know that experience was so worthwhile and will stay with you all forever. Lots and lots of love, Dad xxx

  8. no more posted because mrs barns phone must off ran out of charge hoho

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