This will be my last “live” blog post for a while. Next week at this time I’ll be on a plane, somewhere between Amsterdam and Entebbe, preparing for almost a month in Uganda. We work pretty much sunup to sundown when in Uganda, and email and internet service can be spotty at best, so I know better than to even try to post anything while I’m gone. Instead, if I have my act together and get everything done that I need to do before I leave, I plan to schedule some posts of columns I’ve written following past trips to Uganda, so you can read them while I’m gone. But if I don’t get that far, it will be a month or so before you hear from me again. So don’t worry if that happens.
As always, I’m both excited and apprehensive about this trip. I’m looking forward to seeing and working again with people who have become dear friends during past trips to Uganda. And I’m ecstatic over the fact that some of the projects we’ve been working on for years are finally becoming a reality. The poultry farm that is going to help a number of women and children escape their current lives of poverty and prostitution will get up and running while we are there. Same with a sewing center, which we’ll be stocking with donated sewing machines, fabric, yarn, and knitting and crocheting supplies that have been shipped to Uganda and are just waiting for us to get there so we can unpack and organize them.
One of the things I’m a little nervous about is teaching some of the women how to crochet. I’ve been crocheting since I was in college, and I’ve taught several other people how to crochet, but not in a long time, and never to anyone who doesn’t speak English. But I know we’ll make it work. And I know that activities such as this – like the quilting bees and sewing circles of days gone by – are wonderful activities not only because of the goods that are created, but for the thoughtful and therapeutic conversations that seem to arise whenever women get together in groups such as this.
Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world, but it’s also home to one of the largest refugee camps in the world, and we’ll be spending some time with women living there who have heart-wrenching stories about the lives they and their children are being forced to endure. I’m looking forward to talking with them, but I sometimes wonder how we can possibly make a difference in their lives. Still, I know we have to try. And I know that whatever we are able to do will be well received and will have a positive effect on people there. That’s been our experience in the past, and I have no reason to think it will be any different this time.
I ask for your prayers and good wishes while I’m gone. Think of me now and then, and know that I’m doing what I can to help and support people who are in desperate need. Know, too, that it is your prayers and support that allow me to do so. And know that I’ll have plenty of stories to share when I get back.
April 20, 2018
©Betty Liedtke, 2018
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