Youth Mission Trip to Uganda | Blog 4

We’ve arrived back in the guesthouse after an amazing few days in Gulu. Our trip to Gulu started on a high with a 6 hour bus journey with a lunch of the cheesiest pizza we’ve ever seen . However once we arrived we were greeted by the lovely Abaana staff and some great food. 
 
The journey up to Gulu wasn’t all bad - we drove over some beautiful water falls and our bus did get taken over by some baboons. The wildlife didn’t end with the drive up but continued in the guesthouse when a cockroach invaded one of the girls room and even climbed up the door- thanks to Kate for rescuing us!! 
 
A highlight of our time in Gulu has to be our experience in Andrew McAvoy Primary. Most of you will be aware of our fundraising efforts to build a toilet block, and this is where we began to build it. Before we came we were told that we wouldn’t actually be building- just wheeling the odd wheelbarrow to help the builders who actually had a clue of how to build a toilet block. But sure enough we ended up bricklaying which was great fun, but also an amazing opportunity to bless the school with something they so desperately need. Whilst building, some members of the time also ran programs for the school kids with games and craft. Playing football with some of the kids definitely seemed a good idea at the time- forgetting that the boys were as old as 19. Owen did however manage to score 2 goals (we couldn’t believe it either!). The boys had an absolute ball (excuse the pun) and it was definitely a shock to all of us when we realised the boys didn’t even have a ball to kick around at lunch. 
 
Each day at school finished with a presentation of dramas and songs from the school children. On our last day in the school we were able to donate some craft supplies and a football. Each gift received a separate cheer and the teacher may have been more excited about the football than some of the children!
 
After very hot days building and playing games, we were all looking forward to relaxing showers. We thought sharing a shower with 7 people was difficult but sharing a shower with 11 was worse.  However we made it work incident free thanks to Vicky’s strict shower rota. Of course we didn’t realise during our time in Kampala how much of a luxury a hot shower was until we reached Gulu where hot water was non existent, an ice cold shower it was every day...
 
One of our tasks during our time in the Gulu guesthouse was to assist in building a few tents for the group who were coming up after us. Well, that was the plan except Owen and Lee decided to create their own luxury guesthouse in one of the tents. The first tent went up without an issue, however the same can’t be said for the second tent. The tent had been folded up wet and had a strong smell of mould. That wasn’t our biggest issue - none of the poles fit the tent! I would say it was at least 25 minutes in before we realised the tent we were putting up was smaller than the other one, however all the poles were the same length. We’ll not get pegged down in the negative (but hilarious) part of the experience, with a lot of team bonding on the way the tent was eventually constructed. 
 
Our last day in Gulu included a very special event - Neville’s 21st birthday! It was a pretty big party, with all the school children joining us in singing and cheering. Back at the guesthouse we had an amazing cake and balloons waiting for us, with a crown for the birthday man. 
 
With every night we were able to unwind under the stars which was amazing. It was all over too soon as we had to begin our journey back to Kampala. Let’s just say energy levels were considerably lower than the journey up, but we did stop at the same diner on the way back for more dodgy burgers and pizza. We even met up with the team from Aughnacloy (including Louise, who prepared us all for the trip through our meetings) who are on their way up to Gulu. I think it’s safe to say the whole team are relieved to be at this side of the 2 6hr drives!
 
Thank you for all your support over the past weeks, without your support in both prayer and financially none of this would have been possible! 
Lots of love,
Sara, Becky and Matthew

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