No Coincidences on the Road to Africa

by martha on July 21, 2011

It’s so interesting how things that initially appear to be obstacles turn out to be blessings. Often on the journey to Uganda, minor hiccups and delays led to fortuitous redirection.

Painting the wrong duffels

I enthusiastically painted the WRONG duffel bags!

Traveling in peace always requires a level of resiliency and patience. Common challenges, when met with exasperation, can turn a potentially pleasant trip into one perceived as a “nightmare.”

Had to buy new ones and paint them.

The CORRECT duffel bags, after painting.

The lesson of the importance of a we’ll see attitude couldn’t be clearer than on this trip. A combined 40 hours of travel time with us touching the soil on three continents could be expected to bring with it some inconveniences. They’re not unanticipated, but still the details are sometimes surprises.

 

Lodging mix ups. Baggage reroutes. Temporary revolts of parts of the body. In the moment these all could be viewed as bad news, but each one turned out to be beneficial.  Occasionally, a difference of a couple of minutes in your arrival, departure or shift in focus can lead to wonderful opportunities that would have been missed.

 

We often look at each other and say, “Well, of course this is how it’s working out!”

On our way

On our way

 

When your whole service itinerary depends on who you can connect with, where you can identify an opportunity to help, and what seeds you can plant for a future project, these twists and turns can be extremely valuable.

Airport number 5, our destination - Entebbe, Uganda

Already we’ve identified a new person to help transport filters in the future, a new orphanage (that just happens to be near another orphanage we’ll be working with) that is prepared to be added to the list for this trip, and officials from other NGOs and governmental bodies who became instantly enamored with the RainCatcher approach and want to work together.

I love my job!

The sticker in the window of our partner Dennis's van says it all!

That coupled with news, delivered upon touchdown in Dubai, that 1,000 additional and totally unexpected filters are just waiting for us in Kenya confirms that the timing is right and the mission is being supported by a greater, unseen hand.

Never been this south before!

Never been this SOUTH before! But, we made it!

What other amazing and faith-affirming things will happen in our travels today?

 

If you’re wondering, “What the heck is crazy Martha doing in Africa?” please visit RainCatcher’s blog to learn why we’re here and what we hope to accomplish. If you’d like to help us save lives, please visit my fundraising page to donate. Clean-water systems delivered through RainCatcher bring safe water to one human for just $1. How many lives would you like to save today?

 

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

gale July 21, 2011 at 9:37 am

Martha, you are truly living your talk! Making a difference for others! Enjoy the journey and keep blogging.

martha July 21, 2011 at 9:42 am

Thank you Gale. Can you believe it? I keep pinching myself. 🙂

Steve July 21, 2011 at 11:47 am

I am CERTAIN you have more to say about your experience M. Reading just this little bit that you have written so far is moving. It is easy to take our situation here in the US for granted and get hyper focused on minutiae that really doesn’t amount to anything. Thank you for reminding us how lucky we are and how we need to respond to real problems. I look forward to the rest of your story.

S

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