Packing with Purpose

Part One: 2016 Uganda Trip series

IMG_0197As many who helped us prepare for our trip know, we did not pack lightly.  In fact, to bring all of the students’ beautiful care packages and more than 5000 colored markers and pencils – we filled 9 suitcases (generously donated by many). And, we needed another set of bags for clothing and toiletries for our two-week adventure. You did not want to be checking in behind us at O’Hare!

Prepared for the worst and hoping for the best, we landed in Entebbe 19 hours later with every single one of our bags in tow.  We must have looked just crazy enough that the late night security guards didn’t even question us as we strolled out of the customs area.

IMG_1237The adventure had really just started as we loaded everything into the back of Fr. Matthias’ white pickup truck in the dark airport parking lot and strapped it down with rubber ties and ropes.  It would be an exercise we’d learn to love, as we unpacked the truck to sleep for the night only to pack it again the next morning.  But it got better …

The following day in Kampala, we decided to purchase sporting equipment for the schools we would visit with the extra One HeART Project funds. On our visit two years earlier, Will Arndt had raised money to bring students soccer balls.  This had been such a hit that Will, Sophie and Ellie decided to buy not only balls, but nets and pumps to outfit the fun.  So after a very successful shopping spree at the sporting goods store, we had an even larger load to add to the top of our pickup truck pile.  More ropes and cords. It looked like Santa’s overflowing sleigh and all that was missing were the reindeer.

IMG_1251Our next journey would take two hours, starting on paved and extremely crowded Kampala roads with no traffic lights and a game of chicken at every intersection.  On the outskirts of Kampala the congestion eased, the roads narrowed and occasionally turned to dirt. Eventually, they led us to Fr. Matthias’ village of Lwamata, our home base for the next two weeks.