There is a current Hallmark TV commercial featuring an electronic ornament that counts down the days, hours and minutes to Christmas. The little girl in the commercial counts down frequently until - finally! - Christmas is here. Another countdown of the season is the ol' Twelve Days of Christmas song. I am happy to count the days to Christmas and this year includes another countdown.
In 23 days J. and I depart on a long trip to Lira, Uganda. For those of you who fly in and out of little hubs like Abilene, you understand the short and long versions of our flight itinerary. At least this time we don't have to fly east (to Dallas) to head west as is the norm when visiting family on the west coast. Our flights land in Dallas, London and Entebbe. Flights will be followed by drives to Kampala and then Lira, which is our destination for two weeks of work at Lira Integrated Schools.
Why Lira, you might ask? Well, in October 2010 we met this remarkable woman named Ayuru Beatrice Byaruhanga. Beatrice was visiting the U.S. as part of an award from the United Nations for her entrepreneurial work in the creation and operation of Lira Integrated Schools (LIS). You really should go to youtube and type in Beatrice Byaruhanga to view two videos (parts 1 and 2) about her work to educate girls and boys equally. Her vision is of a Ugandan culture that values women, their education, and their contributions to society.
So...believe it or not LIS sports a pool and I'm going specifically to help with swim instructor development and teaching swimming while also helping Beatrice and the teachers in any other ways possible during our short time together. J. will be helping pour outdoor basketball courts and we thank University Church of Christ in Abilene for their generous donation to assist in purchasing the necessary materials for one of the courts. A group of ten from Massachusetts will join in a few days after we arrive and are there specifically to help with basketball.
There you have it. I'm starting this blog to share info with interested parties who will support us with prayer and good will. It is likely and Beatrice will tell you it is necessary that future trips follow this one. I pledge to write as frequently as possible before departure and as soon as I purchase a USB wi-fi for my laptop upon my arrival. Many thanks in advance for joining us as we learn Lessons in Lira.