Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday, June 23rd

Hi there!
Today was our first day visiting Bishop High School, where we will be participating in classes and other activities for the next two weeks. After a tour of the school, we met the group of students who will be our home-stay buddies later on, although we don't know who will be our individual buddies yet. We paired up and showed them the pictures we brought from home of our families and friends. My partner was particularly interested when I showed her pictures of myself with my family when I was younger. She was fascinated that I was both in front of her both as my current self and years younger.

Me and my partner, Joanne

Next, we all gathered in the church for an assembly. We all introduced ourselves and it turns out it is a little nerve wracking to introduce yourself in front of 400+ people. We sung "America the Beautiful" and the Groton school song and they sung their national anthem and their school song as well. Then their choir sang a welcome song which blew our barely-practiced renditions away. Their voices completely filled the church. After the assembly we had free time before lunch. Some all star volleyball players emerged among us (shout out to Marie, Tyler, Kei, and Sunny) while the rest of us talked to the Bishop students. I was quickly brought over to a group of three girls sitting by themselves by a very nice girl named Catherine. I had been talking to them for less than a minute when many other students joined around us. They asked me questions about America and the ways in which I do things at home. I was astonished at how deep and thoughtful their questions were. While I talked to them, some of them would reach out and touch my hair or my skin. After a little while, Catherine and a few friends led me to their school kitchen where they excitedly presented me with mashed sweet potato (which is white here). 
 Later in the afternoon we played volleyball and then soccer with the students. I don't think there has ever been a larger crowd at a Groton sporting event than there was at the soccer game. They were all very good players, but in my opinion, we held our own. The huge crowd would cheer when we participated at all and it made the game even more exciting. The field was extremely bumpy and sloped off down a hill on one side. We all lost our footing and took a few tumbles, but Sunny was particularly unlucky when she tripped and landed in a pile of cow poo. All of the kids, including us of course, thought this was hysterical and I even saw one wave their hand in front of their nose as they walked by her. All in all though, it was an exciting, and tiring day. Tomorrow we will meet our individual buddies and attend classes with them.

A small group of the spectators at the soccer game surrounding out teachers

Bye for now, Jessica


  1. Hi, all!
    This is Sunny's Mom. I look forward to reading your post everyday!
    You guys are having a marvelous time over there doing things completely different from your Groton life and also doing same familiar things as Groton but in a brand new place.
    As for Sunny, it was probably your first time landing in any type of poo pile (Sorry Sunny~~ I also laughed hysterically reading it). Even this will be one of your most memorable moments of Uganda. You know what we say in Korea about poo. Poo brings “good fortune”.
    Wish everyone "Happy First Week" in Uganda and more enchanting two weeks to come.

  2. Hi Everyone It must have been so exciting to meet your home stay buddies. Hopefully they will be as wonderful as your roommate experiences at Groton. It is so amazing to hear about each day. It is so great for you to be having all of these eye opening experiences. Good luck starting the home stays! Maybe you can teach the chefs at Groton and all of your families back home some new recipes when you get back. xoxo Jessica's mom