Monday, August 3, 2009

Back in the Game

For the last 7 months, my world has seemed to "revolve around my heal"...(pun intended)

...and after dozens of doctor and physical therapy appointments, and countless hours in the gym, the pool, on the bike, and most recently jogging on the treadmill (albeit slowly and painfully)...

it works again!

Thanks to the steadfast support of my family, friends, Dr.s, PTs, and the folks at Restore, my recovery has resulted in, (Dr.'s words) "as positive an outcome as I could have hoped for." Thanks guys.

Nana and I enjoying a lunch in Cascade Locks

4th of July with Dad's and Lani's fams~

And now for a crazy story... THE OMEN...

So one of the ways I've kept busy these last few months (other than all that PT activity) has been pet-sitting for family and friends. (As I'm sure you can relate if you've ever experienced a chapter of incapacitation or joblessness- word of your availability gets around quickly!) I actually really enjoyed it, as I'm a softy for furry little friends...

Hangin' at Dan and Molly's with Freddy and Stan the Man

But I had the strangest experience while cleaning out the litter box of Dad and Lani's cat a few months back. I glanced down to find this curious omen:

So I took a closer look......

and I nearly fell over laughing! I was looking at liquid proof that God has a sense of humor- as indeed, the end of my last chapter in Africa was a bit of a pisser!

But...ever the optimist...I decided to assume that perhaps this omen was not only humorous, but also auspicious...

And, lo and behold, the last couple months have seen a myriad of circumstances coalesce into an invitation to return to Africa.

For months, I've been offering little bits of help and expertise to my friend Kristen Hendricks, who started an organization called Purse of Hope, as she has been seeking funding and partnership to begin a home for vulnerable girls in Gulu.

Kristen Hendricks during a visit last fall to Gulu

It has been Kristen's dream and passion to fight against human trafficking, and to care for vulnerable girls who either have been, or are at risk of being caught up this tragic occurrence. Her efforts are bearing fruit, and her dream is taking off, as a passionate and generous group of people from Total Attorneys in Chicago has come alongside in partnership and financial support. Kristen has offered me the position of Uganda Country Director for Purse of Hope, which I have gratefully accepted.

So....I'm off to Uganda again! I'm absolutely stoked to see everyone over there again, and in addition to heading up Purse of Hope, I'll be living and working with John Niemeyer in the same house we were in before, and helping to support him in any way I can as he directs Restore International.

Along with the girl's home in Gulu, we are also working with Robinah Sarah to establish a drop in center in Kampala. She is one of the absolutely amazing group of people we have on the ground in Uganda, to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude. We are incredibly thankful for the groundwork laid by John Niemeyer, Kristen Vogel, and Pauline Amony. It's an honor to be working with them.

I'll be taking off for Chicago on September 1st to join up with Kristen, and meet the team from Total Attorneys. Two days later, we take to the skies for Africa...