Mzungu Memoirs

Farewell Interns

It seems like the Fall 2011 Interns arrived just yesterday, but they are already heading home.  We have already said goodbye to two that headed to London to work in the eMi UK office for about a week printing the report for the project they’ve been working on all term.  And we will be saying good bye to two more this week.  One intern who will be returning for the spring term will be staying in Uganda for the holidays and semester break.  Two other interns will be returning for the spring term as well, but they opted to spend Christmas in the States with their families and to do some additional fund raising.

Every term before the interns depart we have what we call an Intern Farewell dinner.  This is a time when we can love on the interns as a family and share some encouraging words with them about ways they have blessed us while they have been here.  Often, this meal is catered, but this group of interns decided to bless us by roasting a goat for us.  They even designed and commissioned the construction of a grill, their legacy to the eMiEA office.

Goat is often eaten at large occasions where many people are being served, so a live goat is bought and then slaughtered.  And this is what the interns did.  Since the dinner was on Wednesday, I believe the goat was purchased Monday evening.  It was at the office all day Tuesday.  Then I believe they slaughtered it Tuesday evening and prepared it for grilling the following day.  The interns said the knives they were using were rather dull and it didn’t help that the power was out, so it was quite the undertaking.  I can only image.  But the outcome was very impressive as the goat kebabs they served Wednesday evening were quite delicious.

Another tradition at the office is for the interns to take a group photo to be hung on the wall.  Lately, each group of interns has been trying to outdo the former group in terms of craziness of their photo.  Since the last group of interns piled into and on the Intern Coordinator’s Suzuki Samurai for their group photo, this group decided to pile onto our boda boda.  They managed to fit all five of themselves and the goat on our motorcycle.  I didn’t know it would hold that much.

Since Robert and I enjoy hosting, we try to have the interns over for dinner a couple of times per term.  This term we got towards the end and I realized that we had never had them over after the initial introductory dinner when they first arrived.  We managed to get one last dinner squeezed in before two interns left for the UK.  In fact, it was the very last meal before they got on the plane and we were honored that they chose to spend it with us rather than just amongst themselves.

One of the things that Robert likes to do at this last meal we host for the interns is send them off with some words by Max Lucado from his book Fearless.  He reads to them from the chapter about the “Fear of What’s Next” called the “Caffeinated Life.”  He’s done it a couple of times now, so I guess it has become a tradition.  The idea is that Robert wants to encourage the interns as they transition into a new phase of life, reminding them as Solomon does that life is full of seasons and that they are simply moving into a new season.  I love this new tradition Robert has started, and I hope it encourages the interns as much as it does me.

So we wish you well, Fall 2011 Interns.  May your life be full of many more seasons and may you look back on this particular season with fondness.  I hope it has blessed your life.  You have certainly blessed ours.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1

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