Friday, July 24, 2009

After the Journey Part IV: A multitude of thanks

Dear friends and family, Rose's journey would not have been possible if it were not for so many people who worked around the clock and took care of so many details where I could not. Narrow Road For setting up links to make donations possible and for allowing Rose’s Journey to take front page on the Narrow road web site for the past few months. Thank you for your friendship and support. For facilitating and handling all donations and making sure the money gets to where it is supposed to go. Thankful to all board members for their support every step of the way For a generous donation to the work of Hope Ward Discover The Journey Thankful to my friend Brad Corrigan for support, prayers, for telling others the story of Hope in my life, and ensuring that Discover the Journey had funding needed to capture Rose's Journey on Film and through a ton of still amazing photographs. To the DTJ team for their patience and for being on the road and in the journey with me especially when the going got rough. Citizen Camera--UK--what can I say, a beautiful thing indeed to have them in the journey. Hanna and Karin were and continue to be great companions and captured amazing stories as they walked. They also followed me to several visits to Sabina home in Rakai and I watched as they spent time with the children--teaching them the basics of video and photography, allowing the children to capture and tell their own stories...I believe this is the beginning of a beautiful work Breckenridge Crew DJ Schappert, Mike Glerup, Christina Black, Jen Morgan and Kristen Petitt—Dreams: Rose’s Journey was borne out of conversations we had at the French Street House in March this year. Thank you for helping me dream and for walking beside me in the journey. Thank you for setting up all the face book pages and donation sites. KP is the queen of logistics and PR and guards the interests and integrity of what we are about with passion and rigor. They all flew to Uganda to be present in the Journey. Their contribution cannot easily be summed up in a number! Kate and Mike Glerup--thank you for everything, but above all the SHOES!!! Kate and Emma our only satellite walkers in Breckenridge--they represented Rose's Journey well, so proud of you guys Drivers · Sean—Truck and refreshments · My brother Mike for Driving the “ End Child Sacrifice Car” safely! · All the hired drivers—I was told driving at 1 kilometer per hour was as painful as walking · Jackie Nabukeera for carrying the film Crew and Peddling her way into and to the end of the journey · Hannah Magoola and Judy Mugoya for carrying whoever needed carrying · Charles who came limping but drove anyway Parents/Family · All the support from every one present here and or out of country--Sean, Linzi, Lauren, Matt and Anna--thank you much for the cheers and encouragement · Logistics—Dad spear-headed this and got it rolling in no time · Mum for setting the ball rolling on Rose’s Journey—she is the ultimate cheer leader. What an incredible finish! . My brother Tom and Steven and Juda for all the support Uganda: Logistics Crew This would not have happened without Hannah Magoola, one of my

best friends—she looked after every detail...and I really mean EVERY DETAIL · Tom Kyobe—Transport · Patricia Tino—Details (T-shirts and Banners, The untold story crew for live TV show) · Beatrice Kiyuba—for getting the nursing students organized · The Nursing students (IHSU)—bravo guys, what an honor to have them in the journey · Flavia Matovu—for picking everyone up from the airport at the drop of a hat · Kevin Duffy—All the Suubi Trust updates and setting up of just giving · Helen Lay—for putting all of us up and for amazing meals that I did not cook!

. Allan Kasujja of Capital FM for hosting me on the show to highlight Rose's Journey on Desert Island Dics. It was great fun

. Thank you to Betty Tibaleka of Untold Stories for hosting me and my mum on the show--conversation with my Irish mother were greatly inspiring--I hear her say "we did so little, we just took Rose in!" And I think, you did so much, so much more than words can describe.

· Grace—for caring for us at the house

Kiwoko Reception · Ken and Judith Finch—what a grand reception at Kiwoko!

