I had a meeting with all the Mbale librarians on Wednesday. Not to throw around the word "blessed," but I am so blessed and honored to know these wonderful men and women. It was fantastic to be able to sit with all of them and discuss library issues. They had great ideas. They would like to hold a reading competition between all the Libraries of Love schools. They also talked of keeping the libraries open on a Saturday each term, so parents could come and read with their children. At the end, one of the older men said that meeting everyone and being part of this group of librarians was of huge benefit to him.
I have been working with a young lady from Wilber's church that will travel between libraries to check them on a regular basis, and plan librarian meetings. She will be a big asset in Mbale.
I shared at a church in a different village tonight. A little boy on the front row had a shirt in shreds, filthy shorts, no shoes, a head that was full or sores - and the biggest smile ever. He danced up a storm and kept raising his eyebrows and grinning at me. What a cutie!
Yesterday, Wilber and I met with the Mayor, Town Clerk, Education Officer, and Inspector of Schools. We had a good discussion about the success and problems our libraries face. They asked many questions and were quite supportive of our vision. We agreed they would partner with us. They will do such things as direct the headmasters and teachers to following our polices of 20 minutes of reading per day, the library schedule included in the regular timetables, etc. If we have a difficult headmaster, we are to report to the education office and they will take care of the problem. If it works as it should, it will be a huge relief for us.
Today, we were a parade of cars containing many of the "important Mbale government people." We traveled to Namakwekwe to see that library, and then on to three libraries which they identified as good candidates for next year's libraries. We are encouraged by their support.
Tonight we relaxed and had movie night at the Okumus, watching Invictus - the story of Nelson Mandela. Tomorrow is prayer breakfast with the church leaders at 6:30 a.m. I will then leave at 8:00 to spent time in the village with Mercy (Cody and Melissa's Ugandan daughter). There is a taxi returning after 5:00, so I will be able to spend the entire day playing with her - cheers!
Sunday, I will be off on the bus to Mukono to spend the night with Retired Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyoyo and his wife Ruth. Monday morning will find me at Martin Nkoyoyo Primary School for a couple hours, and then on to Kampala. I am planning on meeting with the Secondary Commissioner of Education and stopping by Cody and Melissa's lawyer's office for a last update. Hopefully, I will meet Herb and Ellen for a late lunch, if that works for them. I hope so!
It will be difficult for me to leave all our friends here and this country that has become my second home. I know, I know - I will be in tears. However, it will be good to get home and see my daughters, their families, and friends. AND - it will be nice to have a sitting toilet for a change, instead of a "squatter." :)
Thank you for following my journey once more. It has been an amazing summer, full of amazing Americans and Ugandans, joined together to provide some happy kids with books and more books, which will change their world.
Special thanks again to our many supporters, who have provided books, volunteer time, and funding. You make this mission possible. May our God richly bless each of you.