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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

UA Teachers visit Uganda

A group of 5 UA faculty and administrators recently visited Uganda with the purpose of  meeting with Ursuline's new partner, the Catholic Archdiocese of Kampala, in order to plan and organize future trips for our students. The visit was highly successful and our group learned a lot not only about the work of the Catholic Church in Uganda but also about how women are working to lift themselves and others out of poverty. Many of our encounters and visits confirmed that Uganda is working hard to be a world leader in entrepreneurship, animal conservation and education. 

Our happy group: Ms. Haley, Ms. Chinuntdet, Ms. Smith, Mr. Poellet and me (Ms. Nipp)  

Below are a few photos of the wonderful people and places that we encountered in Uganda - we cannot wait to share this experience with our students! 

We were welcomed  warmly at the airport by many old and dear friends including UA Alum, Agnes Kasule, Father Joe Luzindana and Natal Glora, who visited earlier this year in Dallas. 

One of our first stops was St. Peter's Catholic School - a marvelous school!
These are the members of the student council
The Sisters at the Nsambya Babies home were most grateful to receive a computer from UA Technology 

Ms. Smith and Ms. Haley entertained the babies at the Nsambya Babies Home

We were thrilled to see so many elephants, including baby elephants, at Murchison Fallls National Park 

Visiting with the counselors at Mulago Hospital Children's Malnutrition Ward

Staff meeting at the Catholic Hospital, St. Raphael of St. Francis Hospital

The talented women of Paper Craft, an employee-owned company

Mass with Father Joe and Father Simon Peter

Great times at Bead for Life

With Father Joe and his staff at the YES (Youth Encounter the Savior) Center

The adorable children of African Children's Choir

The Catering Vocational School at the YES center 

Our old friends, Sr. Anne and Sr. Gretchen, came over from Kenya to greet us
A happy Reunion with our friends from Empower African Children

With Father Joe and Father Joseph, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese at the Archdiocese offices
Our trip to Africa was intense, enlightening and inspiring. In particular, the youth and the women of Uganda have great potential and are working hard to improve lives in their country. It was amazing to see the work of the Catholic church in Africa. We are back in Dallas now but our memories of Uganda live on in our hearts and minds. We are already making plans and looking forward to November when we plan to return to Uganda with our students.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Final Day at GYLI

Our final day at GYLI was spent sailing and enjoying final happy moments with our new friends. In fact, Lauren and Jae each had the opportunity to steer the ship!

This last awesome day ended with reflection about all that we have experienced and learned. Finally, we concluded our GYLI experience with a drum circle on the pier. It was wonderful and we can't wait for GYLI Year 2 ! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

News from GYLI

Our second full day at the GYLI conference began with pouring rain outside our tents. Luckily, we were able to meet at the nearby Pine Point school and the rain soon ended. The theme of Day 2 was religious pluralism and we focused on the 5 C's of Identity: Color, Culture, Character., Class and Context.

On Wednesday, we spent much of the day learning to sail! Jae was chosen to take the lead as the active mate tor a short time and she was charged with calling out the orders to the rest of the crew.

Lauren was the lead on the starboard side of the ship. Here she is holding the sail in place with the stopper knot that she was taught.

After so much hard work, the students had a chance for a little swim break - our UA students were the first to jump in the water!

By the end of the afternoon, our young sailors were back at work and climbing rat lines.

In the evening, the waters were a bit rough so we docked in beautiful Mystic, Connecticut - What a beautiful place and what a great day!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day 1 GYLI

Our GYLI group made it safely to their campsite in Connecticut where they have had a great time meeting and bonding with the other GYLI participants from Chicago, Detroit, and Rochester. They bunked in tents with their new friends last night and then had a full day of activities aboard the Tall ship.  As you can see below, the students are quickly learning all about the importance of collaborative leadership as they begin their sailing adventure. We can't wait to hear more!

Safety First! 
Team work is critical! 
Chaperons ready to set sail! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Students depart for GYLI

Today two of our UA sophomores departed for the Year 1 GYLI (Global Youth Leadership Institute) conference in Connecticut accompanied by two UA faculty chaperones. The entire group will spend the next week learning about leadership, team work, identity and much more. Much of the week will be spent aboard a tall ship where collaboration and communication will be critical. Bon Voyage Jae and Lauren - we can't wait to hear about your adventure!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Last School Day with Ursuline High School, Wimbledon

Our last day at Ursuline High School was a memorable one.  The teachers started the day by joining the faculty for the weekly briefing in the staff room.  We were able to convey our heart-felt appreciation for their lovely hospitality by presenting the school with a gift of commemorative tiles featuring Ursuline Academy through the years.  In return, we were delighted to receive a beautiful book about Wimbledon.  Both schools are thrilled with the five years of our partnership and hope for many more.

After the staff meeting the students and teachers were treated to a cooking lesson.  We made delicious English scones, raspberry muffins, and cheese straws.  The girls learned how to measure out the ingredients (the Brits use scales to weigh instead of “cups”), roll out pastry dough , etc.  Not only was it an excellent cooking lesson, the food was divine!  

Once the treats were finished, in true Serviam spirit, we wrapped them up and walked over to Beaumont nursing center.  The girls spent time visiting with the elderly residents, sharing our homemade refreshments, and learning more about the fascinating people who call Beaumont home.  I’m not sure who enjoyed the visit more- the students or the residents!

Finally, we ended the afternoon with a picnic on Wimbledon Common with our English sisters.  The girls even played a spirited game of “rounders” (a cross between softball and cricket) after lunch.  Still not sure what the final score on the game was, but the laughter from the girls seemed to indicate that EVERYONE won today.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Touring Literary London

We had another walking tour through London today, but, this time, the focus was entirely on British literature.  We saw the stomping grounds of Dickens, Keats, and Shakespeare.  The day also included a picnic and afternoon break  in the shadow of the Tate museum and the Millennium Bridge.  We ended the day with a performance of “As You Like It” at the world famous Globe Theatre.  The theatre provided fabulous paper hats for the “groundlings” to keep out the sun.  Despite the fact that we stood for 2.5 hours, we loved the performance and seeing so many of the places that we studied earlier this summer in our Literary London class.

Globe Theatre

Not everyone can look this attractive in paper hats

Peeking out to say "Cheers!" from London

Dr. Baxter enjoys a literary moment in London

Millennium Bridge