Tag Archives: Ave Maria Vocational School

Sunshine, the world, and all your dreams

After visiting the Ave Maria school in Lira, and hearing the students there sing, I think I felt more comfortable than anything else. Most people feel overwhelmed when witnessing a welcome and presentation like that, but for me, I was more excited than anything else.

This trip is all about the music so I tried to focus more on that than on the fact that at least one third of the students were infected with HIV and may not be alive for much longer. So, why not be a part of making it one of the best days of their lives?

Music is more than just making  noise with instruments, voice or dance. It’s emotional, powerful and deep. And for me it was a connection; it broke down the barrier between our worlds.

I mean, obviously I can’t even begin to imagine or comprehend the trauma they have been through, but I think these people always search for the best in everything. Not an ounce of negative energy could be felt from these students – at least when we were there.

I think, more than anything, that they just wanted to share their world with us. And since music is a significant part of their life, it was most important that they share at least the music with us. I mean, we can’t give them everything, but we can give them the attention we don’t even deserve.

The group at Ave Maria Vocational School.

A friend is another self

Today we went to the Ave Maria Vocational School in Lira. We went with the intention of listening to a couple traditional African songs and dances, then getting a couple of interviews. But the thing about Uganda is that things never go as planned.

As soon as we stepped out of the bus the students started singing, which meant whipping the cameras out as fast as possible. Any attempt to go over good shooting tips and talking multi-camera strategy with Tim went out the window. We arrived at about 9:30 a.m. and the students didn’t stop dancing until we needed to leave for lunch at 2 p.m.

Lunch was a much needed break for the group so we could have time to reconvene and strategize. But of course things never go as planned.

After lunch it was more singing, dancing and even skits were prepared for us – with no choice but to just go with it. John was made an elder (officially) of the Lango tribe and we all received gifts from all the other elders and the director of the school.

And there’s nothing like ending the day planting a tree at the school (each of us) and drinking a cold one with the elders.

Planting a pine tree at Ave Maria Vocational School