· The students from the Kiwoko School of Nursing—Superb entertainment after a long walk
Donors There are numerous to count. All I can say is that at the writing of this blog, we have raised close to 18,000.00 USD…just 7,000.00 USD short of the 25,000.00 USD target. 15,000.00USD will go towards sponsoring a bed on Hope Ward for a year, and 3,000.00 USD will go towards the Nursing Scholarship Fund. We will continue to work towards meeting the goal for the scholarship fund (10,000.00USD to sponsor one student at University for whole program: Bachelors degree in Nursing, covers tuition and fees) before the end of the year.
Everyone in the Walk--Present or distant I am so grateful to so many for your generosity, for your faith and trust, for your prayers and cheers. Thank you for spreading the word on Rose's spread like a fire and became something beautiful. So honered and humbled by so many acts of kindness, of Grace and Hope.
To every friend--Thank you
With Gratitude
More later...

After the Journey Part III: A different kind of a walk

Dear friends,
I had in this walk a lot of what i did not have 20 years ago, and while I grew up walking practically everywhere, walking more than 40 kilometers in a day was not part of that routine. It is a long distance to walk and certainly harder if one is doing it alone. I am therefore grateful and honored for every person who was in the journey with me on July 11th...20 years later. I know that on that day and many to follow we collectively became, and will continue to be a face, legs, and feet that represents so many.
I have also received such unbelievable feedback since we walked. I am inspired and encouraged that the purpose for walking was and is far greater than I could possibly have thought or imagined. We managed to raise close to 18,000 USD (just 7,000 USD short of our initial goal), and a few days ago handed over a check for 15,000 USD to support the work of Hope Ward. A multitude of thanks to so many who have given generously to Rose's Journey, who have heard the stories of every Hope patient present and past, and who continue to tell these stories to others. As I sit down to write thank you cards, I find that I do not have the right words for them. More than I can express in words, I thank you.
I said prior to the walk that the journey 20 years ago, lead me to a place of hope...It was the beginning of my restoration as a girl, and it was a second chance at having a family and hope for the future... This is my hope too for many of the patients I meet and interact with on Hope ward--Hope 20--Kevin Akiror, Hope 18--ML, Hope 19--OD, Hope 3--NV and the list continues. It is my hope for our friend George, and Susan (who I found out is 17 years old and not turns out she is the exact age I was when I walked 20 years ago). Thank you for making HOPE possible.
My friend Kristen Petitt said of the walk, "Fulfilling". She noted that at some point she would look where she had just walked and admired how beautiful the road was. Once you walked through it, you remembered it. She, like me, did not want to forget.
20 years later, I have not forgotten. As I said, you do not forget a walk like this, and on the 11th, as I walked with many others, I knew that they would not forget either. I am grateful that many allowed themselves to feel what I was feeling, and still walked anyway. In the footsteps, we saw and recognized each other in the journey—in parts of our stories that were similar and marveled at the ones in which our stories were dissimilar…Two friends…one growing up in Oklahoma, the other in Bamunanika, a life so dissimilar! Each making a choice 20 years earlier and entering a path that would ultimately lead each to the other…both journeying together from Bamunanika to Kiwoko…on July 11th…we ended up remembering together.
It was good to remember and rediscover the feelings of 20 years ago, to note ways in which I was not seen and others in which I was seen, even when I did not recognise it. To look beyond the road and to comprehend its endlessness; to stop and see others in it and beyond it--the way I did not 20 years ago.
It was good to remember the bits that I often don't want to remember...that I too, was so caught up in my own helplessness and sense of despair to notice others who might have been walking with me 20 years ago. So it was important, in this walk, to not only see those who formed some of the reasons we were walking, but also the ones in the journey with me, and those beyond it, the ones on the side of the road and the ones who had gone before us, or ones after. At times the walk was funny--we laughed helplessly at the way we each were walking—like babies just learning to plant our feet—everywhere was really sore, but we knew without question we were going to finish. My brother Tom said "All I can say is that I am walking from the heart" It was no longer about the feet!
There were so many stories to tell, so many to capture, so many which to the eye seemed forgettable, and to the heart unforgettable! Our experiences may have been different and unique but on that day we shared a oneness that was impossible to ignore. We may have come from different parts of the world or countries, but there was no mistake in our meeting—everyone who walked was supposed to be there...more later

Sunday, July 19, 2009

After The Journey: Part Two:

