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

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

ever watched paint dry?

That's what it's like trying to log onto the internet of late. For over an hour, I have been staring at this computer screen - no, not mine - waiting for the blog site to open. To those of you who have e-mailed me, please understand that I can't respond now, as the system is just TOO SLOW!

My day began at the offices of New Vision, the government run local and most widely read newspaper in Kampala. I wrote up my ad for the missing laptop and reward, and it will run in Thursday's paper. There are now fliers about the laptop decorating the walls of the hotel at various locations, as well as a letter from the manager to the staff informing them of the reward. Everyone is so concerned, the staff included, and they feel so terrible about what has happened. My fellow students treated me at first as if there had been a death in my family, which leads me to the obvious - things could be A LOT worse.

I was welcomed back to the school/orphanage with wide open arms. Rosemary, Michael and Peter are such wonderful people. They love each and every one of these children, and they also love the work they are doing with/for them. I admire them so much. They let me wander around and shoot, then they laid out a great lunch of rice, potatoes, talapia and roasted corn. We had such a nice visit. They have already bought the books! They showed them to me, and I was so touched to see that they had inscribed each one with an acknowledgement to "Gloria and friends." I did not make nearly as many pictures as before, and most don't compare to the ones in the first batches, but at least I now have some.

Tomorrow will be an edit day for me, so I will have some photos to post here on the blog then. Stay tuned...

My fellow students are working on some really interesting projects. Several have left Kampala to pursue their work. Eileen has gone to Gulu, in the northern part of Uganda, to photograph former child soldiers. Dan and Brian have gone to some refugee camps in the southwest part of Uganda, and Cheryl has gone off to do a story on pygmies. We will all gather here on Thursday night to begin putting together our final slide show, and we'll also get to see the presentation of films the students in the other group have made.

Dennis found a pumpkin somewhere for us, and tonight Joe carved it and put a candle inside. Also, Thatcher reminded us all to say "rabbit, rabbit" for good luck since it will be the first day of the month. A few of the others said, yeah we know. I thought only my family did this!

Rabbit, rabbit.

Monday, October 30, 2006

corbin to the rescue(pro)

Looks as if my laptop is gone. I spent the morning and early afternoon in my room having a major pity party. I cried, called Eddie just so I could hear his comforting voice and thought a lot about what I want to do now. I was planning to go to Jinja tomorrow to meet up with someone from another NGO, but I have decided to go back to the orphanage and basically start over with the photos there. I called Michael, and he will pick me up in the morning.

Meantime, Corbin spent the better part of her afternoon downloading software called Rescue Pro and attempting to retrieve my pictures. Fortunately, my CF cards (where the images are stored) were in my camera bag, so I have those. She should be able to rescue about 10 - 15% of the stuff I've shot so far. It's not much, but it is something. Thatcher has offered to let me borrow the extra laptop he has, so I should be able to at least work with the new things I'll shoot. Dennis, our local assistant and friend, is going with me to the police department in the morning to file a report for theft and then we are going to the newspaper office to put an ad in the paper, as I am offering a reward for the return of the laptop - no questions asked. The amazing and sad thing is, Dennis suggested that the amount of the reward be 150,000 - 2000,000 shillings, which is about $75 - $100. That must be the street value for the computer... not too much, is it? I have also spread the word at the hotel, so that the porters and other staff know there is a reward.

I wanted so much to post the journal entries I made while in the village. That part of the trip was so profound. I may attempt to recapture some of those impressions in a future post, but for now I am too exhausted to try. I will tell you that when I got on the bus after saying goodbye to Margaret and her children and grandchildren and all the other kids who hang out at her hut (she seems to have the Koolaid house in the neighborhood... the fun place to hang out) and watched as if in slow motion as they waved and called out their farewells, I was hit with a flood of emotion for which I was not prepared. I cried for quite a while as we drove out of Buyingi. I have told Margaret that once I return to the U.S. I will be making arrangements to wire the necessary funds to send her oldest son, Ronald, to secondary school. It's all of $22 per quarter. She was so grateful - it was obvious she expected nothing from me. Instead, SHE was the one all three days doing the giving. Not only did she open up her home to me, some crazy American with a camera, and teach me so much, but she gave me tangible gifts as well. The first day it was a bunch of avocados, the second a lovely mat she had woven, and on the third day she bestowed upon me a beautiful basket she had woven from banana leaves.

