I logged in almost 3,000 miles this week, starting with a two-hour drive to the Atlanta airport, then a flight to Minneapolis, and finally a scenic drive from there across the Canadian border and on to Winnipeg. There I spoke – along with two other women – for approximately 20 minutes to the Rotary Club of Winnipeg. After the meeting, we got back in the car and did the trip in reverse. Not all at once, but over the course of a few days.
It was a long trip, but totally worth it.
The purpose of our visit was to talk to the club about our work in Uganda which, at this point, has expanded to include a sewing center in which young women who are now trapped in a cycle of poverty and prostitution – as well as refugees who have escaped to Uganda from other countries – will have a means of support that will not only allow them to earn an income, but provide clothing and other needed supplies to their children and themselves.
When I look around at all the dangerous and devastating events going on in our country and the world today, I’m finding it more and more difficult to be positive and upbeat about anything, even though “positive and upbeat” is my general nature. That’s why I’m more excited than ever when I see – and can be a part of – organizations and activities that really make a difference in the world, and in the lives of people who are in dire straits and desperate need.
While we were at the Rotary meeting, we heard about other projects the club is taking part in, both at home and abroad. We learned about steps small and large that they are taking – and that all of us can take – to bring about a dramatic improvement in other people’s lives. And we were reminded that when people join together to build something that will help others, we accomplish a lot more than when we fight each other or focus on tearing things apart. And in the process, we all become stronger.
This is something I’ve always known, of course. But it helps to be reminded of it now and again. It helps to see it in action, up close and personal. And it helps to know that I can be a part of it, rather than just watching from the sidelines or feeling helpless and frustrated by all the pain and suffering we are inflicting on ourselves and each other these days.
I was sore and tired when I got back home after the whirlwind trip to Winnipeg. But I was also inspired, invigorated, and full of hope for the future – of our country and the world.
And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
October 13, 2017
©Betty Liedtke, 2017
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