May 11, 2019
It’s fascinating to consider that “reflection” has two very different meanings – outward and inward.
Definition #1. The change in direction of a wave at a boundary between two different media, so that the waves move back into the medium it came from. (emphasis mine.) Think of common examples such as the reflection of light and sound, and water waves.
Definition #2. Serious thought or consideration – an idea about something, especially one that is written down or expressed. synonyms: thinking, consideration, contemplation, study, deliberation, pondering, meditation, musing, rumination, cogitation, brooding, agonizing.
- We had a ‘beyond explanation’ trip to Uganda with our team of 10. We hope you followed along on our trip blog.
- Every member of our team experienced next-level hospitality and the warm welcome of the Ugandan people we partner with. We went hard at a full schedule from beginning to end to have every type of perspective possible on the work and impact of Knickers for New Life.
- We laughed, cried, ate, danced, listened, celebrated, learned, journaled, and were fully immersed in rural Ugandan life. What a privilege.
- We rode 1000km on a coaster bus named ROSA with the world’s best driver, Godfrey. We met with our suppliers of MakaPads sanitary pads and the wondrous Mosquito Repellent Soap. We visited all 5 KFNL partner schools and heard directly from both adult staff and students what they think about Knickers for New Life programs. Then we got on a plane and began a two-day journey back to our home where people we know want to hear about our trip. We begin to reflect, to outwardly express what we have witnessed (see #1 above.)
Re-entry can be very challenging. It has been for me personally. Such a rich and complex experience takes a while to process (see #2 above.)
How do we reflect our Big Experience? We did indeed go to a new boundary of material poverty but relational and spiritual riches. It changes us as we re-enter the place we came from. We are still us, but a deeper and more informed version.
- Humbled to our core by the depth of the joy and gratitude expressed to us for things we consider so basic (soap, sanitary pads, latrines, knickers…).
- Challenged to find an adequate way to share the impact we saw and heard about from so many, and the great needs still unmet.
- Grateful for a glimpse at all that is happening with our Circle of Health and Hygiene.
- Desiring to be part of the solution and not part of the problem, more than ever.
So we bounce back and forth between reflection to others of what we have learned and experienced and reflection within on all the complexity of poverty, culture, partnership, and how to truly change the future for girls in Uganda – one school at a time. Many new insights and ideas came out of our trip. Some new things to add or improve that we would never have known about without going and meeting in person.
One thing I must clearly Reflect to You is that your support of Knickers for New Life is truly changing lives, saving lives, and improving lives in tangible ways beyond what I understood. Typhoid was a big problem and now it is essentially gone from the schools. Malaria, the number one killer in Uganda, is down at KFNL partner schools over 50% due to Mr. Katumba’s repellent soap. Enrollment is up at least 20% at all schools, mostly adding girls. “You have lifted up our heads.” I was told many times by girls and by staff. Dignity is way up.
There is so much more we can do to “lift up their heads” and create opportunity for the girl-child. It is simple work but not easy. Thank you for your generous support and encouragement as we go forward and seek to improve and enlarge this work. You are a vital link in this chain reflecting love and grace to the most vulnerable.
Deeply grateful to work alongside you in this investment in the future,
P.S. Take a peek at some photos of our Uganda 2019 team here!