I will also tell you that the people in this village had perhaps only had fleeting glances of a Mazoongoo, never had they spent any time with a white person. So, it was really something to have little kids and adults alike just sitting there staring at me. One really young one took one look at me, got a terrified look on her face and started bawling!

Margaret and I will continue to communicate through John and Fred, the two young men who have the local NGO that provides football (soccer) opportunities for boys age 8 - 17. I have a feeling that the Feinsteins have basically adopted Margaret's family, because she and I made such a strong connection. She has a daughter, Joan, who is 13 and will want to attend secondary school like her brother will do, and then there are the young ones! If Joan does not further her education, she will most likely marry very young and begin to have lots of babies. She would rather have the chance to try to break out of that cycle. It will take so little to help her try to achieve this dream.

By the way, we spent yesterday at a game park, so we did have a chance to get a small glimpse of the wildlife that makes East Africa a great place to tour. It was a welcome relief from the emotional intensity of the previous week. It was hysterical being with 15 photographers - with each zebra or warthog siting, it sounded like artillery fire coming from our bus as so many cameras were fired at once. We had a lot of laughs (Bobbie and Anna, we saw Dik-Diks!) and it was a great way to end the trip.

More later...

monday morning

Our trip was amazing, and I dutifully kept a journal while I was in Rakai. I will share those daily entries with you IF MY LAPTOP TURNS UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, my laptop has gone AWOL. In all the chaos and frenzy of arriving in Kampala last night and unloading the beloved old rickety bus, my laptop bag disappeared. Thatcher and I have been on the case all morning. There are a few possibilities: 1. A few of the other students got off in different locations on the way back to Kampala, so perhaps one of them grabbed it by mistake 2. I left it at the hotel in Kyotera (which is unlikely, but hey, anything's possible I am learning) 3. It is still on the bus (again, unlikely, because we called Kenneth, the driver and another student who continued on in the bus, and they looked everywhere for it) 4. A passerby stole it while the bags were being unloaded and stacked in the parking lot of the hotel and then in the lobby.

So.... I am trying to understand how I will deal with the reality of losing all the images I have made thus far. I was just saying to Thatch and Corbin during the trip back last night (I feel like I am growing so close to them, and I feel lucky to be becoming their friends) that everything happens for a reason. If it is true that all the pictures I have made in Africa so far are gone, then I will need to figure out what that reason is,learn from it and go on from there.

I learned so much about myself and my life, my world, my heart and the meaning of family and humanity in the village. I learned these things from the beautiful and kind people I met and photographed. The village we stayed in is called Buyingi and has been ravaged by AIDS. I spent my days with Margaret, a 40 year old mother and grandmother. She lives in a mud hut with a tin roof, where her three children (her two older children died from AIDS) and four orphaned grandchildren sleep on ratty mats on the dirt floor... no electricity, no toilet (not even an outhouse)an open pit for cooking, a couple of goats and a few chickens - and a plot of very fertile land where she grows sweet potatoes, mangos, beans, cassava, etc. I hope I will be able to post my journal (yep, it's on Word which is on my laptop), because I wrote about the journey in good detail.

I don't know what today has in store. I was supposed to return to the orphanage to do a few "unfinished" things and just check in, but I will probably spend most of the day tracking down the laptop - or at least trying.

I am feeling great health wise, and I have made some good friends. I love Africa and would like to return someday. My heart feels very full.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

edit day

We have spent a great deal of time today editing our work, speaking with Thatcher about the images and preparing for our slide show tonight. We'll each show about eight pictures. Bill, the video workshop instructor, helped me transfer my audio recording to a CD, and then Corbin, the T.A. for our class gave me one of the best one on one computer classes I've had. She's teaching me all about digital flow, a subject about which I have remained stubbornly clueless. I think, with her help, I may get this whole concept nailed by the end of the workshop.

Tomorrow we leave early for four days in Rakai, a small, fairly remote village about four hours from Kampala. We will cross over the equator en route! Each of us will spend our days with a family, photographing their daily lives. We will stay at the Motel Highway, which I understand is like the Ritz Carlton of Rakai. Will let you know more about that later. We will not have access to Internet, so I'll not be able to post again until we return on Sunday. I think we're in for an unforgettable few days. Thatcher suggested that we each take a little something to give to our family - and he meant little. He said last year one of the students gave the mother a needle and thread, and she broke down with tears of joy. As a group, we are pitching in to purchase things like rice, beans, soap, oil, sugar, pencils, notebooks, etc. so that we can present each family with a basket of goodies just before we leave - just as a show of our appreciation for their willingness to have us tag along with them for all that time. The families get nothing out of this - just the pleasure of our company (hopefully!) and the chance to make new friends.

