Graduation 2010&ICS and Pharmacy Dinners
on Jason and Anna in Mbarara (Uganda), 12/Apr/2010 18:54, 34 days ago
Please note this is a cached copy of the post and will not include pictures etc. Please click here to view in original context.

Graduation 2010Although it has been a very long time since we posted on the Blog, it is not because we have actually been slacking! It is because we have been enjoying ourselves and also getting ourselves too sun burnt to actually appear in pictures!A very long time ago, back in January we had the privilege to attend the 2010 MUST Graduation. Having a big mouth I volunteered to help with taking pictures and videos of the event.The Graduation Grounds - Before people started to arrive en-massIt was a gloriously hot day and Mbarara was awash with Graduands. The event began with the Academic procession, which I thankfully avoided being official "press" and Anna had to suffer a 20 minute delay in the searing heat!Anna waiting for the procession to startThe Chancellor& Vice ChancellorFollowing the procession, the Vice Chancellor welcomed all of the guests and gave an outstanding speech which although long was actually not bad at all. Other speeches followed and the Graduation began.The Vice Chancellor giving his speechUnlike in the UK, the students names are read out as a class and they graduate together in one go with the blessing from the VC.Pharmacy students GraduatingThe event was of course quite long and me being stupid I did not put sun tan lotion on! This therefore meant that for the next week I was the colour of beetroot and was peeling all over the place... whoops.More pics of the graduation can be found here: Pharmacy DinnerAnna and I had argued before the event whether the Pharmacy dinner would be more boring than the ICS dinner. Lets be fair we should have chosen careers in subjects much more interesting shouldnt we?As usual it was a black tie event at Lake View hotel. The problem was my suit is no longer well a suit as the trousers went awol (for example in the pictures of us at the film premier people with a keen eye will see the disparity in the colours of the jacket and trousers). Anna definately didnt have a posh frock, so we decided to get stuff made.I had bespoke suit created and Anna a dress and top. Now for 150,000 Uganda Shillings (£50) I suppose you can expect much can you? Well yes you can, top quality material, fully fitted, a cool lining and the only problem being that the tailors could not understand that I wanted trousers that didnt go up to my armpits!On trying on the suit, I did look like I was attempting to be an R&B star with the trouser crotch nearly dragging on the floor... The tailor pulled up the trousers to where he believed my waist is and hey presto super comfy grandad trousers!! They look fine with the jacket but you cant remove it!!!! I am returning to get a pair of trousers in the style I desire and just so that they dont get confused shall be taking a pair of my own trousers they can model the new ones from!Annas new outfit was modelled loosely on her bridesmaid dresses (well the colour was the same), and managed to get it made in record timing! Although my suit is a little large it is definately value for money and the best suit I have ever purchased!Anyway, the Dinner...It was a very enjoyable occasion with speeches an auction and weirdly poetry.Students at their tablesTwo events during the dinner stood out, the first being a poetry rendition from one of the students. The content was of course Pharmacy which yes is a very dry subject but thankfully the student entertained by pretending he was auditioning for one of those horrendous stage schools in England.This of course meant he proceeded to do exagerated actions, crawl around on the floor and generally do insane things. We were not sure whether the students thought it was a funny as myself and Anna.Anna enjoying her chicken wingThe other event which was interesting / confusing was the auction. As we have mentioned previously there seems to be a habit of not choosing the highest bidder. Instead it seems as if you big an ammout and even pay it, the next person must outbid you, but somehow there is a remainder and another person must bid to knock out the remainder and so on. In the end somehow it then changes to a bid between two people and others add money on their behalf. Suffice to say I am still confused but somehow myself and Anna won some bed sheets... Of course we donated them the next day to one of the students and still dont even understand how we won.The cutting of the cake, a tradition during formal dinnersAll in all we had a good time and indeed Pharmacy students can be a little be geeky but I think they did a very good job.The ICS DinnerNow ICS is much bigger than Pharmacy so instead of having the dinner is a conference room, the organisers decided to have it pool side. I think they did a great job as it was very nice indeed. Of course in the UK this would not have been allowed as Health and Safety would have stopped the pool side fun!Pre-dinner drinksNow there is of course a reputation for things starting late here so we did the usual trick of looking at what time the students were supposed to arrive and adding an hour on for ourselves. Unfortunately I think most of the students added at least an extra two hours on for themselves so we had ample time to have drinks before people started to arrive. Therefore instead of starting at the alloted time of 7.30 we began around 9.30.Our table poolsideThe pool side even with float tea lightsBy starting so late, we had taken a few more beers than expected and then sitting down to dinner, there being no alchohol we proceeded to doze a little. Lasto my colleague actually slept through the speeches which eventually began after dinner at 11.30pm.All went well however, we had another mad auction and thankfully we didnt win this time although the item was mobile phone from Orange so much better than bed sheets!The guest speaker from Orange was also very good indeed although his speech was wasted on many people as they we fast asleep due to the time. Unfortunately he was the last person to speak and the gentleman before him, supposedly an events co-ordinator and prospective politician had a great ability to lull people to sleep.A very good evening, if a little late running, so sadly we decided to go home instead of staying for the after party.