Friday: Once we were out of the [school] gate we started chatting and singing and playing games. We had a lot of fun activities… but boredom came like a fox. After about an hour we began switching seats and jamming, I guess our car didn’t like that, as shortly after our tyre burst. Not sure if we didn’t understand, but we began again and as you can guess it burst again so no tyres were left as spares (that was scary). Later on, we watched the stars and some slept a bit. There was a point where we seemed lost in the woods and it felt like we were never going to get there. The bumps and potholes were horrible but we arrived around 20.30. When we arrived, we were led to the tennis court where we were introduced to some students. I was nervous, but we’re greeted with lovely smiles and delicious brownie cupcakes. I was really scared and shy, I honestly had butterflies in my stomach, but the students were nice and made me feel welcomed. Then, we were shown our sleeping quarters. The rooms which we slept in were also an experience in itself. Definitely not the city lifestyle. Bugs everywhere.
Saturday: We had breakfast at 7 o’clock which was oat porridge, toast and rice cakes. I’ll never forget the look on Mwangala’s face as she tried the Marmite. It was hilarious. After breakfast I made new friends, Sante, Esther, Kamwengo and Liko. Once finished, [Sakeji] grade 7 – 9 got into Mr Towse’s car, while Amano students got into our separate cars. We drove for about five to 10 minutes to ‘The Cottage’, a place where we can swim in the river and the water was cold, but I eventually got used to it. Later, me and some others went upstream with Mr Grove and went tubing which was fun and scary because of the logs and trees. At the cottage I got to enjoy the peace and nature of the cottage area and had a really good time getting to know the Sakeji-ites, as they like to be known. The cottage is a very calming place in which you can experience the beautiful nature all around us. We had games in the river and took so many pictures. We stayed there for a long time until lunch, which was at 12.00hrs at ‘the river’ and we had burgers, another good meal. Lunch was delicious, we even had ice cream for dessert. I got to know more people, Lubanji and Mulembo.
We rested before playing capture the flag which was fun and tiring (I got caught many times). Then we went swimming in the pool that was filled by the river. The pool was like a black ocean. At the pool I had the courage to jump off the 10ft diving board and also go on the ‘Flying Fox’ and that was very fun. I even made new friends and we even pushed people into the pool. People at Sakeji are great fun and I am very happy I could have this great experience. That night I got to know people and experience the generosity of them. The food is excellent and enjoyable. After supper we had a movie to watch, but before [that] we watched Tom and Jerry, then the movie. For the movie we were only going to watch half and then we were going to finish it on Monday.
In the evening we went down to the river and this part was my favourite part of the whole trip. We had to be blind folded and follow a rope… It was my favourite because you had to trust the person in front of you and use all your senses. That was and unforgettable experience. A few of our friends tricked us into crawling on the floor [when nothing was above our heads]. We passed over a steep and muddy anthill. I tripped on a root which was embarrassing. Then we entered the cold, cold pool, then after crawled in the sand, then entered the cold rocky river. I hated it, but it taught us to trust each other. I found this quite challenging as I hate the dark, I lost the group in front of me and people behind me were very impatient.
Sunday: Sunday was more spiritually and mentally challenging rather than physically. After breakfast we went for the first session of church. We had three services. The topics kept me attentive and interested. The preacher was Mr Tim McDougal. He talked on Jesus and Peter walking on the water. His 4 main points: Prayer is important, Faith is important, Always look to Jesus and, Peter and Jesus had a good relationship. And me?
When he finished, we had an hour’s rest period where many of us ended up talking waiting for it to end and we could have lunch. Finally! Lunch was a slightly different version of a roast dinner: Roast beef, salad, green beans, boiled cabbage. I loooooved it! I was so happy plus it had an amazing gravy. [With] lunch over we went to another session. The service that stuck out the most [to me] was the second one. This time Mr Towse was talking about the church pictured as a building and how Christ is the Cornerstone, capstone, our foundation and that we should not deceive ourselves that we belong to the church if we don’t. It is about the people who have a relationship with him. He continued to bring up the points [of] the body and the building of the church. Once again, we had another break. We took a tour of the school with Mr Towse, a really fun staff member.
After we went to our rooms to rest after we were told to choose between going to volleyball or the river. I went to the river and found creatures. I felt humble. My favourite part [of the whole trip] was the swimming at the cottage and volleyball. We also had pancakes, Canadian style, for supper. After this, we had our last session of church with Mr Grove. For me the evening talk was the one that moved me the most about how we should not be swayed by the world in our thinking. I feel that this was the most applicable to my life at this time. He basically made a summary of all the things we had been taught earlier. It all comes down to faith, a realisation of Jesus as our God and Saviour. This sticks in my head: ‘We cannot do everything. We must acknowledge we are weak. If we don’t, then why look for a Saviour?’
