Swimming Up-stream

I don’t know what to say.  My senses have been over powered from the moment I arrived in Entebbe, Uganda.  The moment it started to sprinkle rain on the dark drive to the Mugisha home, it made the smell of dust rise up into the air and off of the surfaces all around.  I keep waking drowsy in the middle of the night warm and surrounded by netting to keep the mosquitoes away.  The city streets are so full.  There are people bursting from everywhere.  My camera cannot capture and hold enough.

My hosts keep joking that I am too ambitious and will not see everything I want to by the time I have to leave.  I laugh and agree.  I have always had this problem.  Nothing is new under the sun.

Tomorrow, I will visit another orphanage.  They are not affiliated with Nyaka but almost a year ago, in response to an appeal we sent out to our mailing list, a mother sent me a hand written note about her son.  He was a teacher at a Catholic school in Michigan.  Once the Catholic schools started to consolidate, he lost his position.  Eventually, he took a job at Kutamba School for Music.

All of this in the swirling handwriting of a proud mother.  The name of the organization is M-lisada.

Strangely, and I have to believe not at all by coincidence, his mother emailed me last week with updates about her son.  I jumped after responding.  Why had I not mentioned I would be in Kampala?

I sent her a quick…PS – I will be in Kampala in about a week.  Any chance I might pop by?  You know. While I am in the neighborhood?

She emailed me back contact information and directions.  I called him this evening.  I will visit tomorrow.  I am glad I brought extra candy.  They have about 80 children living there and they will all get a sweet from me.  I have noticed during my time driving through the city many placards for different social service organizations.  We are not alone.  We never really are.

I am dedicated to my work at The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project but as with any other struggle in this life, it always feels good to look around and see another swimming up-stream with you.  You have to believe that it is all possible.  You have to know that in all situations, someone has to be the one to stop and say that they will help nurture positive changes.  It may as well be you.

This stream can be violent.  The rapids can be crushing in their weight and very cold.  However, look.  Look at the beautiful scenery just a little farther up.  Look at this beautiful river I have found myself swimming in.

Enjoy the swim.



An Oasis

Dear God,

I have had quite a year and a half.  My life, my friends, my body and my job, they all look completely different.  The transformation did not start in a place of abundance.  It started from a deeper valley than I have ever known.

Now, I walk up the other side of the ravine.  My legs are covered in drying mud trudged through and the sun is just barely starting to warm the top of my head.  Over my shoulder is a heap of heavy baggage unable to make the journey.  A stack of broken zippered, handle broken suitcases lay useless.

I still carry some with me.  I wonder if to leave that behind it might require the need to pull it up hill with me.  The people who help me tug are new faces.  Bright faces that swiftly cry when mine does.  Hands that hold and feet that dance in my own happiness.

My family is still there.  It’s strange because although it feels like they traveled with me, I am not sure they understood why.  Like a baby tied to a mother’s back fleeing a massacre, they were just carried along.  The jostling has stopped as a peaceful place is nearly found.

This morning, I sit in a place of gratitude.  I accept the journey.  I did not love it.  I would not wish it on my worst enemy.  I accept that it is not over.  I accept this oasis and take a drink preparing for the next leg.

I sigh my thank you and sit down.

In gratitude,