Glendale students meet Ugandan pen pals, get concert from Watoto Children's Choir

GLENDALE, AZ - It was a big day for a group of Glendale third graders, as they finally met their pen pals who not only visited their school, but also put on a special concert just for the students at Heritage Elementary.

This may be the first time they are meeting, but the students in Cynthia Vossler's class already know their Ugandan visitors very well.

"I've been making Valentines things for them and Christmas things for them," says Jordan Jones, who's been writing to his pen pal Jonah, for the last three years.

"I asked him what his favorite sport is and he said football," says Brian, who is one of the Ugandan pen pals.  "His favorite subject is math and he has two brothers and a sister."

Awkward moments?  Of course there were plenty.  But the awkwardness quickly disappeared when the visitors took the stage.

Members of the Watoto Children's Choir have seen so much in their young lives, experiencing war, disease and poverty.

"Their parents have passed away, or abandoned them, or they have nowhere else to turn.  So they come in Watoto," says Robert Sendegeya.

But for this moment, they are simply kids, brought together by pen and paper, and now music.

The Watoto Children's Choir tours parts of the world to raise money and awareness for orphaned children in Uganda.

"This is a special day because we have met our friends," says Jonah, one of the Watoto children.

In all likelihood... this first meeting will also be their last. The Watoto children will continue to travel and spread awareness of the need in Uganda, and the children of Heritage Elementary will have great memories of the day they finally met their pen pals.

"I will remember it until the day I die, of course," says Jordan.

"It was the best day of my life at school, and I wish I could relive that moment," says Kylie.

The choir is staying in town through this weekend and will have performances throughout the Valley.  For more information, go to www.watoto.com/the-choir/see-the-choir

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