Upon arrival, a coming together of new and old friends to visit areas of this country living in poverty; hidden perhaps, by a sort of cognitive dissonance of those who have basic resources; towards those who do not.
Sharing such an intimate experience with others; dear people who took the time out of their busy lives to walk and experience the surroundings of this part of the worlds impoverished population; has served to solidify my commitment to "not grow weary of doing good".
Points that stood out: in the rural areas, the surroundings, the vibrant colors, although harsh living conditions; the warm welcome and appreciation of our Ugandan brothers and sisters was sincere and humbling. I don't think I heard one word of complaint. The people who spoke were respectful and articulate. The excitement in the cheers of the women at the Joan Jordan school when they heard about our commitment to bring sewing machines was special. Playing "duck duck goose" with the children, their Joy and delight when they saw their photos on the iPhone and iPads (how often do they get to see their own reflections?) and the excitement when we presented soccer balls and other toys was heart warming. God is praised consistently in these communities. We were there because God placed it on our hearts to serve others through love and helping alleviate suffering. The people of Uganda are beautiful
Meeting "the team": Graham, Pete, Herbert and the rest of our drilling Team helped solidify our partnership in this work. I know this team was divinely selected for Wells of Life.
Adrian Laurentieu, our field operation manager, far exceeded his duties as he lead our team through the tour. His attention to detail, respect for all, kindness and compassion for the people he is serving, and bravery while driving in harsh and scary conditions, many times on his own in this country, was inspiring and much appreciated.
Again, another divine appointment.
Donal Hutchinson brought his design and renderings for our educational center; and he assisted in visiting potential sites. His assistance was invaluable in meetings with landowners and district officials. His friendship means so much to us.
Lou Metzger and his silly, engaging personality, magic tricks, prize-winning photography and of course huge heart entertained us as much as the communities. He is the connector, the bearer of good news. His arrangement of the tour of the Ugandan cultural center and show was an amazing added bonus to enjoy.
Martin Kennedy boldly shared his heart, school supplies and love for sports with the children with grace and class. His decision to lead as a trustee in our Ireland board was followed with action and commitment in attending and visiting firsthand the work of Wells of Life.
Mike Martin's love for the children was evident in his expressions and every photograph of him. Tirelessly handing out candy and engaging with the children, as well as becoming a trustee on the Ugandan Board, Mike showed leadership and gave great insight and commitment with few but powerful words, and much action. I am certain this is a man of action.
John Velasquez was generous, engaging, joyful, bold and expressive of his love for all through daily encouragement, prayer, dance, sharing his artistic talents and school supplies and other necessary needs with the communities. His support and friendship is invaluable.
Charlie Hedges quietly documented his experiences, interviewed some of our group to gain more exposure, committed to a long term effort and ended up joining our trustee board in Uganda in a leadership role. He continued to share the opportunity with strangers, and succeeded in converting a flight delay into a commitment to fund a well. He is shining in his role.
Father Max tirelessly joined us and interpreted our love and commitment to the villages. He set up several strategic meetings that will assist Wells Of Life in broadening our efforts. He is a key participant in expanding God's footprint through the gift of clean water.
And of course, I must commend my husband, Nick, for his tireless advocacy. There were so many important meetings with an architect, builders, local dignitaries and even the prime minister of Uganda. Yet he still had the energy to photograph and capture so many important moments with the people in each community. Thank you for never giving up! I am honored to be working beside you.
The last 6 years have been a bit overwhelming. I don't think I have really had the time to properly focus on the impact our collaborative work has made in so many lives. I will cherish the memories of this trip for the rest of my life. Every inquisitive and joyful child's face, every pair of feet with no shoes, every tattered piece of clothing, every dirty water hole, every mother and fathers gaze of gratitude, the invitations and dancing, the gifts of live chickens and fruits, every teacher and community leaders boldness and determination to help their community improve will be imprinted forever in my mind and heart.
I send many thanks and love to everyone who attended, and everyone who prayed for us for a successful journey. Thanks to God for nailing every connection and appointment; and even keeping the mosquitoes away!! I look forward to future adventures with all of you!