This summer I plan to return to Uganda to work with Loving One by One. If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, or if you’ve known me for a while, you know this is a big deal for me. My first trip to Uganda was in July of 2011, and that first trip was the subject of my book, “Waking Up in Africa.”
That first trip was exciting, terrifying, fun, sad, and life-changing all rolled into one experience. I went with virtually no expectations, other than to help my friends, Ken & Sherry Roberts, with their work. I figured even if I had a horrible time, it would be worth it to see what all the fuss was about (and to get Ken off my back).
I went with no expectations, but came back changed. I was no longer content to live an easy, smooth, life in the background. I committed to make Loving One by One part of my life, and since then have returned to Uganda in 2013, sponsored two students through LOBO’s New Creation School, and become a member of LOBO’s Board of Directors. I went to Uganda expecting nothing, but everything changed.
So this summer I will return again for two weeks. This time I know what to expect, in terms of the work at least. I know what it’s like to put together a popup medical clinic and serve a thousand people in a day, to see disabled children abandoned in an elderly facility, to see people living in collapsing houses adjacent to sewage. I know what it’s like to find a terminally ill person and make arrangements for life-saving care, and I know what it’ like to, sadly, meet a few people we can’t help. I know what it’s like to ride around on a bus through cratered streets and traffic jams, driven by a crazy man. All that, I expect.
What I don’t know are the intangibles – who I’ll meet, what relationships will be formed, what kinds of conversations I’ll have with some of Uganda’s most resilient people and some of the most selfless people anywhere who are coming to serve with me. I don’t know how I’ll be affected, but really that’s not the point.
The point of going is simple, and in some ways this trip reminds me of my first trip in 2011… I’m going in simply to help do the work. LOBO needs willing volunteers to serve sick and dying people, orphans, homeless and hopeless people. They need volunteers to give eyeglasses to old people. And frankly, they need ukulele players. I’m up for all that.
So if you’d like to help make this third adventure happen, and would like to find out more about Loving One by One, and would like to hear great music all at the same time, you’re invited to join me and some of my talented friends on Sunday, March 15, at 4pm in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. My friends John Torres, Charles Williams, and Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward have graciously given their time to help me that day. We will come together in a beautiful setting overlooking the ocean (the Pacific one), listen to great live music, and learn about LOBO’s work in Uganda and why I believe it’s important for me to return. Then, if you’d like to help make that happen, you’ll have the opportunity to make tax-deductible donation.
For information as to the exact location of the event (because I don’t want to publish my friends’ address on my blog!), contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll give you the details. I hope you can join us that day!