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Andy in Africa

Andrew (CIMA)
The John Paul II Justice And Peace Centre (JPIIJPC) , Uganda

Bye Uganda!!!

So, I thought I’d write one final blog to finish things off!

I landed back in the UK via Qatar on Saturday. It was funny, after a month in Uganda the one thing I really noticed back in London was the amount of signs & information everywhere constantly telling you what to do……use this shampoo, buy this drink, drive at this speed, turn right for Finsbury Park….at any one time there are about 5 signs telling you to do something. Maybe that’s why Uganda seemed a bit more relaxed. Anyway, I made it home & am very pleased with my new shampoo & drink.

Back at JPIIJPC headquarters the last week was spent finalising everything, ensuring everyone was happy with new processes & systems and writing the AFID reports to document progress made & agreed next steps.

On my penultimate day in the office, Faith popped her head round the corner and told me lunch was ready. I looked around and realised everyone else was missing (‘They’re gonna miss out on their posho’, I thought).

James & Sam in particular had been pretty busy running around that morning & discussing things between themselves in Lugandan. They said they were just trying to prepare a conference for the afternoon so I left them to it.

As I strolled across to the Dining room on the other side of the centre I realised it was very quiet & nobody was around, then SURPRISE!!! Everyone at the centre had organised a little surprise farewell lunch party with Pizza, Beer & Cake. What more could you want??

Turns out the conference they’d been busy preparing was the pizza & beer conference. It was a very nice gesture & really appreciated, especially as they were holding an actual real conference the next day so everyone was pretty busy. Sam had even designed a leaving card with some of my photos.

Fun times & the afternoon went pretty quick after plenty of pizza (& beer).

All in all it was a fantastic month & I’ll most definitely keep in touch with the guys at the centre.

I met good people, funny people, very unselfish people & all of the above combined.

Would definitely recommend an AFID placement to anyone although I do think I got quite lucky with a very fun place to work (despite the serious nature of a lot of the projects).

I was also very fortunate to work with some very knowledgeable people (Sister Fernanda had worked in Uganda for many years) so learnt a great deal about the realities of a very different country. Maybe it will make me look at my own country a bit differently.

I guess its time to go back to the real world and get a paid job. Then again, I’ve had this business idea….I think I’d call it ‘Boda-boda Britain’, I wonder if it could work??

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