So excited about my upcoming trip to Uganda! This year has already been a rockin’ year … filled with adventure! I’ve been to Cornwall on a genealogical search, to Tuscany for … well, does anyone have to ask? Then finally, Israel for two weeks …to visit the Holy Land and just explore this beautiful and intriguing land. And yes, it really is holy.
More about those adventures in later posts. For now, I’m working backwards on the travel timeline. I’ll be writing about Uganda as I go, starting July 20. After I return I’ll share all about the other countries I’ve already visited. (You can get a sneak preview—a quick visual overview with some cool photographs by visiting my Instagram @gobeyondtravelwriter.)
UGANDA: Why here and why now?
Last year, while working as a staff writer for a local media company here in SoCal, I had the privilege of working with a feisty young lady who was as smart as a whip, a total jock (no smelly gym antics, just the Great Outdoors for her) and a super fun person to boot. I’ll call her Melissa. Because that’s her name. 🙂
More important, she was super passionate about a ministry she was involved with: Buyamba and God Cares School. At the time I was living a safe, self-protected middle-aged life (read: selfish) and I was intrigued by her deep commitment to these Ugandan children, most of whom are orphans. They live in abject poverty with little hope of ever rising above their dire circumstances. If it wasn’t for Buyamba’s donors who help sponsor these children—and their education—this would certainly be their lot in life.
So I looked into this ministry. Needless to say I got hooked and I started sponsoring a child named Gloria.
Such a sweet face. 🙂
I wanted to do more. So after quitting my job as a writer/producer for a media company, I started doing pro bono writing projects for Buyamba. As their storyteller, I translate the raw language of children as they matter of factly describe their troubled young lives in a way that you and I might describe going to the mall. I try to do justice to their story in such a way as to retain the lovely, lyrical way they speak, while ensuring that donors and others can actually understand what these children are saying.
These are beautiful children —so full of hope and optimism and very, very grateful to know that God really does care about them in such a tangible way. They are not lost … they have a future.
Here is a short excerpt from a story I wrote about one such hope-filled young lady named Ellinah.
“I was blessed to be born to my mum Lillian, and my father, the late Pius, may he rest in peace. I have three younger siblings, Joshua, Christine and the youngest, Joel. It was an early morning during Christmas 2014, when my dad woke up, showered and dressed for work. On his way down to get his motorcycle, he started saying that his heart was “swinging.” That’s how he described it. Suddenly he had to lie down, crying and telling my mum to take my sister and brothers outside. He had no energy to get up.
I brought him a bottle of soda, but after taking one sip, he cried out, “I’m going to die!” When I heard that, I rushed to get a special hire to carry him to the hospital. My mum, two of our neighbors and a driver rushed him to Rubaga Hospital.
Shortly after, he died.
My dad was buried on Christmas morning. From that day on, my mum has never been in good shape. She even left my brother Joshua in the village she came from because she had no money and no job. It was just too much to take care of all four of us. I knew I’d never be able to go to school and this made me very said. My mum just wasn’t in a position to see us through.”