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

Monday, August 19, 2013

a few last minute ctt tidbits

Tuesday afternoon I will head to Uganda for the eighth time. This is pretty hard for me to believe. That I've been so often. That is was so long ago when I took the workshop that first got me there. That I fell so hard for the children there. That the priorities in my life have changed. That I have met so many amazing people on this Change the Truth journey. That the emphasis of my work has shifted so much. That I have gone through so many positive changes.

I am very thankful for many people who have also fallen hard for the kids at St. Mary Kevin Orphanage. Volunteers, team members, big donors, small donors, kids who bring me their piggy banks. Fellow artists. Board members. It's kind of mind boggling when I think about how far we've come since a few folks showed up in my back yard on 58th Street to hear about the plight of the children half a world away.

Just shows you how easily a few good souls can band together and really make a difference in the lives of a few other good souls.

So, as I get ready for the looooooooooonnnng schlep to Entebbe, let me share what's on my desktop tonight.

Team members, sponsors and pen pals have done a great job of staying in touch with the kids at SMK. I spent some time last week gathering letters and small packages to take with me. In the photo above, Team 5 members J. Leroy and Michelle Beasley pose for a pic with me on their front porch. I had just picked up a letter that I will hand deliver to their dear friend Rachael. I hadn't seen them for a while, and it was nice to catch up. All the past team members are an important part of the CTT family, and I feel like each is part of the Feinstein family, as well.

OK, so this is really special. One of the packages stuffed into my duffel bag is addressed to sponsored student Evalyn. Her loving sponsor tucked a few small gifts inside a manila envelope and wrote this to Evalyn:

"Please look around SMK or your school and give these small gifts to young people who are going through a rough time or just need to know that someone cares about them." 

The sponsor hopes it inspires Evalyn to share what she receives and make someone else’s day a little brighter. 


And finally, there will be a big bag full of tile necklaces that will zip across the Atlantic. Each child at SMK will get one. The tiles simply say:

Certainly not a new refrain, but something these children need to remember when we are not there. Because, in the end, when I think about the greatest gifts we have given the kids, it's not  flip flops or stickers, wash basins, clothes, food or school fees. It's hope,

and it's love.

Thanks for helping me spread those things around. 

I am really, really lucky to have two terrific travel mates for this trip. Lynne Melcher, who will be making her fourth trip to SMK and Natalie Boten, who'll be returning for her second time. Please follow along with us here on the blog, as we share our experiences with you.

OK, Uganda, here we come!

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