We are taking a day to relax before heading home and, as I reflect on this trip while laying beside a beautiful pool with a soothing breeze blowing, a green vista and Lake Victoria in the near distance, the truth that is present in every other day that I am here other than today is crashing down on me.
When we are working, we are so incredibly busy and sometimes cannot find enough hours in the day. I think I don’t have time to smell and taste and feel and be angry at the extreme poverty that is everywhere we go. Instead, I see friendly faces, hard work, positive changes, potential for significant improvements. I see gorgeous landscapes of many kinds. I meet countless people who, despite everything against them, find a way to laugh and celebrate and keep trying.
The Pilot Light philosophy is, “Help me and let me help you.” Interdependence. Everything we do, we do in partnership. I am so thankful for my hardworking and trustworthy partner, Delphin Muhizi, who is the other half of Pilot Light and, without whom, PLF would not exist. I am thankful for our local partners; MCDC, Murama Farmers, AICM, Kecofaco, Kanafaco, LADA, CPU, Development Monitors, YDPPF, ARUWE and our upcoming new partners we have just met. I am thankful for the beneficiaries of our projects for trusting us and putting so much hard work into our programs. I am thankful for our drivers, Jean Marie and Patrick for always delivering us safely (not always an easy feat in this place!). I am thankful for my husband/PLF photographer, Stephen Scott, for documenting our journey so beautifully and for sharing the adventure. I am so thankful for trauma specialist, Sean McFarland, who accompanied us this trip and made a huge impact on two groups we are working with, sex trauma, genocide and children affected by the LRA survivors. Last but not least, I am thankful for our donors!! We need you! All of us mentioned above need YOU.
One of our local partners and I were joking, one day a week or two ago, about being beggars. I said that my job makes me a beggar, always asking people for money. He said he is a beggar too, asking us for money and all of our beneficiaries are beggars too. We laughed, but it actually is pretty much the truth. What we are doing is working. We can see the results. What we are doing cannot be accomplished without money. The truth is that extreme poverty is ugly and unfair and we are doing what small part we can to improve the quality of as many lives as we can. Yes, I am a beggar, so I hoping you will choose to be our partner too.
Light a Spark!