I'm posting more photos from the orphanage. In case you're wondering who the elderly women are - in so many instances, the orphaned children are taken in by their grandmothers and/or great grandmothers. I asked Rosemary if they had any such children, and in five minutes time, we were walking to the the homes of some of these grandmothers who live very near the orphanage! In one room - and I'm talking dirt floor, tin roof, a few mats scattered about for sleeping - these women in their 70's - 90's care for several children. I met one who has eight orphaned grandchildren living with her. Some of these kids are referred to as "half orphans." This means that one parent (usually the mother) has died, and the father has gone off to make money somewhere or is incapable or just not interested in caring for his children, so the child is left alone. This is where the elders take over.

The workshop is demanding in terms of time. We meet at breakfast and often don't quit until well after dinner. Last night the group was up until after midnight, but this girl was fast asleep by then.

Much more to come after the trip to Rakai...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

a love fest

Okay, I'm going to hit you hard with images now. That's because over the course of the past two days at the orphanage I have made A LOT of pictures. I have fallen in love with the children, and some have fallen for me, as well. It has been fun, sad, challenging, wonderful, inspiring, heart wrenching and glorious to walk into the lives of these kids and their teachers.

I managed to borrow a cool little audio device from Kirsten and went about the business of recording the kids singing and giving testimonials just before lunchtime. We started outside, but the mic was so sensitive, it was picking up the breezes that were blowing. So we moved into a tiny, cramped room - with a tin roof and metal doors and the most amazing acoustics ever! We decided we could not have found a better recording studio in all of Uganda. I am hoping that my sweet son, Max, who is a budding sound engineer, will help me edit this and put together a CD of their songs, which I will send to them and which I will listen to during those times that I'd like to be transported back to that small, damp, crowded and very dark room (the power kind of comes and goes there) when those uplifted faces and angelic voices washed over me. I have goosebumps still.

I have usually been pretty good at detaching myself from horrific situations that I am photographing. It's not until later, like when I'm back home in the (wet or dry) darkroom printing the pictures that I break down. Today, however, I could not quite keep it together when a little boy named Nicholas was telling me the story of how the rebels came into his village in Northern Uganda, killed his grandmother and his father, and dragged him away, and he got tears in his huge eleven year old eyes as he began to tell me what happened to his mother, and he couldn't go on anymore. I think you get the picture.

One more quick little tidbit about today. I had given disposable cameras to two of the children yesterday. I retrieved them today so I can have the pictures made in Kampala and take them back to the orphanage. The little girl photographer asked me if I could please leave her the "house" and just take the film. She wanted to keep the little green plastic camera body as a "memory list" of my visit.

Monday, October 23, 2006

the orphanage

In an interesting sort of way, my initial tour of the orphanage this morning took me back to the impressions I had of the some of the concentration camps I visited a few years ago. The "dorm" rooms in which the children sleep are much like the barracks, the "kitchen" an outdoor fire pit, the "project" area" where the children make bricks to sell not unlike the labor areas in which prisoners were forced to work.

I know that seems severe, and you're probably thinking that my imagination has got the better of me, but I must tell you that I have never seen anything like what I saw today.

When I arrived, the orphans were eating their breakfast. They sat on the ground, some of them barely clothed, some of them obviously ill, some of them smiling broadly, some of them haunted, putting spoonfuls of porridge into their mouths. I learned that for lunch they would have a corn mush of some sort (that they make on the open fire pit) and then for dinner, the same corn mush, but this time with beans and ground up silverfish (for protein) stirred into it. In the photo, you can see Peter's hands holding some of the silverfish before and after they are ground up. Peter was one of my guides. I was greeted like royalty and treated to a very informative look around by Peter, Rosemary (the founder and director), as well as two others. The grounds are humble and primitive, and my tour guides were so proud of each hand built brick classroom, each pig, their recently donated cow, the dilapidated library, etc. You have to understand that to even get to this orphanage/school, we had to drive up a rutted, red earth road. (Once there, it rained like mad, so you can guess what the trip back down was like.)

