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

Friday, January 17, 2014

thoughts of retirement and lillian

Running a non-profit is hard work. Most days I love it, but honestly, there are days when I just want to hang it up. You know, go to that warm beach that will magically be waiting for me just around the next bend. I can see it so clearly: a stack of all the books I've been wanting to read on a little table positioned ever so perfectly just to the right of my chaise lounge. There's a sweet, friendly towel boy ever at the ready to deliver sugar-on-the-rim margaritas to me whenever I raise my right pinky. There's an umbrella positioned just so, and it moves electronically during the course of the day to constantly protect me from the sun. My favorite playlist never ends and is set to just the right volume. My kids and grandkids are nearby, frolicking in the sand, laughing easily as the waves wash over them. Eddie is in the chaise next to me, looking relaxed and sporting some great looking swim trunks and a permanent smile. He begs me to play another game of Scrabble. I spend a couple hours wandering around making pictures. After a while, I work out in the perfectly appointed nearby gym, then cool off with a delicious and healthy fruit smoothie. After my full body massage, I meet up with Eddie and we stroll to a reasonably priced organic, veggie, gluten-free, dairy-free restaurant with our kids, my sister and my best girlfriends, all of whom live just down the beach. Later Eddie and I may watch a little Breaking Bad (does it ever end?), and then we'll sink down into our heart shaped Tempurpedic bed and sleep solidly for nine or ten hours before we start the routine all over again the next day.

Oh, wait, for a minute I thought this was really happening. Must be the coconut scented lotion I was just slathering on my arms and shoulders.

No, I'm here in the CTT/GBF Photo office, hammering away at my computer. All is good. No, really, it is!

I am happy and proud to announce that CTT is granting sponsorships to four new students! The 2014 school year will begin in February; soon we will be getting pictures of Oscar, Tina, Beatrice and Lillian wearing their brand spanking new school uniforms complete with new shiny shoes. Over the course of the next few weeks, I'll introduce you to these children, all of whom have been good friends to our CTT volunteers throughout the years.

Each of the four is being sponsored by individual CTT supporters - people who have been generous all along, but who now want to focus their financial commitment on one child in particular. I can't thank these donors enough. I know it will feel as good for them as it does for their new Ugandan friends.

Lillian, 2011

Meet Lillian:

She is 12 years old, the third and youngest daughter of Evalyn, who happens to be the matron of the young boy's dormitory at SMK. Evalyn is a tall, handsome woman with a smile that'll knock you out and a voice that'll make you stand up and pay attention. She came to SMK after her husband was killed in the war in northern Uganda. She had nothing. Rosemary gave her a matron job, which provided Evalyn a place to eat and sleep and a place for her children to attend primary school. It's that simple. Evalyn works in exchange for a safe place for her family. Lillian participates in choir and traditional dancing at SMK. She is a good student and wants to work hard to become a doctor when she grows up. Lillian's sponsors are from Wisconsin (thanks to Suzanne, we are developing quite a contingency in the Dairy State!) and can't wait to start corresponding with her.

This is the kind of day that, while the beach does sound nice, I so appreciate the work I'm able to do and the people I get to do it with!

Maybe a sugar-on-the-rim margarita tonight with dinner?


Unknown said...

Whew! Glad you were just day dreaming!
I love Evalyn - so right about her smile. And Lillian is such a wonderful young lady. So glad she will be able to continue her schooling, with such high goals. Thanks for all you do Gloria. These kids have a chance in life that they did not have before. You are a blessing! May God richly bless you in your work.

Anonymous said...

My heart is bursting for these 4 students! So proud of them and so grateful for their generous sponsors.