Dear friends, prior to the walk, there were several individuals in my heart and thoughts who obviously stayed with me in the journey. I introduced you to George who I most likely will talk about in other blogs to come. Today, I want to introduce you to two special people I encountered just before I embarked on the walk. For many of you in the walk with me--whether through thoughts and prayer or beside me as we journeyed, you will understand places where the inspiration comes from. Some encounters do not leave us the same, some encounters compel us to hold our placards or just walk. In addition to so many others, these two are some of the reasons we walked--one does not forget...Susan: The 19year old mother of...well, a cousins child, two young sisters, two young brothers, plus one! Could this be the beginning of her 20 years?
I first meet Susan in the Hope ward office, I am sitting in Helen's chair whilst she is on holiday. Helen is a VSO volunteer who works with Hope ward, she too walked with me. The meeting--of Susan--happens by coincidence--it is not Susan who needs help from Hope ward: it is her little sister Kevin Akiror. Kevin is about 6-7 years old and has a very severe and rare form of cancer (Angio Sarcoma Xpigmentosa). A well wisher had seen the child in a village in Soroti (Eastern Uganda) and had brought her to the cancer institute at Mulago Regional Referral Hospital. Several attempts to remove tumors from her face and head had been unsuccessful and after months of visits there was still no solution to her problem. Akiror was then brought to Hope ward to meet Dr. Helena Nam (Oncologist Hope ward). Helena is another doctor who says " We don't know what the outcome will be with this form of cancer and in a child, but at least we can try." "Try" is a word I am hearing a lot at Hope ward and I am beginning to love it. "Try" means, lets hope a little!
On first meeting Akiror, it is impossible to not be shocked...her face is lost and in its place are multiple large nodular lesions/tumors. This is what I see when I first look at her. This is what everybody sees. I know her eyes are there but one has to look hard to see has to look past the obtrusive lesions. She tries to peak and see others through whatever little space is left. I look at her because I know she is looking at me and even though it takes me a while to finally make eye contact, I know she sees me. I extend my hands towards if to say I see you too and I am not afraid of what I see. When we are face to face, and I finally look into her eyes, I note that they are bright red, the mucous membrane severely damaged and irritated from the cancer. Most people would be very uncomfortable looking at her for long. Her disfigurement makes people uncomfortable; it makes me uncomfortable. She seems to be aware of the effect she has on others but cannot help the way she feels or appears or smells. The open lesions give off an offensive smell...I note that too.
I continue to regard her with my arms extended, I try to invite her into them...she remains rooted to the spot. She has no clue what language I am speaking...I note that too. She stands in the room a presence that cannot be ignored, and yet she is a child lost in her tumor, in her disease...I process this as well. She assess me and the room and Jemima--the Hope ward coordinator who is trying to ascertain with Doctor Helena whether we should admit Akiror or not--and eventually finds the rotating chair on which I am sitting, fascinating. I immediately encourage her to sit in it, but she just peers as me. I cannot read her face and there is little left of her eyes to communicate any other kind of emotion but sadness...even then I know is wondering "What the heck is this woman talking about and how come this chair moves?" She does not understand my attempt at Luganda, English, and a little bit of Swahili. Eventually, a nurse calls her sister.
I expect to see a much older person when finally, and to my surprise, another young lady enters the room. She cannot be older than 15, I think, and as soon as she enters the room, I stop for a second from engaging Akiror to contemplate the situation. She is too young to be the caregiver, I continue my thinking, surely she is not the one responsible for this little girl? My questions are answered without being verbally asked. In the meant time, Susan instructs Akiror to get in the chair; in fact she helps her into it as I explain the mechanics of the chair while Susan translates. Once Akiror is seated, the sister gives the chair a firm push and Akiror seems to light up with each spin...I cannot tell whether she is laughing and I am sad for that...
The lady (well wisher) who brought the two to Hope ward, as if to answer my unasked questions, tells me that the two girls are part of a family of seven (one other girl, two boys, a grandmother, and a cousin's one year old child who she calls 'Susan's' Child). She tells me that both parents were massacred by Kony rebels in the last massive raid conducted in Soroti approximately six years ago. She goes on to say matter-of-factly, that the parents were among those chopped up and boiled in pots. I do the math--Susan must have been in her early teens and Akiror probably a year old. She then says that Susan has been looking after the family since. The grandmother is too old to do so, she continues, and she too needs looking after. She also mentions the fact that Susan has a one year old ( a child belonging to a cousin...I find out later). I continue the math--so she is looking after four siblings and a child of her cousins, plus a grandmother (I have to repeat the information in my head as it is rather shocking)...and, the woman says and cuts off the trail of thought, "Susan is 19 years old." My heart breaks as I continue to listen to the story and the first thing I think of is, "I don't care what kind of budget we have on Hope ward, we are treating this child's (Susan) sister." I, of course, think of something we can fix but are aware of the many things in this life story (Susan's and Akiro's) that we cannot fix...not with chemotherapy, not with reconstructive surgery, not with medication...
When they leave the office to sort out admission procedures, I am left to my own thoughts and I am surprised to note that they are not of Akiror (the young child with a rare disease), but of Susan, her caregiver and parent. I am in the process of embarking on Rose's Journey. In fact when I meet Susan, the walk is just two days away. She reminds me in every way of my self 20 years ago. Her story is heart wrenching, it is unique, it is different, and yet similar. A story of tragedy. Here is a young woman waiting to be seen, to be loved, to be cherished, to discover hope, longing for relief, waiting for the restoration of her spirit, waiting for someone to care. Does she have a store of tears...I wonder! Whilst in office, and as I sat observing her, she had hang on every word from Jemima, the Hope ward coordinator, and I could see a glimmer of hope when she was informed that she and Akiror would stay on Hope ward; that Akiror would be treated here. A glimmer of hope and a beginning of something small...
Alone, and in thinking about the reasons I am walking again, 20 years later, I think of Akiror and the care she will receive on Hope ward. I know she is in good hands--so many people are giving money to make this care possible. I know she too will be in my journey. Then I think of her sister Susan and the next 20 years of her life. Will they be anything like mine? Will someone come along and say to her, "It is good you exist?" Will someone say to her "We will not let you go, we will hold on to you!" (Like my Irish parents said to me 20 years ago). Will someone say to her...we will stand with you; we will walk with you through the valley of she shadow of death; we will feel a little of what you are feeling and we will be around 20 years from now!
When I walked on July 11th, not only did I ponder the Grace of God in bringing into my life a family to say the above to me, I prayed for the same for Susan. Not only did I think of little beautiful George, but also of Susan and Akiror...and I saw many Susans and numerous Akirors on the side of the road "I am walking fro you and me," I thought. "We are singing for you today," they said.
More later...

