Today I visited a middle school.
My goal: to support a Dentist as he shared his experience volunteering at the Mummy Drayton School Clinic.
I sat across the room and watched large groups of students get herded into the library with their teachers. I watched them fidget, whisper and giggle throughout the presentation. I watched their eyes widen in surprise to see the most devastating facts appear on the PowerPoint.
I offered free bracelets to all if they signed up for more information. They hurried over for the modest swag. I smiled, encouraged and laughed at the various questions about Ugandan wildlife. I then watched them rush off to lunch or their next class.
I believe in planting seeds. I know that many of these students will not find their calling in Nyaka. The promise is not in the cause, it is in the perspective. We either teach compassion or apathy. There’s not much of value in the middle.
As I wandered around answering questions, I noticed a young man shopping the merchandise table. He picked up a few things, held them and then put them down. After some thought, he came over and asked me a question.
I am not going to buy anything but can I give you all of my money?
I looked down at the folded up money in my hand with happy surprise. I offered him more info for signing up. I felt that he must get something for such a lovely gesture. He kindly declined and I said thank you.
As he walked away, I unfolded the money and counted it.
It was three dollars.
Three dollars given with nothing expected in return. Three single dollar bills resting in the palm of my hand. In Uganda, those three dollars will go a long way.
Three dollars from an American student to help care for AIDS orphans in rural southwest Uganda. I know that at least one seed was planted today.
It was probably planted long ago and I just got to see a tiny, healthy bit of growth. Can you imagine what a garden of seeds like that one would look like?
That moment made my day.