Our team of six arrived safely in Entebbe on Tuesday evening to cool temperatures of 72 degrees. The trip was long but uneventful in a pleasant way. Generous, our Ugandan Director, met us at the airport and guided us with our twelve suitcases, six carryons, five violins and one viola to greet our favorite driver, Christopher.
Our travel team is made up of the following:
Dick Dolinski is founder of The Legacy Center, a Midland-based "think and do tank" focused on outside-the-classroom factors affecting youth learning and development. His focus will be discerning our involvement in the administration of Muko High School
Sue Waechter, our USA Director and founder. Sue is involved in all of our five teams for ACT, HANDS(Helping Agriculture...) MukoHOPE( Helping Orphans Prosper and Endure), MEP(Muko Empowerment Program) which pays a fair wage to women and men for handcrafts then sold in the USA, HEAL ( Health is Elemental for All Life) , and MUSIC( Muko Uganda String Instruments for Children)
Diana Stubig, our USATeam leader for sewing, board member, and MukoHOPE team member. Diana's focus will be on training, sewing, and crafts
Joe Oprea, Orchestra Director from the Lowell Schools in Michigan and whose focus will be directing and teaching violins, violas, and cellos at Muko High School. Joe will also work with Howard, our music teacher in Muko
Karen Viele, USA Team Leader for MukoHOPE, MUSIC, and a board member. Karen's focus will be teaching music and discernment for development of Muko high school
David Viele, USA Finance Director for ACT and board member. Dave will work with the finances of the trip as well as training for budget and finance in Uganda.
All team members will be involved in helping to make a recommendation to the USA and Ugandan boards regarding our future work with Muko High School. ACT has been invited by the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese who owns Muko high School to become the administrators of the school. We are proceeding with careful investigation and deliberations, meeting with administration, teachers, support staff, students, and community members to make a recommendation to our boards in the USA and Uganda. We plan to have a recommendation before this trip ends.
After a breakfast of meat samosas, fresh pineapple, watermelon and omelettes made to order, Dick and Sue left with Richard and Generous Turinawe, (the Ugandan couple who are the Ugandan founders of ACT) for Holy Cross Lakeview school in Jinja- an approximate two hour drive. They met with Sister Beatrice who shared information about the founding of the school, its maintenance, financials, and curriculum. A traffic jam delayed their return to our hotel extending the drive by about two additional hours.
This was a pretty grueling day for them..
Meanwhile, Joe, Karen, and Dave drove with Christopher to downtown Kampala to a music store dealing with Yamaha equipment. A piano was chosen that will operate electrically or by batteries and has many features of rhythmic beats and instrumental sounds. The piano will be used to teach music theory, for performances in churches and for community events, and in the string classroom to keep students together.
Diana remained at our hotel, the Adonai, to complete the sewing on brightly colored vests brought for MUSIC students. The Adonai is a peaceful sanctuary for missionaries. It is always rewarding to meet up with other teams from all over the world and learn about their work in Uganda. We are fortunate to enjoy the food cooked by our masterful Chef Francis who is from Kenya, and allows us recover from the long hours of travel.
The team met together at 6 pm to enjoy a meal of beef and chicken, rice, vegetables, Irish potatoes, pineapple, and watermelon. We were soon joined by three members of Generous' Kampala Advisory Council and we talked together about beginning a Circle of Blessings type fundraising event in Kampala. We also asked their advice about running a school, asking them questions like "What makes a good school?" "What are the challenges of maintaining teachers?" " What would you suggest to improve schools in rural areas?""Tell us why there is teacher turnover in a school that pays a fair wage?" The conversation could have continued many hours longer but everyone agreed that the hour had come to allow the Advisory Council members to return to their homes!
Additional stories might be captioned as follows, some related to the seven hour time difference:
" There's a gecko in my bathroom!"
"I tried to take a nap but fell into a sleep that could have lasted six hours!"
" It's 2 am and I am ready to get up!"
" It's time for bed, but why am I suddenly hungry?"
Sending love to our families and friends and all who are joining us on the blog!
Sent from my iPad