#29 – A special thanks to Lynne and Jim

From Sister JoAnn Geary, CSJ, Gulu:

What a joy it has been having Lynne and Jim with us. And let me tell you they were serious about working – and work they did. As you have probably gathered by now, to accomplish anything here is quite labor-intensive. The tools are very primitive, but they both dug in and were elbow-to-elbow with the guys. The manual labor and the intense heat brought them home exhausted but they recovered amazingly well and were ready to go again in a short time.

On the last working day they provided the food for the morning tea break. Lynne boiled 20 eggs and ordered 30 chapatis from Alice (chapatis are  a tasty flatbread). Alice has a little lean-to down the road, and rumor has it that she makes the best!

They also had something for every one of the workers – they had loaded their suitcases with builder goodies. The guys just loved having them and were thrilled with their gifts. They want to know when they are coming back – me too!

More than anything, I think their presence really boosted the morale of the group. The workers felt proud to be on the job. To have Lynne and Jim from the United States come to work with them  was just the greatest. A job well done on many levels – Apwoyo matek! Many many thanks!

Before Jim left we went on safari to one of the national parks. We saw great wildlife including lions. What a thrill – generally they are very difficult to find – but there they were up close and personal.

After seeing Jim off we headed back to Gulu which only takes about 4-5 hours now instead of the 8-9 when we first came. The roads are really improving!

It has been so special to have Lynne here to experience and share in my life here in Gulu – to see the clinic, meet my co-workers, meet the sisters who have been so welcoming and all the friends we’ve made. We had a very festive African meal with Sister Hellen and the sisters at St. Mauritz where I work. They really rolled out the red carpet!

We took some great walks to town and the market which is very interesting and unique. After walking to town, which took about one and a half hours the 1st time, we took a bota-bota home.  A bota-bota is a motorcycle for taxi – my first! But not alone – Lynne squeezed on with me. The next day I graduated and went by myself!

Will wonders ever cease.

Lynne M. Cooper and Sister JoAnn Geary, CSJ in Gulu

Lynne (left) and JoAnn (right) together in Uganda

All in all I feel very blessed for and grateful to Lynne and Jim.

I hope their time here was as special and  meaningful to them as it was to me.


6 responses to this post.

  1. We felt very fortunate to watch the happenings with you all over there. Thank you to the web crew who made this possible and to the photographers. It really gave us a better picture of what you all are up to and the lovely people.

    It’s great having Lynne home. No sooner does she come home, though, then off she goes to dinner with President Obama, Sr. Antona Ebo, one of the “Selma Sisters”, Sr. Betty and Sen Claire McCaskill! Life is never boring being around Lynne Cooper!


  2. Posted by Kathleen on March 11, 2010 at 10:57 am

    What a great experience for all! It’s just amazing to see the work that is done, and all by hand…..it truly is a blessing, for all of those involved and us here reading about it. Way to go Jim and Lynne…..


  3. Posted by Joeann Beresford on March 11, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Jo, I am SURE that the time Lynne and Jim spent with you was as meaningful as it was to you! I think you can count on that. I enjoyed your message of gratitude and loved the picture of the two of you as an ending! Not sure that I would be as brave as you were to take the motorcycle!!!!! Blessings on all that you and Marian are involved in as well as the “guys” who are working on the house that will one day be yours. Take good care –no more typhoid– and know you are in my thoughts and prayer. Love as always, Cec


  4. Posted by Sandi McGill on March 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I am so proud of you and my dad! I’m glad that, overall, you had a good trip. I am sure they are going to miss you!!


  5. Posted by Becky Holley on March 12, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Oh Jo…..
    What special friends you and Lynne are ! ! ! How great of Jim and Lynne to come to your world and to immerse themselves with your new friends, neighbors and co-workers. I have loved getting the lynneinafrica emails and hope it continues as it has from St. Louis.

    God bless all of you!!!


  6. Posted by Diana Roe Hollis on August 14, 2012 at 9:19 am

    What a wonderful surprise to find info on Sr, Jo and then to see Sr. Lynne, as well
    Please send my email on to Sr. Jo Ann, I would like to catch her up on the Roe family

    Pax Christi


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