It is very true. If we don’t see we are weak, then why would you look for a God to save you? As the session and snack ended it was time to get ready to rest. We also had time to reflect on the day and to read and relax, which I liked. On that day I also learned that I need Jesus. Jesus has power and he heals me spiritually. I thank Sakeji for that and really good singing voices. A sweet day ended in sweet rest.
Monday: Of all the days I couldn’t wait for it would be this day. Monday was a sporting kind of day starting off with a crazy 6am swim. It was really cold but the hot chocolate at the end was really rewarding. It was absolutely freezing as my feet, teeth and ears really hurt. It was fun seeing people get in the cold water. For about 15 mins I swam, it was surprisingly warm. Then we had to rush back to change into PE kit for the team sports.
After a quick breakfast at 7, we went to watch the boys play football. ACS 0:5 Sakeji. Sadly, we lost but there were some good plays and saves. From the football I learned no matter the results we should be happy for our friends. Next was the girl’s netball. ACS 3:8 Sakeji. Yes, we lost but the game had good plays on both sides. I am proud of my team. Well, I found out that I made so many friends in Sakeji and that is an accomplishment for me. Sakeji were tough competition. I even got my glasses knocked off my face in the second half. That was when I made a decision to make it very hard for my person to get the ball, that was my revenge. It was a really good game. We had lunch [and] the rice and chicken were almost better than my Mum’s cooking. Then the girls played football drawing 0:0. The boys played tag rugby and lost 5:11 to Sakeji. We all played ultimate frisbee. Very new for me. I got to learn more about the Sakeji boys and finally tried the renowned Sakeji mud, which is really mouth-watering. It is not really mud.
Once dinner was complete, we had a break before we finished ‘Snowball Express’ and some games. My favourite game was where we were tagged as an animal and had to try figure out who we were by asking yes/no questions. 2 more games followed and we went to bed.
Tuesday:I learned about making friendships and no matter what, people would always welcome us with arms open. I loved the food, it was a really nice place, the people were really nice, really hospitable. We made good friendships. Most of all I will have learned to step out of my comfort zone such as the zipline, the diving board and talking to people I probably most likely wouldn’t have. I also really enjoyed just having fun and making new memories. The trip to Sakeji taught me to be courageous. The reason why is because I had to meet new people and be friends with them, do activities, doing a front flip off the 9ft board, going against the Sakeji people, swimming in the cold river, and meeting new teachers. What I learned in the whole trip is to have hospitality to all and to let people into our homes just as they let us into their school. To have courage because we don’t know if we are an inspiration to other and will need to do so others can follow.
I learned a lot about being courageous, brave, being a better swimmer etc. The food was great too. The pizza, water, Sakeji mud, RICE CAKES etc. I was really thankful and enjoyed. Even for me I need to grow closer to God and have faith in him. Sakeji not only showed me hospitality, but also showed me that we serve an awesome God who made beautiful things around us that we need to take care of. I learned from this trip 1) How to work with new team members. 2) To appreciate special things. 3) Keep my eyes on God even within storms. I enjoyed a lot with the Sakeji girls, they are really good and I loved them and am going to miss them so much. I also loved the way they treated us with love and care. I also liked their food. Tuesday was the return most of us were not waiting for. I feel this has been a balanced trip, some new experiences for me, sports I’ve never played and new people, new culture. It had spiritual learning and [was] challenging, rest times, chill times and sports all of which I like. This trip was worth it.
Late morning, we start off at 10.30, not half way and gluteus maximus is hurting,
hardly surviving, trying not to be thirsty, arrived at 9pm with most people sleeping.
As tired as we were, woke up early and eager, looking forward to what was in store for us.
Swam in the river, went tubing making stuff crazier. Pool after lunch, so hot, there was no fuss.
Trust. A word that seems so easy, but actually, easier said than done.
In darkness had an adventure which wasn’t cosy, a scary test of trust, but quite fun.
3 sessions of church yet a lot to gain, faith, the church and courage,
focusing was hard cause the heat was a pain, then volleyball and ending with the evening message.
Woke up at 5.45 to go for a swim, so cold most people didn’t want to go in.
I stayed in until frozen were my limbs, then looked forward to a win.
Sakeji vs Amano competition, boys lost their games quite badly,
netball loss compared to boys was a repetition, though no goals were scored in football sadly.
Woke up early preparing to go, I am sure all of us wanted to stay,
we said our farewells but tears there were no, and now here I am writing this on the way.
“We at Amano are very grateful for the time and energy of Sakeji staff to have us come and visit. They provided our children with experiences to remember for life, and the lessons taught, to be lived out now. Thank you very much for your service for the Lord and to us. My thanks to Mr Wardle and Miss Shakwelele for being great supervisors and a great help.” –