Greetings from Uganda. Home stays ended this morning (a day earlier than originally planned), and we all made it, in peace, but not in pieces as our Ugandan friends would say. We were all very sad to leave our families, all of whom have been extremely kind and inviting, but we have left with great memories to bring home with us.
Additionally, the Rukungiri Village Fete, the main theme of our journey, took place today; it was a tremendous success. Hundreds of villagers and students filled the Bishop's HS Compound and playing field, and for 4 hours watched our sports, played American games, and enjoyed music and dance performances from both Groton and Bishop's High School groups. The Ugandans competed ferociously in Sack Races, Polish Horseshoes, Volleyball, Speedball, Ultimate Frisbee, Sharks and Minnows, Roofball, and Whooshers; they ate carrot cake, banana bread, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and "Chapatle," our Tex-Mex inspired combination of Ugandan Chapati and Guacamole; and they eagerly watched Mr. Reed's science demos throughout the afternoon.
Around 5:00, we all gathered in the main compound for a closing ceremony, which begun with the national anthems of both our countries, and continued with performances from the Bishop's-Groton Music Dance & Drama club, interspersed with speeches from our trip leaders and Bishop's School officials. Mr. Reed officially presented our gift of textbooks to the headmaster of Bishop's, and Randi presented our collection of athletic equipment to one of the Bishop's faculty members. In closing, the chairman of the Bishops' School board of directors gave his remarks, thanking us for our contribution of time and effort to the village and the school.
Then, after all the speeches were through, we were once more surrounded by our new friends, posing for more photographs and hugging our homestay parents one last time. Finally, a little after 6, we climbed into our taxis and returned at long last to Jim's House, were we eagerly made use of the Western amenities (I never thought I'd get so excited to see a mirror!).
Tomorrow, we will spend our last day at the local Primary School, then formally thank our homestay families at a Fourth of July Barbecue in their honor. Then, on Saturday morning, we begin our 4-day journey home, by way of Kampala and Lake Victoria.
Love from all of us, Angus.