Posts Tagged ‘Sister JoAnn Geary’

#32 – More photos from Uganda

Lynne is back from Uganda, but we’re finding various photos and stories to post.

350 of these children are in boarding school near the Sisters of St. Joseph (CSJ) and went to mass with us each morning.  Most people walk or bike the roads, and they are a  little difficult to navigate.

local roads with bricks in the middlePeople leave bricks and debris all over the roads.  When it rains, huge ruts form and erode, making the paths perilous for many vehicles.  You can walk or bike, or you can take a bota-bota, which is a motorcycle taxi.

driver and JoAnn on bota-bota

JoAnn on a bota-bota!

A bota-bota fits two people behind the driver, and it can be a little scary.

We’ll probably have more content coming over the next couple weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!

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#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.

#12 – It is hot here!

From Lynne:

We are working hard and having a great time here.

Lynne cooling down

That's me!

We try hard to stay cool.

Jim cooling down

My brother-in-law Jim

JoAnn is a great host.

JoAnn cooling down

JoAnn is my main liason here.

Marion is very welcoming and helpful, too.

Marion and everyone here is so kind and generous.

Marion and everyone here are so kind and generous.

We work through the heat and take our breaks beneath trees, where workers sip tea and carouse.

workers sipping tea at morning breakThe animals in the yard huddle in the shadow of building and trees, too.

pig and piglets feeding in shadeDid I mention it is hot? There is no air conditioning even if we had regular electricity, and it has been 90 in our house and hotter outside! One night Jim and I asked JoAnn to take us for a ride to town just to be in the air-conditioned car! Driving is terrifying, and if there are rules, you can’t tell it. Roads are little more than paths in most places, and they are shared by people, animals and cars without much consideration each for the other.