Today was an earlier start with breakfast at 7, half an hour earlier than usual. Breakfast was the infamous chapattis and rolexes made by Juliet, Elizabeth and Peace followed by devotion by Kaitlyn on Mark 13. The quietness that filled the room this morning because of tiredness was so peaceful yet shockingly strange since loud singing, jokes and banter fill the house 24/7.
We headed straight to the Village of Hope at 8:30 for another half day of work; this time it actually was our last day of work. We decided to continue our work today and give houses 9 & 10 an early Christmas present of fresh coats of paint inside. After 3.5 hours of work today, we completed painting the insides of 2 houses and after 9 days of work (half days and full days), collectively we have painted 10 houses, dug the trenches for the foundations of YSU, rendered 3 houses and built a kitchen; mission accomplished.
We headed back to Suubi for salad rolls to restore our energy and prepare for an emotional afternoon. We had a few free hours to start packing and chill before this afternoon.
At 3:00pm we headed back down to the Village of Hope for our farewell ceremony. We arrived to the excitement of the children running up to us, as we made our way to the Village Hall. Gifts were given, like balloons, bubbles, toys and stickers and we enjoyed the company of the younger children while the older kids were preparing for their performances.
The ceremony kicked off with all the children introducing themselves to us, telling us their names, what grade they are in and the friends they’ve made with our team whilst we’ve been here. We were then treated to a performance by the Hope Dancers, who showcased off their individual talents, some stunning us all. Following that, we were introduced to more crucial members of the Village of Hope and the Hope Builders committee. The choir then sung the Hope Builders anthem for us, which was incredible to watch and listen to. Cultural dances were then performed for us by the choir and we were left amazed by the ability of 4 of the girls as they danced with stacks of up to 6 pots on their heads. We were then presented with certificates as a thank you, before it was our turn to thank the village for the tremendous impact they have had on us.
After all the formalities, the kids were treated to sodas and biscuits and we mingled with everyone before it was time to go. The music was pumping and there was lots of dancing, laughter and joy being spread around the village.
The dreaded moment came when we had to say our goodbyes at the gates. We gathered in a circle, as the children from the village wanted to pray for us one last time. So many hugs, letters and words were exchanged before we walked out of the gates of the village for the last time.
When we arrived back to Suubi, Juliet treated us to one last amazing dinner of spaghetti, vegetarian sauce and green beans and we got the chance to thank her for her fabulous work as our chef for the past 2 weeks. The rest of the night was left for packing, rushing to finish affirmations and enjoying our last night in Uganda. Tomorrow we head to Kenya for a 3 day Safari, oweh, before heading home.
- New South Walian #2, Sarah
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