Following my tour, the children put on a quite a show for their American guest. There was lots of singing, dancing and drumming. They even invited me to join them in one of their dances. (Even though I received much applause, I was no Madonna, that's for sure.) The kids were fantastic. In fact, I have borrowed an audio recorder so that when I return tomorrow I can capture three or four of the songs that I will then run behind the digital presentation of my pictures that I'll give on the last day of the workshop.

I will also record some of the orphans telling me their stories. Many of the children are from the northern part of Uganda and were child soldiers or street kids. They have much to tell, and they have already clearly experienced more horrors than any human being should ever be subjected to. I will put the childrens' voices in my presentation, as well.

I plan to return in the morning and spend the day there. We shall do our book shopping at some point, too. The kids and teachers alike are thrilled about all the new text books and workbooks that the money I have brought from the U.S. will provide them.

The joyful spirit of most of these children - and each and every adult in charge - was almost too much to bear, given the cards they have been dealt. There are many lessons here for me to learn.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

kampala day 2

We had dinner last night at a Chinese restaurant on a terrace with neon palm trees. It was surreal.

Kampala rocks on a Saturday night. I know this because I finally crawled out of my mosquito netted bed and took a sleeping pill at 2:30 a.m. because I couldn't imagine spending the entire night listening to the throbbing bass guitar that was literally making my entire room rattle. Not to mention my head.

We spent most of the day in class. Thatcher talked a lot of working for NGOs. He gave us some helpful information. The stories he has to tell from all of his various assignments are very colorful and entertaining. He spends about eight months out of each year on assignment for NGOs all over the world.

The afternoon was fantastic. We all hopped onto the back of boda-bodas (motorcycle taxis) and had an exhilarating ride to the Kampala market. The market was packed with people, chickens, slabs of animals, flip-flops, belts, vegetables, you name it. I have never been to a market so large, so loud, so crowded... it was such an adrenaline rush. We did the "okay, each of you go out and make interesting pictures" thing, which I always despise when I see those photographers creeping about when I'm on a trip somewhere - and I was embarrassed... for about thirty seconds! I got swept up in the movements, the sounds, the smells, the calls from people as I passed - and, in spite of myself, I was soon grinning from ear to ear. I finally felt like I was really in Africa... at least the Africa I had envisioned. Two of the others and I started out together, but we quickly lost sight of one another, and we were on our own. It was breathtaking. I can't say I took many successful pictures, but I definitely soaked up the sensuous opportunities that enveloped me. I had a blast. Most everyone was warm and kind, and they called me Mazoongoo (sp?) which is "white person" I learned later. I felt very welcomed, as hands reached out to shake mine, people asked me to take their picture, smiles were flashed my way and kind words were spoken. It was a wonderful experience.

Tonight we looked at each other's work, which is always great fun. There are some really good photographers here, but mostly a lot of really caring and generous people.

A photo from the market is above.


There is a cool breeze on my face as I sit by the pool at the Mosa Courts enjoying a glass of white wine. I got in a nap this afternoon, so I'm feeling pretty good now as evening falls around me. Shortly I'll be meeting the others in the group for our orientation, then dinner.

I walked into the heart of the city today to Kampala Road, the main thoroughfare. The city is teeming with people, in spite of the fact that this is Saturday. For long stretches during my trek, I was the only white face in a sea of black, brown, copper, and earth toned ones. The streets are filled with beggars, vendors, very small children all alone sprawled barefoot on street corners as if they are waiting for someone to come back and get them, soldiers with rifles perched on their shoulders, people on cell phones, dilapidated mini busses crammed with way too many passengers, motorcycles, and the constant honking and beeping of wild, unrestrained and seemingly uncontrolled traffic. I gave my two "mitzvah dollars" (good luck for travel - one from Eddie, one from a client who also happens to be a Rabbi) to a very young girl who was sitting on the sidewalk in the shade of a telephone booth with her very young baby. Her hand was not out, so I caught her by surprise. Her young/old eyes pierced mine as she stood to graciously accept my very small gift. I glanced down at her baby, and then the girl, a teenager, and I smiled in mutual understanding of the beauty and innocence of the baby. I received a warm smile and a "thank you very much" and then I moved on. I'm afraid it will be hard to move on each time I have an encounter like that. At least, I hope it does not get easy.

I think over the course of the next couple of weeks that my heart will be broken a hundred times.

