"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Friday, December 23, 2011


It takes a huge amount of preparation to make the Team trips happen. With the help of Melissa this year, we have had every detail covered. Mel even produced a calendar for each day - outlining what time the team meets for breakfast, how we’ll be transported to the orphanage, what time projects begin and end and which older child will assist which team member, what we’ll have for lunch (she and a group of older girls, along with one of the SMK staff members have been preparing delicious spreads each day for us) what afternoon presentations will take place (performances by the choir, the marching band, etc.) and where we’ll have dinner.

The only thing the advanced planning cannot take into consideration is who’s going to get sick when. It’s inevitable that a minor injury (last year Bobbi split her toe open) or a physical ailment will strike one or more of us. We always try to be smart about what we eat, but invariably team members have to resort to Imodium or, worse yet, Cipro.

It was my turn yesterday.

Which was a big bummer because it was the day we assembled the Christmas gifts for the children. That’s a pretty big job, especially when you’re talking about 150 – 180 kiddos. Team members had carried over a lot of the gifts in our extra checked duffel bags, including the adorable dresses and shorts that were hand sewn by “Little Dresses for Africa” and a Kansas City group of seamstresses from St. Andrew’s Church. We brought beanie babies, toothbrushes and toothpaste, silly bandz, hand made knit caps, necklaces and bracelets, decks of cards, t-shirts, etc. Once here, Mel helped us purchase lotion, soap, flip-flops and the washbasin into which all the gifts will go.

So, the team had to carry on without me yesterday. Melissa called last night to say that I would have been very proud of them! Of course, this work can all be done without me now since we have so many veteran team members, but still, I was happy to have confirmed that my absence didn’t slow things down a bit!

Monique (Amsterdam) and Shane (Kansas City) have finally arrived, so our team is complete. We have installed new mattresses and sheets in the dormitories, painted and freshened up the Big Boys dorm, taken the kids on field trips, held art classes, provided therapy, played games, taught music, offered yoga and photography classes and toured one of the secondary schools our sponsored students attend.

And we have so much more to do!

Team 5 consists of an unbelievable group of people, and I am indebted to them for the amazing work they are doing with the kids at SMK. It’s obvious that some really wonderful relationships have already been established between team members and with so very many of the children. Wish we could slow the days down. We’ll be leaving all too soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice pictures and stories Gloria. Uganda is in a little trouble and it is very nice of you to help the kids at the orphanage. I can't wait till you return from your trip with more stories and pictures.