True Value

Last night, my dream job announced a 6-week story telling series called, Story-A-Week.

The event kicks off with a beautifully done documentary short by the very talented Brenda Phillips.

It is so, so good. I just had to be sure you saw it too.

Watch the video for a little heart swelling inspiration this morning.

Wow. Right?

This all reminds me of how much I loved visiting Nyaka myself. The singing in the beginning of the video is a woman named Priscilla. She prepared all of my meals and laughed at me when I asked her for soap so that I could hand wash my knickers.

She didn’t believe a muzungu would even know how. :)

So many memories.

Please “like” the Nyaka AIDS Foundation on Facebook to hear stories that will keep your hopes high during what can be a stressful holiday season.

I love gentle reminders of what is most important. While the whole world seems to be crying out holiday sales, Black Friday and price cuts, I want to focus on compassion, hope and faith.

Let’s not forget where true value lies.

Sincerely,

Tashmica

So Good

I am very happy right now.

When I say it is so good, I am saying it with the near moan that follows a good taste.

I don’t know what it is exactly.  I can tell you what it is generally.

I have been promoted at work.  I was the Executive Assistant and now I am the Development Associate.

Why does this make me happy?

I am so happy you asked.

I am in a role related more to fundraising than not.  I get to find creative ways to share why the investment in our organization is unlike any other.  I get to wade into the deep good even further.  My dream job just got dreamier.

I am playing roller derby in my first home bout of the season on Saturday night.

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I will be skating in my own super pack.  (insert laugh track for lame political joke)  I will be doing what I have been training to do for a year.  This makes me happy and sick to my stomach with nerves at the same time.

I am leaving for Uganda in less than two weeks.  The passport is here.  I will be filling my Malaria prescription soon.  I am borrowing a camera from a friend and documenting all of the things I try to explain with wild gesturing and wide excited eyes.  Maybe the photos will help me look less crazed.

What can I say?  The idea of obliterating devastating poverty kind of does it for me.

I have already begun writing posts for my children to publish automatically. I am almost ready.

My children.  My children are brilliant.  I recently gave away our TV.

Like, I put it on the curb and said “via con Dios”.  They weren’t thrilled with me.  If they could see their minds explode with creativity the way I am now, they would be thrilled with it all.  My home is being lifted  up off of the ground with imagination.  Things are being hidden and then seeked.  Paint is splattering the walls and uno trash talk is being spread around.  We are coming alive as a family and I don’t know why I waited so long to get that thing out of my house.

Seriously.  I actually feel a little bad about donating it.  I feel like I just donated a bad habit.

I know.  I am probably being dramatic but….Jimmy cracked corn and I don’t care.

I seemed to have fallen into a pocket of amazing people.  The birds that are flying with me are so good.  I love that we flock together.  I love that we skate, do good deeds, dance, drink, eat, laugh and laugh some more.  I love that our differences provide a world wide open.

Maybe it’s the giddiness of a girl watching the sun fall down around her shoulders.

It’s all so good.

Love,

Tashmica

Three Dollars

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.

Scratch that.

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?

Love,

Tashmica

That moment made my day.