Tonight we will get to know our fellow students a bit and get a sense from our fearless leader, Thatcher, of what lies ahead.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

one weary but happy traveler

After 24 hours of travel, I have arrived! My first morning consisted of a cold shower, three power outages in the hotel and then breakfast. I met a few of my fellow students, and they all seem really nice. The weather is beautiful - not too hot, a cool breeze, lots of sunshine. I have seen nothing except the view from my room, which, by the way, is quite spartan. Its centerpiece is an exquisite mosquito netting that flows from the ceiling and surrounds my bed. The way it drapes is really very beautiful and makes me feel as if I am indeed on an exotic adventure. Am about to explore the area around the hotel. Just wanted to let everyone know I made it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

weather schmeather

Lots of rain and fog in Chicago last night. I couldn't leave as scheduled due to what the airline agents call "ground stop." I am now leaving today, instead, and I am going through Brussels rather than London. So much for that massasge I was looking forward to in the Rejuve Lounge at Heathrow! I won't get to Kampala until late Friday night - hopefully I can post some of my first impressions of the city sometime on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

my friends are the coolest

Thanks to my friends, I have a stash of cash to take to the orphanage! Michael will take me on a book-buying spree, and the children will be thrilled. You guys are the best.

The malaria medication is running through my blood stream now, and I am ready to get on that plane tomorrow night. Seems like I’ve been talking about this trip long enough – time to go!! My suitcase is bulging, my heart is pounding with excitement, and my fingers are itching to start shooting.

I wasn’t able to get my hands on any used, cheap digital point & shoot cameras, but I loaded up on disposables during my trip to Costco this morning. I can’t wait to hand these out to the children and then see what they come up with once they are turned loose in their world with these little green plastic “memory keepers.”

It turns out that due to a late cancellation, there is a last minute entry in the class – and she is someone I know! Leslie was the assistant instructor at the Photoshop course I took in Santa Fe a couple of years ago. It will be great to see a familiar face in the crowd of dazed and jetlagged photographers!

Hope the Internet system in Kampala will cooperate with me once I’m settled in so that my next post will be from Africa. Until then… cheers!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

seniors, seniors everywhere

Now that I am back in Kansas City, I have a lot of work to complete before I board my plane on Wednesday. First and foremost - finish the senior pictures! It is always fun to do these each year, but especially this time around, because this is Max's class. I have known most of these kids since they were in kindergarten, a couple since the day they were born, so it is great fun for me to photograph the young men and women they have become. Here is the portrait I made of Max. This is when he is happiest - seated on the throne behind his set of Pearl drums.

My e-mail account has been buzzing, as I begin to hear from other students in the class, our instructor, as well as the people I'll be meeting and working with at the orphanage. Several other students will be on my flight from London, so we are planning to meet at Heathrow and then ride into Kampala together from Entebbe. Everyone has such interesting projects in mind, and all of us are eager to get started.

I have made contact with someone who is trying to arrange a gorilla trek for me! I'll have three days after the workshop ends, and I have been told not to miss this experience if I can help it. I'll know in a couple of days if I am able to secure a permit to get into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to several hundred gorillas. Only a certain number of permits are granted for each day. Will keep you posted

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

my brother and me

For the past week, my brother, Ben, and I have been the tag-team (along with my Dad's caregiver, Fran) that has helped him through the recovery from his fall. My other siblings will come to town soon to take over. The four of us kids make a good team. We're lucky to have each other.

Ben is four years older than me. We are the middle children, and we have a lot of the same personality traits. We've not spent a great deal of time together over the years, as we have lived in different cities since he went off to boarding school when he was 16 or so. Of course, we've been together for family events, vacations, holidays, etc., but never have we spent a solid week together (essentially just the two of us), talking back and forth constantly on our cell phones, speaking together in hushed tones in a hospital hallway, easing Dad into bed together, quizzing the doctors, reporting to one another how Dad's morning or afternoon or evening was, feeding Dad his dinner, etc. It's interesting, but it was Ben with whom I spent the last night of Mom's life, the two of us trying to keep her from falling off the bed as she struggled with her pain, pulling the covers up around her when she tossed them aside, calling hospice that next morning, catching our breath together, being afraid together, glancing at each other with tears in our eyes as we knew the end was drawing near for her.

