"Not just seeing, but looking; not just hearing, but listening; not just passing people by, but stopping with them; not just saying 'what a shame, poor people!' but allowing yourself to be moved with compassion; and then to draw near, to touch and to say: 'Do not weep' and to give at least a drop of life."
Daily reflection: Alex Pereira
“We started off today by taking the bus over to St. Ursula’s Special School. It’s the only school for children with special needs in eastern Uganda, and it provides the students who attend a chance at life that otherwise would not have been available to them. I spent most of my time playing a game with a non-verbal girl. The game was pretty simple, as it only involved her guessing which hand I had a bottle cap in, but it was something which fascinated her for over an hour. It was an outpouring of pure love from both her and me, and in a country where special needs are so stigmatized, I think that these kinds of connections are exactly what these children deserve. I think St. Ursula’s is doing a great job at providing this, and I wish them all the best after we leave.”
7:30am: All-School Assembly at Lake View High school – group introduction
8-9:30am: School introduction and overview with Sr. Beatrice, tour of school grounds and dormitories
9:30-11:00am: 2nd period classroom observations
11:00am: Break for tea time with staff members from respective class observations
1:00pm: Lunch with students
1:30pm: Meet small group of students, share conversation
3:00pm: Presentation and group reflection time facilitated by Br. Adolf
4:30pm: All-school mass
6:30pm: Rosary with St. Andre house
Daily reflection: Kassandra Perez
"I really enjoyed talking to the teachers and hearing the different backgrounds they were all from, and why they decided to go into teaching in the first place. It was evident that there was a lot of pride in their culture and that they were incredibly welcoming to guests. However, I think being able to talk with some of the students one on one was my favorite part. They were so hardworking and put so much dedication into their work. It was incredible to see such passion in the students, passion that I don’t see in American students at times. It was definitely disheartening however to hear some of the students say they were limited in their studies due to funding. We have so many opportunities in America that some people definitely take for granted. it’s sad to see such passion being shut down due to lack of resources."
Daily reflection: Anthony Giuliano
"While Thursday was filled with plenty of meaningful experiences, my favorite part of the day was our return to Holy Cross Lake view Secondary School to play sports with the students. We started our field day throwing around an American football, teaching the students the technique of how to hold and throw the football. After doing that for a short while, we transitioned to Ugandan football, or as we Americans know it, soccer. To say the least, the members of Lake view are incredibly good at football and I was admittedly a bit intimidated. We joined the faculty team and played some of the students.
While football was clearly not my game, I had such an incredible time playing with my Ugandan friends. They were incredibly welcoming and encouraging despite my lack of ability. I felt like in a lot of ways this game was representative of our experience here. While in many ways I am a stranger here and a stranger to the game of football, I could not have felt more at home playing alongside these guys. For our entire stay I have felt welcomed and celebrated. And when I scored the winning goal of our football match, I was certainly made to feel celebrated. In just a single 90 minute match, I had an experience that I will forever remember as a symbol of what these people have come to mean to me. For that, I will be forever grateful.”
Daily reflection: Matt Schoenbauer
I’ve dealt with more surprising, challenging, and confusing experiences than I can really handle right now, so I’m going to start with some concrete points in time order, and I’ll do the abstractions and applications later.
The kindness and hospitality that the Ugandan people displayed to our group is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.
Many of our interactions with the people of Uganda have had some musical component, and the display of broad musical competence (in Church or school assemblies) blows away anything I’ve seen in America.
The students at St. Ursula’s (a school for the disabled) were loving and lovable in a way that was seriously powerful and completely unfamiliar to me.
Lake view gave a mix of impressions on me and my fellow students. The children at this school have a shocking amount of focus and dedication, which was impressive despite what appeared to us to be poor working and living conditions. However, relative to the Ugandan standard, these students were very well off, and it’s not totally clear that the support provided to this school would be the most effective for Uganda as a whole.
For me, this means that I am now very seriously considering spending a year after graduation working to serve these communities, understand their needs, and maintain a connection between Dunne and Lake View. I have a whole host of reasons why I think that this is a very good idea that I can’t totally explain right now, but if I’ve learned anything from this trip, it’s that any attempts for change are ineffective without time, energy, and financial resources directed both at understanding problems and implementing the best possible solution.