Dec 2 2017 Rehearsals, Library Grand Opening and Graduation!

Hi to all!!We hope everyone is well! We miss you all and are beginning to think of home. 

Our day began at the Centre where I rehearsed with the orchestra and Dave went up to Muko HS to measure rooflines for gutters for saving water to tanks. With the assistance of Guma and Moses, Dave also checked over the water tanks  and assessed repairs necessary on them. They inventoried the furniture and (shockingly) discovered that there are only 12 useable bunk beds in the boys dorms. So Guma  is researching the cost of some heavy duty bunk beds. Dave had a great idea to use the wood from broken bunk beds to make deck style walks over the mud. This will help keep classrooms and feet cleaner.

Maurice called two girls in to the Centre so I could meet with them. We had expected to find students at school during this trip but when we found they had already left for the holidays, I had asked Maurice to invite a couple of girls in who had been having some difficulties. We conducted two conferences and I appreciated the wise advice Maurice gave them and the trust these children seem to have in Maurice. We are so lucky to have such a stellar staff. On this trip, I really appreciated them all so much. 

Together with the staff, we had an official opening of the library at the Muko Empowerment Centre.  A few short speeches were given and the MUSIC students performed while standing in front of the Centre. This made a beautiful closure to the camp we had conducted with them during our visit. As I waved goodbye to those wonderful students, they started playing “God Be With You Till We Meet Again”. This will be a lifetime memory for me. I love those kids and you would too. 

We met the Bishop and Rev Oscar at the Jopfan Hotel around 4 pm to sign the Memo of Understanding for Muko HS. As it turned out, however, Rev Esau had not yet returned from his Travel to Kampala ( he is a major signatory) and the MOU was not ready with logos as we had hoped so we had a lovely tea with the Bishop in the garden and enjoyed each other’s company, agreeing to meet on Monday evening to do the signing.  

We expect to meet with our new Head Teacher and Assistant Head Teacher on Monday. Rev Oscar reported that the ones we chose have both accepted the positions. I will write more about them when I feel confident that everyone has been notified, both successful and unsuccessful candidates. 

Dave, Generous and I quickly went inside the hotel to prepare for Francis Girukwayo’s graduation party. Francis is the first MukoHOPE orphan to graduate from university. We had invited the whole ACT staff and their spouses to attend. We decorated the conference room with crepe paper and balloons! The Jopfan Hotel prepared a marvelous buffet that included a delicious fish, metooke, Irish potatoes, mango, watermelon and pineapple. Josiah livened up the party by serving as a Master of Ceremonies. Generous and Tito entertained us with a song. Many speeches were given including the grand finale by Francis. What a fabulous evening! 

Our days are coming to an end. We are taking a day off tomorrow to rest and recuperate a bit. We hope to regroup , gather our thoughts, and communicate with a few people in the USA. Then on Monday we have one more day at Muko before we head for home on Tuesday. 

Sending love to you all- Karen

Ellie Schroeder