Our morning began early, especially for Joe who rose early to meet a couple from an orphanage from Rwanda to pick up a camera brought from a church in the USA. They met at 7:30 a.m. while the rest prepared for breakfast at about 8 a.m.
The first drive from Kabale to Muko always astounds us. The beauty of the mountains, the crested cranes, and the people walking by the side of the roads are so remarkable. Even more remarkable is greeting our staff, all considered our dear friends.
The staff pushed their desks together in the middle of the ACT Empowerment Centre office and everyone grabbed a chair to begin a time of discussing and planning our mission together. We opened with prayer and then an invitation to the staff to bring us their positive and negative thoughts about taking over administration of Muko High School. Howard, Karen, and Joe left right after this discussion in order to unpack instruments, books, and supplies and head up to Muko High School. Being a Saturday, there was no time to waste while the children were not so engaged with classes and free to play instruments.
It took the musicians about an hour to check in with the administration, find all of the students, prepare the room, tune, set up music stands, and help everyone to take their places. Just when this had been accomplished, it was time for lunch. When we asked Howard how long the students spent for a lunch hour he said, "They take 30 minutes for lunch, but in Africa that means one hour" Another problem: Howard had invited the students he teaches at the Centre to come up to Muko High School to watch our shenanigans. They had been sitting silently for several hours. Now, there was a question about how they get some lunch. Since we were at the High School there was no way to provide lunch. SO! Howard suggested that the high school students share their allotment of lunch with those students. Five loaves and two fishes, we said! Joe continued most of the rehearsals for the next three hours while Karen met the rest of the team to meet with the headmaster of Muko High School and take a tour of the grounds.
The meeting with the headmaster went very well. He was very friendly and forthcoming about any question we presented. We learned that the uprising in the school continues to have an affect on their enrollment. The school administration was very positive about ACT helping to run their school. The tour was interesting- several of us talked about how much the property could be improved with gallons and gallons of paint. There is a large amount of land and room for many improvements. Francis, our first orphan to graduate with a Bachelors in Public Administration from Kabale University, and Karen got to sample posho being prepared for the students.
Sue and Dick worked with Moses to document the mushroom growing process from beginning to finished project. During the week, every time they make a step in that process we will document the details about the progress. All of the mushrooms they produce are sold fresh in the local Muko market rather than drying them and selling them to the MTRC (Mushroom Training Resource Center). The MTRC have a ready market in Great Britain.
We arrived back at the Jopfan about 7:30 p.m., just in time for our dinners ordered in the morning. After dinner, the FUNNIEST thing happened! Picture this:The team was having a rousing game of Farkel. It was Diana's turn...suddenly a huge bug landed right on the table. The entire team screamed and jumped back from the table. Diana threw the dice over her shoulder. Somehow, it is probable that the sharing of bat stories the day before caused this wild over reaction. We all had one of the biggest laughs of our lives. We are including a picture of this huge bug. Research on the internet identified it as a "sausage fly"- at least one inch long- probably more!
Sending our love to you all!