We made the most of our last few days in Uganda. On Sunday, we visited the Kampala Church of Christ for the first time, and got to say goodbye to a couple of good people we met shortly after we arrived. We also spent two hours with Justice Kiryabwire, who runs the Pepperdine/Uganda Judiciary program from Uganda’s end.
Monday was delivery day for the sixty-five page Final Report I had wrote about my work over the prior six months. I felt like a paperboy as I drove around town dropping off copies of the report and saying goodbye to those who had worked so hard to ensure the program was successful. The day culminated in a very nice dinner party Chief Justice Odoki hosted at the Serena Hotel for me, my family, and the highest ranking members of the judiciary. There were lots of speeches, gifts, and fond farewells.
On Tuesday morning, we got up early and drove out to the Naguru Remand Home, which is the juvenile prison with which I have been working. I had a chance to say goodbye to the officials and to give the kids there a final word of encouragement.
On the heels of our successful Crocodile Farm trip the prior weekend, we ventured out to the Snake Park out near the airport in Entebbe. We brought with us Sarah Nassimbwa, with whom I had worked closely at the court, and her five year-old son. Sarah took him out of school for this educational field trip. We saw pythons, cobras, and other dangerous snakes native to the region.
I had called the week before to make sure we were there at feeding time, but they had inexplicably fed them the day before instead. Accordingly, we saw lots of fat snakes and several lucky baby chickens who had barely survived the carnage from the day before.
Later that afternoon, we visited Henry one last time at his school. We cherished the time we had to pray with him and his wonderful physics teacher. Henry’s end-of-term exams begin next week, so prayers are welcomed.
We ended the long day at my driver’s house with his family. They killed the proverbial fatted calf for us, and fed us his liver. Apparently, nothing says “welcome to my home” in Uganda quite like a plate of liver – Henry’s family had done the same thing when we visited their home in Hoima in early February. My family doesn’t like liver, but we did our best to gratefully accept what they offered. In fact, Jessica repeatedly told them that “this is the best liver I have ever had,” which was true, but seemed to be leaving out some important other details. Michael informed us that we were the first Mzungus ever to visit his house.
On Wednesday, we loaded up and set off for the airport in the afternoon. The flights were uneventful, and we landed in San Francisco at noon on Thursday and were greeted at the airport by my folks and Joline’s folks. As I type this on Friday morning, the kids are still sleeping so we have adjusted well to the time difference. Later today, we will celebrate Jessica’s 17th birthday. Later this month, we will drive back down to Southern California to resume our lives in the United States.
We are grateful those of you who have kept up with our adventure, and who have prayed for us along the way. Your prayers were felt and very much appreciated. We are eager to catch up with you in person, and to hear about what we have missed.
We intend to continue to provide updates about the ongoing work in Uganda and how our time there has changed us. God bless you.