It was a typical Friday in the office at LCH. Friday fellowship had ended and I had a few loose ends to tie up before I left for my long sabbatical. Tomorrow was Tr. Francis’ wedding at the church behind LCH, so there was some noise in the main hall. I could hear tables moving and chairs being stacked, I assumed in preparation for his big day. Earlier that week I had received a school notice of the next weeks plans for testing (and therefore schedule changes). On it included a “Prayer send off for the coordinator” on Monday.
While I was busy in the office, Head Master William walked in proclaiming with a big smile,
“Na-talie, I want to give you a stern warning. Are you ready?” A bit confused I said yes. “You may not leave this office under any circumstance until someone comes to get you,” he warned me.
Hmm. Maybe all the racket in the hall was not for what I had anticipated it for…
About 1.5 hours later I heard Jerad on the PA system welcoming people in and the announcement for the special team to gather me from my office. In typical African style, I was escorted out of my office with a procession of dancing staff members and the timeless African shrill.
(Gulp) The whole of Lulwanda was there- all the school children, all the teachers, all the home staff. (Ok Nat, keep it together and don’t let the tears start yet).
They had set up the main hall in pure party fashion, including a high table. Auntie Christine even gave up her regular tall chair for the seat of honor, decorated with pretty lace doilies. Different classes had prepared presentations and dances. And the staff had very graciously collected money to buy gifts. Not only did they send me off with a beautiful kitange outfit, they also thought of each of my family members and wanted to send their love to them through gifts as well. HOW SWEET IS THAT!
|In Ugandan tradition, the person of honor is the one to serve each of their guests a piece of cake.|
It was a beautiful and honoring send off to remember. I appreciate all the heartfelt prayers of protection, rest, and blessing.
Enjoy this video that captured the day.
(Photo credit and videography credit to a number of LCH children)