What others said about the walk

Hannah said... It is almost a week since Rose's Walk and I still can't find the words to express my feelings. When people walk for a cause, we tend to think "how nice", "how thoughtful", "how noble" and often, we are in the sidelines and are not really involved in the 'detail'.Rose's Walk gave me the privilege to be part of not only a worthy but very personal journey. The bits that I walked with Rose were incredibly 'raw' as she shared how she felt when she walked that journey as a teenager.
How can we possibly appreciate the loneliness, the fear, the uncertainty... And how amazing to see the power of hope - as Rose walked, I saw the picture of hope, of true kindness (as she hugged the group of young children who sang for us by the roadside), of incredible determination and resolve (as she kept walking even as she was faint from the effort and the sun), the miracle of life, love and opportunity (as I tried to picture how the scared teenager could possibly have become this assured, determined, powerful and inspiring woman that Rose is today). How can you take that all in without fighting tears back as you ponder about the miracle of living and love...
As I watched the people walk, I knew that it was only love that would make them join Rose on such a walk - it was a hard, long walk! But even after the blisters, some sun burn, aches and all - everyone I talked to was just so honored to be part of it all. It is such a privilege to be part of something with a purpose to help others and give voice to a cause.And most of all I cannot wait to see the fruits of this walk, to see the lives that will hopefully be changed through this.But most of all I am so proud of every single person who walked, every one who contributed to make this possible and to Rose, for always carrying a candle that never goes out but lights more and more candles around her, to touch those around her with compassion. It is such an honor to know you and to call you friend.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One hudred fourty four thousand footsteps to Kiwoko

