Hello from Uganda! We have finally arrived in the Abayudaya Community after a
long journey beginning in Los Angeles, stopping in New York and London and then
around 8 hours of driving from Entebbe, through the capital city of Kampala, and
finally arriving in Mbale and reaching Nabagoye Hill.
We spent our first day meeting people around the village and discussing the
convention with the AYA board. We attended their Executive Board meeting and
discussed the programs for the convention. Thanks to your support, we delivered many goods to the
AYA such as football(soccer) equipment, clothes, a new laptop and camera, and
We then began opening ceremonies for the convention,
including a speech from the AYA Chairman, Yosef Kalema, and introductions from
the synagogue youth leaders of their delegations.
We led two programs for the youth after the opening ceremonies. David led a
leadership program discussing Jewish heroes from biblical and modern times and
how we can apply their leadership traits to our lives as leaders in the
community. Rory led a session about the current situation in Israel regarding
Gilad Shalit, as well as a session of icebreakers and games. All of the sessions
went very well, with some participants even asking for extra copies of the
materials for them to keep and read.
Our friend Sarah who came to Far West convention a two years ago and our new
friend Esther took us on a tour of the town center and showed us around the area
before dinner, and then the rest of the night was filled with singing songs from
a songbook Far West provided at the convention last year and listening to
Ugandan music before heading to bed.
Sidenote: Elections for the new AYA board were supposed to take place today,
but the electoral board decided to postpone them for a few reasons-
A) they have a new constitution, but not all the executive board members have
signed and approved it, so they don’t want to elect a new board without the
rules set in place.
B) They don’t have the full amount of funding for the voting materials they need
at the current time.
C) They want the convention to be a time of celebration and not be spoiled by
people losing for office and being upset, especially because they have 16
positions, mostly opposed offices.
Because of all this, the elections have been postponed to a later date within
the next month, and when the date is chosen everyone will come back together to
elect a new executive board.