Friday, July 02, 2010

On the move in Uganda

We have been on the move here in Uganda! We spent Wednesday morning at Uplands High School. Their library is working well. We met again this year with the Student Christian Fellowship during their noon 'service.' Those young people love singing, moving, drumming, and sharing the Lord. Definitely an inspiring time.

In the afternoon, we moved to Namirembe Primary. They had planned a welcome for the team, attended by all the students and teachers. They had a special music leader in attendance who led the students in some active, fun songs - such as "JOY" (for those who know that song.) This is our 'home' school in Uganda, so it is always great to be there with friends we have known for five years. In the evenings, we often walk from the hotel to Namirembe and sing/visit with the boarding students.

While we were at Namirembe, I spotted a young man eating porsha (a thick white oat substance) with beans and small fish on top. The fish was complete - eyes, etc. They put these fish out in the sun to dry; they are then ready to eat. Since we have a couple of squeamish eaters in our group (especially Bonnie), I asked for one of the young man's fish and took it in the office. I then told the group that would be part of our lunch. Their expressions were priceless. I then dropped the fish in my mouth and ate it. You should have heard the groans. Bonnie immediately yelled that she is a vegetarian. It was great fun!

Yesterday we arrived at King's College (a high school) around 10:00am. They decided to have the grand opening of the library at 4:00pm. Between those times, we unpacked about 4,000 books, put them in Dewey order, shelved the books, hung maps and signage. We were ready for the opening right at 4:00! Believe me - it was intense! I heard Leigh Ann say at one time, "This is overwhelming." She was right! However, we have a system in place that works after six years of providing libraries, and we can move quickly. Many of our headmasters and librarians were at the opening. There were speeches from student leaders and other 'honored' guests. I thought I would take time during the day to write down some thoughts - but got to busy. However, I remember Sarah Okumu's headmistress saying the books are a handshake of love. So, I threw that in - saying that the libraries are a handshake of love; a handshake of friendship; and a handshake of a partnership that will last many years. Ahhhh - quick thinking. I know! My team didn't even go to sleep during the speech.

We are off to restock a library in Mukono today. It is the school that is home to about 50 blind children, as well as many with sight. Tomorrow we will visit the clinic/hospital that houses the medical library we are donating this year - thanks to Dr. Michael Regan, and many other physicians in Austin.

Need to love and best wishes sent your way!