The background to the visit starts with research for an IB Diploma EE about Gordon and the Fall of Khartoum in 1885. In the course of this research it was discovered that the statue that originally stood in front of the palace in Khartoum from 1904 until 1959, was now standing in the corner of the playing fields at Gordon’s school. A visit to see the statue, and a warm welcome by their school staff led to further visits, attendance at their Whitehall march, Prizegiving and Parade. As the relationship between the schools grew, the idea of a trip was floated and preparation was undertaken initially by Board members and later, school staff.
The visitors arrived in Khartoum on 21st March, during a fierce heatwave.
Day 1- Tour of KICS and met the buddies. Sunset boat trip on Blue Nile to Omdurman.
Day 2- Khalifa’s House, Mahdi’s tomb. Lunch at El Hosh, National Museum, Dervishes.
Day 3- Session with WEP students at KICS and drive to Bejrawiya. Overnight at Pyramids
Day 4- Return to Khartoum, Ozone lunch, Tea at British Residence
Day 5- Students in school all day. Afternoon BBQ and film
Day 6- Ailafoun, Dairy and Cocacola tours. Tree planting and reception at school.
The final event of the trip was a Reception at school when Mr Gordon presented KICS Chairman with a replica of the famous statue and Ms Susan Meikle presented him with letters of good wishes from Buckingham Palace, the Lord Mayor of London and the Chairman of the Board of Gordon’s School.
The Board would like to express heartfelt thanks for the work of Sally Abdelmoneim who was in charge of all the bookings, transfers, and all the logistical details involved in ensuring that the visit was so well coordinated and executed.
Huge thanks also to Rawan Elgurashi who was the KICS staff member who communicated with the group before they arrived and set up the buddies, designed the programme, arranged gifts and was generally the main point of contact for the visitors prior to their arrival.
Thanks also to our dear friend Mr Bill Ridout, former Consul at the British Embassy, who came from Addis Ababa to help to show the visitors around and share with them his huge knowledge of Sudan’s colonial and ancient history.
THANKS TO AMAZING VISITORS
The Board would also like to thank the visitors themselves for being such an appreciative and resilient group. They were keen and interested in everything they saw and experienced, despite the sizzling temperatures. The students interacted with great ease with their KICS counterparts and have established some firm friendships in their time with us.
On the last day we met up to discuss future areas for interaction. Ideas included Model United Nations visits, Football tournament in Surrey, Student exchanges, Gap Year experiences, Staff exchanges, Collaborative Project work, future school trips with history, charity and cultural focus. Mr Peter will be attending Gordon’s Prizegiving and Inspection? Parade? in June in UK and we look forward to establishing some meaningful links between the two schools in the future.