Tuesday: I was going to stay home today, finish packing and relax with the family who I will miss so much when I start my journey to the UK very early tomorrow morning. But expect the unexpected in Uganda! A boda turned up at the front door asking for Madam Gerry and an invitation to go down to Athens school. I half expected something was going on when Alex grinned at me as he left for school.
So off I went having asked for a second boda for Judith.
It was very quiet when we arrived and only Charles was in his office. He said the children want to say farewell to you.
He insisted on carrying my bag and water and led me down to the open hall. As soon as I approached the whole school rose as one chanting their welcome.
The Uganda and Basoga anthems were sung and one of the teachers invited me to sing our National Anthem. I declined by saying maybe later!
Speeches followed, thanking me and you for the support we have given the school. The head teacher Charles particularly emphasised about the mosquito nets saying sickness amongst the children had been reduced considerably.
The recent repair of the roof by Poynton Rotary was highlighted too as already the children had benefited in the rainy season.
The chairman of the management committee also spoke and presented me with a live cock to ‘bring back to father Norman for allowing me to come to Uganda’! I didn’t like to tell them that he doesn’t have much choice! Love you Norman!!
The children entertained with songs and the head boy made a brief speech.
The live cock had been under my seat when suddenly it made a run for freedom even though it’s legs were tied! Alex who had been seated with his classmates leaped over the desk and gave chase. Guess what we had for supper!
A big surprise was when Alex again stood up and came to stand in front of me. He produced a piece of paper and read put his thanks too. Alex lives with Innocent as his mother couldn’t look after him when the father left. He speaks very little English so Innocent and I have been helping him. It took a lot of courage to do what he did.
By this time a lot of the tiny tots had fallen asleep or were playing about. I was asked to say a few words and suddenly they woke up! Not sure they could understand a word I was saying but when I ended by getting them all to sing The Jambo Song they were wide awake.
I thought that was it when Charles stood up with a big grin on his face and what looked like another framed picture of the Basoga king or a certificate of appreciation, I have a collection at home! He asked me to guess but I said I couldn’t think what it could be! I just didn’t want to offend!
Well I was very wrong anyway. I will leave the photo to tell the story. I was overwhelmed!
The teacher then invited me again to sing our National Anthem, so I did!
Children also brought in donations of oranges, avocado and even an egg.
Leaving school, my husbands cock (tee hee!) was hung from the handlebars of the boda!