I’m sitting in the Brussels airport waiting for my next flight, which will take me to DC. I’ve been without Internet for a couple of days so I’ll try to recap my last adventures here.
It took us 13 plus hours to drive from Nairobi, Kenya to Jinja, Uganda the other night. Yep, we got lost and there are almost no roads signs anywhere so we stopped often to ask directions which took us on many back roads, most of which were pot holed and took hours to navigate. The good part was that we ended up in tea plantations planted on the sides of steep hills. These fields look like checkerboards of bright green. There are narrow paths running vertically and horizontally throughout so that people can walk and work with the plants. I have an image engraved in my mind of a little boy skipping down one of those paths with his arms waving above him. It looked like pure joy to me. We wouldn’t have seen any of this if we’d taken the “right” route.
We never did find fleece in Nairobi or many of the other things we had hoped to source but we learned a lot and will do it differently next time.
Yesterday, my last day in Uganda, was suppose to be our day off. Phoebe and I had imagined a slow, do-nothing day but boy were we wrong. The cool thing is that neither of us ever felt rushed. The day unfolded with astonishing experiences landing in our lap with no effort at all. We joked that perhaps this extreme planning thing is for the birds.
Our dear driver, Yasin, came to say goodbye and while doing so he mentioned that the woman in his car that he was taking to a meeting also makes reusable menstrual pads. (Really, what are the chances!) So we had to talk with her. She was delightful, shared all sorts of information and exchanged contact info with us. Phoebe will go to an International Menstrual Management meeting with her and work on how we can partner in some other ways. She was so excited that our pads can be worn without underwear, which has been something she has been perplexed about.
We next found out that the Newspaper story about our trip to Pallisa was in two papers that day so we bought several copies and headed for a just then confirmed meeting with a Rotary Club. We sat with several Rotarians who were so excited about our project and want to work with us to expand it in Uganda. They presented me with a fabric hanging with the Rotary emblem on it and took tons of pictures. I joked that I felt like a rock star with all the cameras aimed at me. I’ve been looking for a Ugandan Rotary Club for 4 years and this one looks to be perfect. By the way, when we showed up for that meeting our friends Jane, Emma and Juliet from Pallisa were there too. They wanted to tell the Rotarians how much they believe in The MoonCatcher Project. AND we had the newspaper articles to show them. Talk about synchronicity. This was unbelievable.
Last but not least, Father Francis called to say he wanted to drive us to the airport. This not only gave me time with him but also relived Phoebe of more driving. On the way to Entebbe we stopped at his school there and saw the new bathrooms that we had discussed with him last year. With a couple of small tweaks they will be great for the girls.
Dinner, repacking some things and dropping me at the airport ended the day. Thanks to Tony, my new ticket has been perfect and I’m on my way home.
Good-bye and thank you Uganda!