Life Changing Experience? Next Team Trip - November 2015

Elspeth Dugdale | May 31, 2015

Life Changing Experience? Next Team Trip - November 2015
Andrew sitting with Ronald, S6 student, quite possibly having a Manchester United conversation!

Are you interested in coming to Uganda later this year? Read on...

 "an amazing, sobering and rewarding experience. I probably received more than I gave"... "it proved to be a ‘life changing’ experience"

"a wonderful event for me in every way - the whole country was exciting, the children & schools hugely memorable" ......."an experience that I would encourage anyone to take"

"there is no question that I must go back"......."so many moments provided me with inspiration"

These are some of the comments written by previous teams, after their 2 week working trips. We are proposing another trip later this year, at the end of November/beginning December. If you are interested in signing up, please contact us via the website to register your interest or have any specific queries. We will gather a group together fairly quickly, so don't delay if you'd like to join in - whether it's for the first time or you can't wait to return....!

Andrew Hill joined the team trip in December and has written here about his experience of visiting "the real world", as he describes it. Other testimonials are written in full on the website.

"Before I boarded the flight to Uganda last November I had only left the UK on a couple of occasions. Yes, I'd been to Africa but an all-inclusive week in Egypt is hardly preparation for what I was about to experience. We didn't travel far out of Entebbe airport before I realised I was a long way outside of my 'Western' comfort zone. 

I went out there with the brief to lead English lessons, help with running the sports activities and to be part of the worship band – my acoustic bass guitar made it there and back in one piece - as well as 'mucking in' wherever else I might be needed. I felt woefully inadequate and under-prepared, especially for the teaching. Thankfully the children loved the English lessons, so much so that their vociferous enthusiasm disrupted the other lessons. Sorry! The sports events – while there were some hiccups – were very popular and the worship, particularly the volume at which the students sang back at us, was a particular highlight. 

Another memorable experience was the chance to sample the famous Posho – the Ugandan staple which split the team down the middle. Personally I was on the side of the divide that enjoyed the Maize flour based delicacy. Perhaps more impressive though was the amount the students piled onto their plates. If they had buckets – and some did – they would have filled them and eaten the lot. 

We also spent time in the village surrounding the school and witnessed first hand the poverty of the area and yet what struck me is how grateful the villagers are for what little they have and for what we were able to give to them. Things such as underwear, toothbrushes and toothpaste which we take for granted. We could all learn a thing or two from that. 

However the experiences I enjoyed more than most required not a guitar, lesson plan, sports trainers or any of the many bags of supplies we took out with us. Some of the most rewarding moments of the trip came from spending time with the students in conversation. I enjoyed chats ranging from careers advice to Manchester United. My own testimony was a starting point for some great conversations and not just with students but some of the teachers as well. The students were keen to chat with us, not a set of headphones in sight.

The trappings of our wealthy and materialistic Western society may feel satisfying but it doesn't compare to discussing life with smiling students over a bowl of Posho or kicking a football across a barren football field with bare-footed African village children. That is the 'real world', if you ever get the opportunity to experience it then grab it with both hands! 

The trappings of our wealthy and materialistic Western society may feel satisfying but it doesn't compare to discussing life with smiling students over a bowl of Posho or kicking a football across a barren football field with bare-footed African village children. That is the 'real world', if you ever get the opportunity to experience it then grab it with both hands!"