Uganda 08 diary - Day 18: ...we did it our way!!

There were a few tired faces on the final morning as we prepared for an early departure from Entebbe back to Heathrow. It had been a highly memorable, thoroughly enjoyable, moving, rewarding but tiring trip, and the last night festivities meant that some got less sleep than they needed. But hey, it was most certainly worth it. Most of us managed to kip on the plane anyway.

Going home.

Team Win! 08 had done Liverpool proud. The group was a total pleasure to take away. They were great fun to be with, but knew where to draw the line, showing tremendous maturity in their relations amongst themselves and with the Ugandan children and adults that they met. Everywhere we went all I heard was what a wonderful bunch of young people they were and how they gave to the Ugandan teenagers in particular a much better image of what "wealthy" European teens can be like in terms of their sensitivity to the others' needs, their simplicity, their friendliness and the way they didn't look down on their Ugandan hosts.

For our part, we all noticed (like in Togo) how the local people seemed fundamentally happy and at peace with themselves. They had an inner contentment which we in the materialistic, capitalist West strive for, but too often in completely the wrong ways. I hope that the members of our group will retain this lesson, as it is one that will hopefully help them to maintain the right priorities in life as they get older.

A MASSIVE thank you to our accompanying adults: Sophie (a regular on Mennaisian youth trips with us now for many years - a rock, our Team Mum. What would I do without her?), Matthew (recent graduate to the rank of Team Adult having been a Team Teen on previous trips - at ease with both the teens and the adults... says a lot. Full of calm good sense and self-depracting humour) and my confrères Bro. Michel Clouet (official Team Cameraman and resident French person - a lovely, easy going bloke, always smiling, always willing to help) and last but by no means least, my mentor, the evergreen Bro. Francis, aka Team Grandad :-) or Doc (from Back To The Future). It means so much to me to be able to share these youth experiences with a fellow English Brother. And when it is someone who has such a mischievous sense of fun, is so comfortable with our young people (and vice versa), is such a dependable support and always willing to "muck in", well it makes me proud to be a De La Mennais Brother.

Dieu Seul
(For God Alone)

Photos for these articles were supplied by Bro. Michel, Bro. Francis, Bro. Dominic (Uganda) and myself. In the next 2 articles I will post a wonderful selection of photos taken by one of our teens.

Team Stubbly Beard + Team Grandad.
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