Sorry I did not get an email out to you yesterday. I separated from the group to go send one out, was almost ready to push send, and the electricity went out. And just now, a wrote another entire email, and the page automatically refreshed and everything was deleted. Grrrrrrrrr...Ok... third try here we go...:)
So Thursday night we stayed at Acholi Inn in Gulu. We ate dinner at the hotel, and after dinner one of our hosts from the Kids League, Michael, shared with the girls his experiences as a young boy in Gulu during the war. The girls were quite captivated. We then had a team meeting to go over the assembly one final time before morning.
Yesterday morning, most of the girls went into the market to get some cute dresses made for dirt cheap, while a few others came to Laroo with me to prepare for the assembly and make sure the dormitory was all set. The Laroo girls were SO excited for our girls to come. They had just finished mopping our dormitory and welcomed us with huge smiles.
When the girls arrived, they organized their belongings and made their beds, and then we gathered in the assembly hall for the assembly. The administration welcomed us and some of the students danced for us. We then gave our assembly. The movie we made was a hit, and each of our 16 girls had speaking parts. We talked about the importance of not only having goals, but having SMART goals. We also discussed self-worth, the interference of obstacles in our lives (esp. the war for them), and the importance of "team" and how you need to let teachers, classmates, and others help you. We were careful not to say families because most of these kids do not have them. We were SOO proud of the girls during the assembly. They did such a great job.
After the assembly, we had lunch and rested for a short bit before the soccer clinic. At about 3pm, girls teams from three other high schools arrived without shoes and in their dresses. We handed each team a new set of uniforms (donated by US Soccer Foundations "Passback" program). They went to change, and all came out in lines in their new uniforms and jogged onto the fields. They looked so good in their new uniforms. We then divided the Ugandan girls into 7 groups and they rotated in stations for the clinic. We then ended with our message that "every girl should have a goal" whether it is the kind on a soccer field or in life. It was hot, but our girls seemed to really enjoy teaching them.
We then took the girls into town for a cold drink and to just sit and decompress. After, we returned to the school and ate dinner (traditional Ugandan food), and then divided into our 5 groups to have closer interaction with the Laroo girls. Our girls went over the Laroo girls SMART goals, played get to know you games, sang, danced, and talked about "life". Many of the Laroo girls opened up and told their stories to our girls. The stories we have heard are heart-wrenching. It is so hard to swallow what all of these kids have been through...yet they are so resilient and faithful. We then all returned back to our dorm and had a pretty emotional meeting about what we had all experienced and the stories we heard. Most of these kids are orphans of the war and their parents were killed. I am sure your daughters will tell you a lot more about these experiences... very hard to swallow. I think "where much is given, much is required" has a whole new meaning to all of us. For a long time we discussed how incredibly lucky we all are.
We then went to bed, and now the girls are holding a soccer tournament all day. They are mixing all of the teams so we are playing alongside the Ugandan girls.
We decided to not stay at Laroo tonight and tomorrow night. We were such a novelty that many girls wanted to be in our dormitory spending time with us day and night. We moved to a hotel in town, and will just bus into the school tomorrow. We feel a lot more comfortable this way.
A few girls have had the runs, a few a bit homesick, a few a little nauseous, but all having a great time and happy.
They wanted me to send off some "shout-outs":
Jordan: Happy Birthday Gage!!
Aya: Goodluck Mika on Provo Pageant!!
Sarah and Emily: Thank you for birthing me!
Sarah: Camera not working
Alex: Calls out to her people
Chanel: Goodnight, encowfanjou, I love you sweet and teams
Emily: Prepare my backrub
Kathy: I have seen gazells in two countries
Anne: Schedule me a spa day; and grace, write me on the schedule at RCC
Hannah and Jackie: Dudes...
Until next time!!