Ready, Set, Run!


If you’re from the US, you almost certainly played the kids’ game Red Light Green Light when you were a child. (For those of you who didn’t, kids line up and the caller yells out “green light” for them to start running, and “red light” to immediately stop. If you keep going, you’re out. The first to the finish line wins!)

As one of our staff retreat team building exercises, we played the game with a twist – you had to link arms with your randomly chosen team mate.

The staff had, of course never heard of this game – not the least reason being that stop lights here get very loosely interpreted at the best of times! – so the first round meant 12 teams charging at me at full speed and totally ignoring (like most drivers here!) my high-volume “RED LIGHT!!!!”

Once round one was out of their systems, rounds two and three proved a lot more successful and hilarious. Accompanied by millions of tiny lake flies, the runners skidded, flailed, screeched to a halt, and ran each other over. Teachers Beatrice and Gloria sensibly just ambled behind, avoiding the chaos.

In short, it was a huge success!

The 6-hour retreat was a great chance to play games, learn skills – my mom taught on PTSS and how to help our girls’ mental health, and focus on our annual theme of Vision Passion Sacrifice.

What these great people do every day is hard. Rewarding, yes, but hard. Giving them tools to help, opening communication, and celebrating them is vital. As were the chicken and chips!

Today (Sunday as I write this) my mom and I are taking the day off. My mom is painting and I’m reading up on regenerative agriculture (and reading my latest No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novel). We’ve had a full and fun week, and it’s nice to relax before diving back in tomorrow.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for all the latest — we’ve been busy busy, and that’s the best way to keep up! (Click the icon below!)




PS Our graduation is coming up on the 8th, and the girls got to do their photo shoots last week. Most of these girls have had minimal to no prior education which disqualified them from “traditional” vocational programs, but they got to get dressed up, wear makeup, and celebrate themselves. We’re so excited to be here on the big day! We have a project up to help with our biggest graduation to date – just click the box!


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Three Weeks Til I Get to Uganda!


Ronald and I at Lake Mburo National Park, June 2022

WOW, in just three weeks I’ll be in Uganda!

The time has gone so fast since the last trip (and in other ways really slowly…), and I can’t wait to get back to hands-on work. Zoom is great, but it’s not THERE. And this time my mom will be joining us, which should be a great new adventure for her.

On the agenda:

  • Staff retreat where we will have the theme VISION, PASSION, SACRIFICE
  • At least one, and probably two, trips to the farm
  • A trip west to Mbarara and Rwakobo to visit Hopeland and Wells of Hope Primary Schools
  • Graduation (the first I will be there for!)
  • Art lessons for the Literacy class girls by my mom (who is an artist)
  • Community visits
  • Staff meetings
  • Dancing
  • And, of course, a short safari stay in Lake Mburo (above)

We so appreciate your ongoing support!

Webele nyo!


PS I just launched our next Large Project on DonorSee, a 10,000 liter ecobrick tank for Hopeland School. The tank is constructed using “bricks” made from recycled plastic drink bottles! We put in a similar tank at Wells of Hope in 2020 and it has helped enormously. Please visit the link and watch the video to see what it’s all about! The project is just $2,800 and we need 10% before it’s made visible to the wider DonorSee audience — we’d love your help to get us there!

Ecobrick Water Tank Projec

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One Week Down – How It’s Going in Uganda

Happy Memorial Weekend from Uganda! I hope it’s as beautiful where you are as it is here today. I’ve been reading and sketching outside all day, and enjoying my day off… it’s been wonderful!

I’ve sent a couple of other updates, so here’s how the end of the week went:

  • I led a 5 hour retreat/workshop with all but 2 of our staff yesterday. (I’ll meet with Mr. Aziz and Mama Santa separately about facility issues.) It was a new experience for most of them, but we had a fun and productive time of games, discussion, problem solving, and laughter. Oh, and chicken and chips, of course!
  • Friday was both the Strong Minds group and Teen Talk. I didn’t know I was speaking at Strong Minds until I was introduced (!), but we had a good session on self-worth. Many of our girls are called “prostitutes” or “worthless” because of their past, but that’s not who they are now. They are learning to change their self-perception and it’s beautiful! (The baby at the top is one of the teen mom’s girls.)
  • We had a (probably temporary) emergency admission on Saturday, a late-teen (she’s not sure of her exact age) with a one year old daughter. Both were very malnourished. Esther had been referred by a European woman who found her sleeping in front of a church. Nurse Sherry discovered she is pregnant again, and that her “husband” has been violent and abusive towards her. We will be in the community tomorrow trying to locate her auntie; in the meantime she’s staying temporarily in the dorm.

We’ve got a busy 2 days ahead, then on Wednesday we leave at 7am to travel 4ish hours west to Lake Mburo and Wells of Hope Primary School. We’ll be out that way until Sunday — more to come on that part of the trip!

Thank you all so much for your encouragement and support!



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