Today was the much anticipated opening of Muko High School. On the way to the village, we learned that the Muko High School truck was touring around the Muko Sub County announcing the big event. The truck also carried a number of our musicians singing the ACT song between segments of the pre-recorded announcements. We reached Muko High School about 10:30 with activities due to start at 11:00. However, some threatening weather and delayed arrivals pushed the ceremony back by more than an hour. While waiting for activities to commence, Sue and Dave had a chance to meet with Dickens, the chemistry teacher at Muko High School, and to go through the equipment and supplies available for science labs. There is clearly an opportunity to supply some additional items to improve the lab experience for students. Dave also had a chance to visit the library and look at the lab and class books used for chemistry, physics and biology. Lab space available at the school is very limited and makes completing the practical exam part of the national exams challenging.
When the ceremony commenced inside the assembly hall around 200 people were in attendance. Sam, the Head Teacher, emceed the ceremony. We had a full agenda, commencing with the school song, the Uganda national anthem, the East Africa national anthem and the US national anthem. The surprise for the US Team was that they did not have music for the US national anthem, so Sue, accompanied by her much less talented cohorts, had to sing the Star Spangled Banner. Sue did a great job. Many messages were shared with the students, parents, alumni (Old Boys and Old Girls) and supporters who were present. During the ceremony, ACT presented a 55", internet ready, smart TV, from an anonymous donor, to the students of Muko High School. The students were thrilled.
The ceremony ended with the planting of tree by ACT on the school grounds. The tree is a symbol of ACT's partnership with Muko High School and the growth that is expected to occur in the years to come. To cap off the celebration, cake was served to everyone present. People remained for some time after the ceremony and continued to socialize.
The event was covered by local radio stations and both Evan and Sue were interviewed by the press.
We returned to ACT headquarters at about 4 PM to work on some future grants and departed for Kabale at about 5:30. Back in Kabale after a long day of activities we had light supper on the porch and relaxed.
A follow-up to yesterday's blog: The Muko football team defeated the visiting team from Central Uganda by a score of 4 to 1. Evan reported only a few aches and pains from the encounter.