Volunteer story: Jo Jennings - Chase Team 2016
Eating posho and beans in the midday sun, reading the Bible to a school hall packed with students and teaching teenagers how to line dance in Uganda. I can't say these are things I thought I’d be doing in 2016, but these were just some of the unforgettable experiences from my trip to Wobulenzi Town Academy (WTA) this July with the Chase Team. I had the time of my life and have returned so very blessed – and I hope and trust I have also, in some small way, blessed the students which I spent time with during our visit.
We came to Uganda and WTA as part of a team of 14 from Waltham Chase Methodist Church. As a group we had a variety of talents, backgrounds and interests (...and ages!). This was a trip that had been on my heart ever since I first visited Africa many years ago and was touched by the people and their lives, the beauty and the hardships. The Chase Team was truly blessed on our visit with good health, safe journeys and great friendship, but above all a wealth of experiences as we spent time with the students and their teachers at WTA.
During my stay, I enjoyed many activities, including baking half-cakes with a large group of primary school children, helping run craft time with the local village women, teaching biology lessons about the heart and circulation and seeing how star jumps increase pulse rate. Other highlights were helping to paint an alphabet mural, singing action songs with the littlest children, playing cricket, and worshipping Ugandan style. It was such a privilege to sing worship songs with the students and enjoy their musical style. We chatted, prayed, laughed and cried with the students and the team. There was also time to talk about the Bible and our faith with the teachers and the students who were keen to learn more. Many of these experiences were out of my comfort zone but made so much easier by the warmth and enthusiasm of everyone at WTA. As our guesthouse hosts, Sue and Stan eased our stay with delicious meals and a good bed for the night, and I also had a lot of fun with the girls in the dorm!
For me the trip was extremely rewarding, enjoyable and worthwhile. I hope to visit this vibrant school again and work with the teachers and students in the future. And not least to enjoy learning some more line dances and to eat posho and beans again with the students.