Saturday, June 19, 2010

Trudy - lost in Africa

I had an adventure today!

The team is at Murchison Falls, so I had some free time. On my first trip in 2001, I spent time with some good friends, the Mukasas, who live probably three miles - if you travel down, down, down on dirt roads, paths, and between houses. Even farther down is a home where I stayed two weeks during the first trip. I have been back to these homes, but always with my Ugandan friend, Margaret. Today, I decided I could find them alone, so off I went. What fun to just start walking! I found the Mukasas and got to see again their granddaughter named after my granddaughter, Ashlyn. I then went on to the other home. On the way back up the hills, I took a wrong turn, which I realized quickly. However, I decided to just keep trekking through paths between houses, to see where I would end up! As it started getting late, I decided I'd better ask directions and head back. I made it, though sweating badly, as the hills are steep.

I love being lost; it is so relaxing!

Paul was making fun of me. Rachel, his sister, was having a hard time crossing the horrendous traffic. I walked out in the street and stuck out my arm/hand to stop the traffic. A boda driver looked at me with a shocked expressions - like ... are you crazy; he then laughed and went around. I decided I'd better dodge traffic and get out of the way before I was a smashed muzungu.

The team made it safely to Murchison and had a relaxing evening in camp yesterday. They called today and they were looking for wildlife. I hope they don't see a leopard. That just wouldn't be right! I've probably been on eight safaris - and haven't seen one yet!

The team met Thursday evening, as tomorrow evening when they return it will be late and they will need to prepare to leave for the airport Monday morning. It was inspiring to listen to the different ones share about how the trip was life-changing. I wish I could share all of the conversations with you, but it isn't possible as this would be too long, so I will send a few for now.

After we played various games with the students at Kitebi Primary, a little boy said to Anne, "Everytime I go to the library, I will remember this day!" I told the team that if we just came, created libraries, and left, I would feel as though we failed. It is not only the libraries that are important. The interaction with the children and adults is equally important. They need to feel our love for them and know that it will be lasting, because it is Christ's love being transferred through our volunteers. The headmaster of Wambwa Primary walked with a couple members of our team for a home visit. He told those in the home, "I have never had a muzungu visit my home. You are blessed." I think those on the team would all agree - we are the ones who are blessed!

One of our young people (Sam), gave away his Bible. He had said he wanted to keep it because it had his notes in it. However, he ending up giving it to a lady at our hotel. He was amazed as she clutched it to her chest and broke out in a huge smile. Sam talked about how we take the Bible for granted - but it is a treasure to those here. Paul also donated his Bible to a young lady at the hotel in Mbale. While we are all sitting eating, she came up to tell Paul she had been praying for him (his shoulder). Ahhhhhhh

Paul was with me Friday, as I met with the staff at Kasubi Primary. After the staff meeting, I met with many classes to share how their library is organized and how to borrow books. The students are so excited. Starting Monday, I will be at a different school each day. Time to go to work!

Friday evening, I had dinner with Richard Sennoga, his wife, Grace, and son, Isaac. Richard works with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and also is involved with the Ugandan Library Association. It was interesting to visit about our libraries and what is happening here with the government / libraries.
Time to stop before this is too long. Everything and everyone is well here. Paul and I are looking forward to getting up early and attending church.

My best wishes and love sent your way from a country and people who are truly inspiring!

Note: From Volunteers Director Scott Porter's blog: "We saw lions, elephants, and giraffe today as well as numerous types of antelope, cape buffalo, birds and warthogs. The leopard continues to elude us but they tell us they have been seen in recent days."

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