Friday, June 17, 2011

By the Grace of God

Photos from Scott's blog show volunteers traveling like locals and at one of three libraries completed this week - Nabuyonga Elementary.

June 11

My bag was 17 pounds over. The British Airways lady asked about our t-shirts, and we explained what we do in Uganda. She smiled and said because God is so good to her, she wouldn’t charge me for the overage. A few minutes later she calls me over and wants to talk to me quietly. She said that God just blesses her everyday. If I had anyone else with an overage to just send them to her.

I was the only one that was checked when we went through customs. I think it was because I forgot to take my computer out of my bag. The ‘checker’ sent me to a seat in a cubicle. The man next to me was standing and being patted down. She walked off with my bag. I grabbed my accordion and started playing. She laughed, brought my bag back, and started dancing. She then sent me on through without being patted down! Yahoo!

We were all eating in a food court in Chicago. We had plenty of time so I decided to teach the team the Uganda kid’s song …‘Hallelujah - Oh, Oh, Oh, Jesu Akwagala’ (Oh, oh, oh, Jesus loves you). I then decided they needed to hear it on the accordion! I played, and the food court broke out into clapping from all the tables! Funny!

Oops! I told everyone that they would pay in dollars at the food courts in Chicago - but would probably get change in schillings! So, I don’t really know what country I’m in!!

June 17

What a week! Our team put together organized, decorated, simply beautiful libraries - one per day, for three days! I think even the team was amazed at the end results. I could look at the libraries forever, as I know what miracles they truly are! A huge bonus was having some of our Ugandan friends working with us. One morning we arrived early. Patrick and Irene were already there and had put together two bookcases. I have known these people from Wilber’s church now for 10 years. They are the best! Our volunteers have fallen in love with them, and they are already fast friends!

The ribbon cuttings, touching speeches, food, singing, and dancing were the ‘icing on the cake’ of a wonderful week. One choir sang , with different children singing solos. Example: “When I grow-up I want to be a doctor - so I must be a reader. ... When I grow-up, I want to be a teacher - so I must be a reader.” The song was written especially for the opening of the libraries.

Headmasters spoke about having no books when they grew up. Their textbook library might have one copy of a text they were supposed to read. They would check it out - and run and hide, so nobody would take it from them. Can you imagine?

I have been staying at Wilber and Sarah’s overnight, but joining the team during the day and evenings. Last night, I evidently took the wrong boda motorcycle taxi around 8:00 (maybe later). Ahh, but what’s a little adventure! He said he knew where I needed to go. Off we went. When we were almost at the corner, I told him to slow down, that we were at the Mbale High School corner. He said, “I know.” He then gunned the cycle and we were flying down the road out of town. I screamed at him and then started beating on his back. When I did that, he slowed down a bit - and I jumped! I thought it was the driver still across the street so I stopped a man to tell him what was happening, hoping he would stay with me a minute. Unfortunately, he was a homeless, retarded young man. All he could do was to ask for money - but I was glad to have his company. I then walked home in the dark, calling Wilber and Sarah when I was almost there. It is totally black outside at night, as Mbale doesn’t have street lights.

I give God the praise for protection for this crazy muzungu - who will probably be on another boda going home tonight! I will try to get the number of a couple drivers the Okumus use, at least for night travel.

More later. Please keep us in your prayers.

- Trudy

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