Flattery gets you everywhere.... or planning the next adventure

Elspeth Dugdale | February 2, 2019

Flattery gets you everywhere.... or planning the next adventure
Val and team (Val - back row, second left)

Soon we will be announcing dates for an autumn team trip - or two. Repeat offender/ volunteer Val Bunker wrote the following testimonial * after her most recent visit to Gulu. Having been part of three very different trips, Val has become quite an expert on ServeDirect, so her words will speak for themselves.


If you are thinking of joining a team in the  future, Val's testimonial will give you a good idea about what might be involved. If you would like to be considered for the autumn trip, please message us at info@servedirect.org 

Val and team were based at "the newest Serve Direct site in Gulu – the Connect Education Centre.  The main building had just been completed, so our role was to help with final site preparations, i.e. to landscape, sort and prepare teaching resources and visit local schools. Or (in the words of one team member) to... work very hard, laugh, cry, dig trenches, concrete, sort, carry, move furniture, lift bricks, plant grass, make bracelets, catalogue, create, plant, water, visit schools, teach, design, carry out reading tests, ride bodas, fix cisterns, cut, stick, build footpaths, drink litres of water, sing, keep the neighbours awake, sweat a lot, push wheelbarrows, play Snap Uno, take risks, push personal boundaries and laugh a lot... and so much more!"


Val (in the middle) braving a boda for a school visit

Val goes on to summarise and reflect on reasons to go on a Serve Direct team trip 

"This was my third visit to Uganda with Serve Direct, and although each has been very different, there are definitely common themes:

  • It is energetically supported and organised from start to finish.
  • Expectations are clearly and honestly set.  This can usually be translated as 'we have no idea what will happen, but we will make the best of it - whatever it is!'
  • There is always a full and ambitious programme of work - and play - which is also peppered with Other Options, to cover all bases!  
  • All contributions are valued.  There is support and encouragement to go outside your comfort zone - but no sense of pressure
  • You will meet, serve, work for, work alongside, talk to, share experiences with, learn from and generally enjoy being with inspirational people that you may not otherwise come across - and at a pace that we rarely seem to afford ourselves in our everyday lives.


One more really important common theme is that the experience always provides a reality check, a chance for personal reflection and a reminder about what matters in life." 

Val has even invited others to join her on team and is currently persuading family members to come and visit later this year... We also hope that she will soon be back for her fourth visit as there's definitely some more landscaping and planting that need doing! 


*Full text and photos will be available on the Testimonials page of the website.