Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hi all,

I know it’s been a few days since we all parted ways but I thought I would put up one final blog post.  Being still in Kampala, I’m a little nostalgic about our wonderful trip!  I’m not sure who, if anyone, will read this but I thought I would talk briefly about our experiences together.

When I left Montreal one month ago now to travel to Uganda and meet all of you in Brussels, I had no idea what to expect.  Yes, I had been here before and I know we often talked about how both trips related and differed, especially in terms of their timetables, but I knew this time around would be unlike anything any of us had ever witnessed.  And it was.  Looking back, our three weeks together were filled with some incredible moments, amazing surprises and great laughs, but overall, some fantastic memories.  I will always cherish singing the “Tuna Song” while we asked Imbaho again and again, “are you sure you mean the dark nonald?”  I will also never forget sitting around in Jim’s courtyard on one of our first mornings in Rukungiri and playing mafia for the first time.  Little did I know how prominent that game would figure in the rest of our trip!  I loved our time exploring Kampala and Queen, as well as all of our days spent on the road enjoying the absolutely stunning scenery that Uganda has to offer.

I also loved our time at Bishops.  Two years ago, we didn’t interact with the students in the same way.  For any Groton kids reading this, you went above and beyond.  You stepped outside of yourselves to become part of a group of students with a completely different way of life and most likely a totally alternate perspective too.  I loved watching and being a part of these interactions and I am so proud of how you all made the most of the situation you found yourselves in.  I recognize that being in a foreign place for an extended period of time is not easy.  It requires confidence in yourself and your group and a willingness to leave behind your comfort zone.  I experienced this two years ago when I first came to Uganda and again this summer.  I think that feeling of newness and trying hard at something that may be uncomfortable or unknown is something so valuable.  To me it’s an experience that everyone should have at some point.  Taking risks is hard but all of you did and you did it so well.  I was so impressed with the effort you put in and your desire to really get to know Ugandan culture.

I LOVED my time with everyone and I wanted to share that.  Thank you so much to everyone for making Uganda 2014 what it was.  Thank you to each and every Groton kid for all that you did and for making me feel so welcome as another member of this trip.  I can’t wait to get down to Groton hopefully sometime next year to visit!  Thank you to Randi, Tim and Margaret for leading us and to Nishad for so much of the coordinating and planning that went into this trip.  I’d also like to extend a massive thank you to Lesley and Michael at Venture for all of their hard work and consistently upbeat attitudes.  Everyone contributed to making this trip great and I thank you all for letting me be a part of it.

I’m here for another week and am looking forward to the rest of my time in beautiful Uganda even as it winds down.  Yes, I am still having matoke and yes I am looking forward to a delicious salad once at home but I’m so happy to be here.  I have loved my time with all of you here and feel so lucky that everything worked out the way it did.  Thank you all again for all that you did- here’s to more amazing Groton trips to Uganda in years to come!

Enjoy the rest of summer!

1 comment:

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