Halfway Around the World: Reflections on this Summer’s Uganda Trip
Sep 2014 03

Reflections From CEO, Jan Bean

The 9-hour layover on our way home from this summer’s Uganda trip afforded me a chance to reflect on some of the highlights of our time in beautiful Uganda…

Here are just a few of them:

  • quality face-to-face time with 3 of our primary partners:  Rashid in Entebbe, Bob in Lira/Agwata, and Lucy in Kilembe, renewing our friendships, encouraging them with supplies and love-gifts, clarifying our missions and exploring current realities and potential endeavors

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  • carrying out 6 mobile medical clinics which served over 1200 people in 4 village locations, providing many seriously sick people with free, much-needed medication

 

  • providing funds for some emergency surgery for a very grateful man in Lira, whom we heard has recovered and is now walking about easily

 

  • providing the funds for and witnessing the laying of the foundation for a new, greatly-needed health center in Agwata

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  • blessing countless children – many of them orphans – through Robin’s delightful children’s ministry programs which were filled with songs, games, stories, and lots of squeals of laughter

 

  • IMG_9990running an end of the term “Fun Day” for Kilembe Mines School, which included handcrafts, stories & a video, and lots of outdoor games

 

  • compiling updated info and pictures of our sponsored students at the school

 

  • IMG_0272visiting the devastation left by recent flooding in Kilembe and realizing what a privilege it was for our team to be there to encourage the tiny hospital staff as our doctors helped do rounds with them, and to support the school there, which is struggling to pay its teachers in light of the loss of dozens of students and paying families

 

  • developing a new social enterprise partnership to help impoverished coffee farmer families in Kilembe with Janet – a dear young woman coffee expert – who took us to visit one of her demonstration coffee farms, then helped us to purchase our first 180 kilos of very rare-in-the US Ugandan Arabica coffee

 

  • enjoying some much-deserved R & R while en route to different parts of the country, driving through 2 Ugandan game reserves – Murchison Falls & Queen Elizabeth National Parks – seeing hippos, Nile IMG_0046crocodiles, 
    herds of elephants and water buffalo, lots of baboons, kob antelope and warthogs, incredibly exotic birds, and we even had a rare sighting of 5 lions feasting on a large water buffalo!

 

  • staying in some lovely Ugandan-style cottages called “bandas” while at several locations, and discovering how much we love Ugandan food, especially the endless supply of fresh fruit each day!

 

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Needless to say, it was hard to leave this incredibly beautiful country referred to as the “pearl of Africa”, (situated right on the equator, which we had fun crossing a couple of times!) We headed home, though, eager to begin work to raise funds to help sponsor students’ schooling and to hopefully be able to build the new health center in Agwata over the course of the coming year. We pray that we can be good advocates for the needs of the communities in which we have served, and will certainly carry remembrance of their smiles and deeply appreciative handshakes with us for many days to come.

Plan to Come With Us Next Time!

Plans are in the making for a return trip to Uganda in fall, 2015! We will need medical workers, teachers, and children’s ministry workers, along with plenty of support staff. Please check back in the coming weeks to get all of the details, and let Beth McMillen, our Short-term Teams Coordinator, know of your interest: bmcmillen@compassion-corps.com

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