I awoke to the roosters crowing this morning and walked over to SMK. Melissa let Brian stay home from school for the day so we could hang out. The highlight of the morning was being treated to a private art lesson from this talented young man. He was very patient with me and quite good at explaining shading techniques for pastels. He humored me by telling me he thought the drawings in my sketch book were good, and then he proceeded to enlighten me on the more specific details of successful pastel drawing. Brian makes an excellent teacher. We shared some laughs, talked about art and life and hung out in Melissa's kitchen for the morning and early afternoon. He seems to be doing well. He has the occasional memory lapse, and he does look thin, but he has made great strides since the accident he had when our team was here last December.
It's good to be back with old friends. Mel kindly prepared lunch, and the three of us enjoyed each other's company around her kitchen table.
I was not expecting the organized welcome party at the school later in the afternoon. All the school children gathered in the center of the compound. They sang songs for me, and headmaster Moses led them through a very sweet chorus of welcoming words. Moses spoke, then Joan Faith spoke, then Mama Rosemary and then me. Speeches are standard fare at any celebration in Uganda!
I looked out at the sea of bright faces and saw my pals from over the years: Tina, Boy-Boy, Petra, Rebecca, Joanne, Beatrice, Kato, Sharon, Lillian, Erias, Irene, Patiency, Diana and Margaret.
In a way, it felt like I'd come home.