By Nicolo Pellegrino
It's incredible how close you can get to a group of people in just two weeks. After having eaten breakfast, our team walked up the small hill next to Peace and Golden's house, walking past everything that we had done over the past couple of weeks. With the children by our sides it was impossible to control the avalanche of emotions flowing over us. We had all realised how life changing this had all been and the goodbyes were long and difficult telling the children and staff at TPC that we would meet again one day. My family and I sponsor a young girl called Norah, and as I looked my little sister Norah in the eye I told her I would be back as soon as possible. Struggling to compose myself and trying not to cry, I told her to work hard in school and to take care of her brothers and sisters in TPC. I never imagined it would be so hard to say bye to little Norah.
As I boarded the bus I realised very clearly just how important The Peace Centre is to me and how I will always carry it with me wherever I go. The small yellow home, with its dark red roof and many people waving and wishing us journey mercies disappeared into the background as we drove off, to be seen again in June 2016.
As we left Bukinda, I reflected on how this trip was not just about giving, but also about receiving. Receiving from the children, the staff and the whole community. Peace and Golden did everything possible to make the two weeks as comfortable as possible for all of us. Their hospitality really was incredible, and as we left, we were not just a group of visitors who had stayed with them, but we were family.
Our tired team reached Queen Elizabeth National Park and relaxed for the afternoon. In the evening we all sat around together and enjoyed a time of group reflection, sharing our feelings and challenges from the past 36 hours. The emotions began to rise in us all again. The main ideas shared were about how special the dancing and singing were last night, and about how amazing it is to think that we have only known these children for two weeks and yet we are so close. I used the word 'family' to describe The Peace Centre team, and the word 'sister' to describe little Norah and people might think these words are exaggerations or being used incorrectly, but they truly are the words that best describe how close we all felt, how close I felt to everyone there. And because of that, despite all the sadness and tears of goodbyes, there are many more reasons to be happy.
Who are we?
A team working alongside Golden Magezi in Bukinda, Uganda, running an orphanage that provides kids with love, family and an education.