I feel so fortunate to have these three people in my life - my two brothers and my sister. I feel as if I know each of them very well. But I feel as if I have gotten to know Ben in a slightly different way because of these experiences we have shared.

I know I was always calling out to him as a child... let me try that, can I come with you, help me do this, come look at this, will you lift me up, can I ride on your shoulders? Little sisters, you know.

This piece I made for my "Shredding Project" is of Ben and me. It is one of my favorites.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

gloria in kentucky

My father is making progress and seems better each day. He has been in the hospital now for over a week and is itching to get to a rehab center to begin rebuilding his strength. We are hoping that move will take place within the next couple of days. At that point, I will probably head back to KC and deal with all the last minute stuff I need to do before I leave for Uganda on the 18th.

For those of you who have never been to Kentucky, please try to come here sometime during the fall or spring, when this part of the country is in full splendor. I took a drive yesterday down Old Frankfort Pike to a quaint town called Midway. The two lane highway (they actually call it a "biway") rises and falls through some of the most beautiful horse farm country in the world. The fall colors are spectacular, the grass so green (with a blueish tinge when the sun hits it just right) the limestone walls a reminder of the colorful history of this area, the thoroughbreds so elegant and stately. A deer even crossed the road at one point during my drive, adding to the breathtaking beauty of the whole experience.

While I've been here, I have been trying to finish up a project for Operation Breakthrough's annual fund raiser. The theme this year is "Candyland", something about the "sweetest kids in town." I'd like to share one of my favorite pictures. This little guy couldn't believe his good luck when we handed him all these gumballs!

Friday, October 06, 2006

my dad

Most of you know my father. He's an amazing 85 year old sweetie pie who has had a very good life, one that has been full of love, travel, success, humor and much happiness. The past year and a half has dealt him some very tough blows, however. His wife of 59 years, his one and only true love since he was a teenager, my mom, passed away a year ago this past June. He fell a few times, lost more and more of his mobility, then was in a car accident and broke his neck. Now he has fallen again. He is in the hospital, and I have come to Lexington to help out with his care. "Gloria in Kentucky" will be the name of this blog for a bit now. Here is a picture of my father and me, taken in May. Please send him good vibes for a quick recovery. Harold has taken several hits, but he always seems able to get back up, dust himself off and return to the business and joy of living. He's a true inspiration to us all.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

born into brothels

I have been a huge fan of Wendy Ewald's work for many, many years. The photographs she has inspired children to make (especially the work in "Portraits and Dreams: Photographs and Stories by Children of Appalachians") has been an important factor in helping me find my way to teach children to make their own pictures. I did this as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin with Native American children, later with my own two children, and much more recently at "Operation Breakthrough", a day care provider for the children of Missouri's working poor. These projects have fueled my thoughts about undertaking a similar (though, obviously, much more brief) activity with some of the children at the orphanage in Uganda.

Many people have told me I should see the movie "Born into Brothels." I just finished watching it, at long last. It has brought me to my knees. I only wish I could accomplish a fraction of what Zana Briski has done with these Indian children, all of whom are children of sex workers in Calcutta. It is truly wonderful, amd I urge each of you to rent it and watch it.

I feel even more inspired now and am so looking forward to the opportunity that awaits me. Perhaps it will be the beginning of a new chapter in my career as a photographer.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

you can help

After hearing from Elayna and others that they would like to do something for the orphanage in Kampala, I sent an e-mail to the director asking for suggestions. This was his reply:

“I am sure the children will be much excited when they receive food and books, but which kind of books? We have been having friends who send books to us based on the American Education system and the children find difficulties with them since our education system is different compared to yours.

I am suggesting when you come here we shall take you to the book shop and you buy the books. Children like exercise books where they make notes and text books, and for the food we can take you to the store.

Some friends donate things through the Organization Address:

St. Mary Kevin Orphanage Motherhood
P.O.Box. 5472 Kampala

Thanks for the support you are making with your friends.”

If anyone would like to participate, let me know by sending me a check for a small sum, and I’ll take care of shopping once I’m there. Thanks!

While I’m on the subject of donations… if anyone has an old point and shoot digital camera they don’t use anymore, I would love to have it! I would like to give the children the opportunity to make their OWN pictures. If I can pull it off, I’d like for them to make images and then also do some writing. It could be a very powerful addition to the body of work I make. So… please let me know if you have anything. It’d be a lot easier than listing it on Ebay. Just call me, and I’ll come pick it up.