Wow, it has been a busy last two days in Seattle. Wednesday Robert and Phiona were able to attend another school, West Seattle Elementary to share in a small classroom environment as well as to a larger group of kids from 2nd all the way up to 5th grade! The school was so incredible, so kind and gracious and some of the best behaved children we have seen yet! The kids not only had a great time playing and listening to Robert and Phiona but the magical “chess lady,” Wendi was able to actually teach a lesson live to the kids. First Move is such an amazing program that is in schools across the US, Wendi and Kat have been so amazing to work with and we couldn’t be more thankful to them for all their hard work to get Robert and Phiona into these schools!
Next up was the Seattle Rotary Club, also arranged by Wendi and Kat, this club is the largest Rotary Club in the world! On the way to the club, we did make some time to do a little shopping for Phiona, which was a great break in the day to reboot!! Then, back to work, Robert and Phiona had the opportunity to share their story of Hope to the members and had time after the lunch for people to speak with them and exchange greetings. The club was again just so kind and welcoming! The Northwest has truly been a gracious host to all of us.
With a tight schedule as usual, we headed to Bellevue, where we met Elliot Neff with Chess4Life, Elliot is a self-taught chess master and started Chess4Life and has the goal to serve 100,000 children a week eventually. He took us to Open Window School, where the students had put together a slideshow about Phiona to introduce her. After Robert and Phiona spoke to the children and some parents, they played chess and signed cards and books for the students. Loi, a native Ugandan who lives in Seattle and son, Tendo plays in the chess program at Open Window surprised them with cake to celebrate her being there. Not sure what to do or say, Loi suggested we all sing Happy Birthday to Phiona, it was wonderful. After visiting awhile longer we headed out to Loi’s home where she had invited Robert, Phiona, SOI staff and several friends. Elliot was able to give Phiona some more lessons and they prepared traditional Ugandan food to make Robert and Phiona feel right at home. It was a wonderful day, very full, but every minute was full of such amazing opportunities.