First, let us apologize for some technical difficulties we have been having, we are sorry that the posts have not been quite as consistent, we hopefully will be back on track now!
Monday was our final full day in New York, and we were blessed with a beautiful one! The sun was shining, the Bronxville School was an incredible host and there was time to catch up with friends before it all came to an end. The Bronxville Middle School Principal, Dr. Tom Watts was great, he was so open and really seemed interested in the program. We hope we will be able to setup skype calls between the schools once Robert and Phiona arrive back home. Dr. Watts also shared a few great tidbits about Memphis since that is the next stop on the itinerary!
The school visit finished right at lunch time, so we met Betsy Harding for one last visit and a bite to eat in downtown Bronxville, what a quaint town! We ate at Pete’s, doors were open, breeze running through and we were able to enjoy conversation with Libby, before she had to run and Betsy! Betsy also showed Robert the new Soccer/Rugby store they opened in town in addition to the running store. Inside the running store, Robert was able to run on the treadmill and have them assess his run and what types of shoes would be best for him! We all jumped in the car and headed for Betsy’s again so that Robert and Phiona could have some quiet time for a chess lesson before heading into the city one last time. Beatriz, who works with FIDE has been a wonderful friend to Robert and Phiona and had arranged for dinner downtown at Isabella’s. As always it was wonderful to see a familiar face and enjoy time of fellowship and sharing new and different ideas.
Tuesday has now come and gone, we made our way through NYC traffic first thing to fly down south to Memphis. It was a great feeling to step outside and have 80 degree sunshine on your face, could not have asked for a better start to the visit here. We were greeted by Dr. Jeff Bullington and his lovely parents who helped us get to hotel to checkin. After receiving Welcome to Memphis bags from the organization we all went and relaxed and snacked on some of our new goodies before dinner. Seeds of Change hosted a dinner honoring the chess program headed by Dr. Bullington and the school Douglas School k-8. It was a wonderful dinner, several people shared, from Principal Cabel of Douglas school, to a mother of a chess player, a former chess player and a 10th grade chess player named Emmanuel. Emmanuel was an amazing young man, he shared how much chess has impacted his life and how it has helped him build character and improve in school. He was inspiring to listen to! After Dr. Bulllington shared for a bit he called Rodney up and then Robert and Phiona. They were able to share how chess has transformed not just their lives but so many children and especially girls young and old in Uganda.
** Apologies for no pictures this morning, due to connection issues we are unable to upload photos from last night. The pictures hopefully be on this afternoon. **
It was a wonderful evening, we met many new friends and want to thank Kaki, Lori and Dr. Bullington for inviting us to such an event! Tomorrow we will be up bright and early to head to a TV interview followed by two school visits, one to Douglas and the other Kingston here in Memphis. We can’t wait to see these chess players in action and learn more about how they have chess as part of their everyday curriculum in the schools!