Dear Friends and Family, I have not had a longer moment to send out an update. By now you all know we finished Rose's Journey successfully on Saturday. Folks, it was cathartic journeying with more than 60 people by my side or behind or ahead of me. Everywhere I looked, there was somebody walking with me. It was a great walk, simply freeing and hard too. Each of us experienced their moment of hitting the wall, but we kept on walking. My friend DJ who is a bit of a math whiz tells me that it took approximately 144,000 steps from Bamunanika to Kiwoko! I still cannot believe it. We left Bamunanika a little later than we had planned but were on Que by the time we left our first resting stop. The segment from Bamunanika to Wobulenzi was probably the easiest. I walked that stage with my Irish Mother, my brother Steven, and my friend Flavia and from time to time was joined by many of my best friends. At times it was memory lane, at other times it was a completely new walk, one full of hope and random acts of kindness. To say that I was emotional the whole day is an understatement! Many children joined my friends Kristen, Jen, Christina and Mike (The Breckenridge Crew) and made the reason for the walk even more meaningful. Even though I could not see everyone at the same time, I knew that they were there, repeating the same steps I took 20 years ago, experiencing a journey of their own, adding their voice to mine in a very public way. It was phenomenal.
I anchored the second leg of the walk and it took me a full three hours fifteen minutes to walk it. I had with me The film crew--Discover The Journey, Kisakye Pendo, a friend I have known for 16 years, and Shifa, a friend a i hadn't seen for 14 years! My former Professor from Baylor--Lori Spies, joined me for 30 minutes, and so did two other friends from Dallas. The team from Breckenridge stayed by my side for most of this leg and we encountered two profound moments together. One was when Pendo stopped at Emmause Centre to use a bathroom and ran into Joseph the director at the centre. Joseph inquired as to why we were walking and Pendo explained. When I caught up with her, she and Joseph and were waiting at the road side. Joseph wanted to meet me and had a message for me. He said "when I heard about your story, this village girl who walked 20 years earlier I had to meet you, what you are doing is so important...God is going to use this walk in profound ways...20 years from now, this journey will be remembered, again..." We all just stood there, listening to Joseph affirm the reasons why we walked. We could not help but weep together--for joy, for knowing, for random acts of compassion.
The second was when a choir of young children lined themselves up on the side of the highway and sang to us! Their song "Oh we are coming, we are coming today...we are coming today we are coming for you....we are dancing today we are dancing for you, we are singing today we are singing for you" left me speechless. I knew that many had come to walk with me but it was good to be reminded to celebrate this anniversary walk. It was also good to remember that we were being encouraged and watched over with singing...not just there but across the world and in heaven. At Luweero, I had an amazing opportunity to sign the "End child Sacrifice car" adding my name to many others including my Irish parents as well as the First Lady of Uganda.
I power walked the last leg as I wanted to be the first (among the walkers) to arrive, so I could receive everyone. It was almost impossible for others to keep up the pace and I am grateful to Hannah Magoola, another best friend who followed me in the car and walked with me from time to time, and Tom my brother who stayed at my side until his feet complained. Hannah and I sang my favorite hymn as we walked and when I felt faint she was quick to give me that last power bar. The final kilometer was simply impossible! I don't think I have experienced that much heat, and pain in my feet. I kept thinking--Kiwoko must be around the corner--and then it wouldn't! The film crew tagged along capturing many moments I probably would not want to watch again. I had renewed strength the moment Kiwoko signs came into view and walked the last mile with my friend DJ by my side. Kate Glerup, another friend whose flight had mechanical problems, called me one minute before I finished the walk--she was just starting hers in Breckenridge. Kate walked in Breckenridge, wearing the end child sacrifice t-shirt and accompanied by her dog Emma!! Her call was so timely.
The reception and finish at Kiwoko was so unexpected that the moment I saw my Dad (who had run the whole distance) I was so overcome with emotion I just bawled. The nursing students from Kiwoko School of Nursing lined up and danced infront of me as I walked into what used to be my Irish parent's garden when they lived at Kiwoko. My friends Ken and Judith Finch did an amazing job setting up the reception and it was a grand way to end the walk.
I saw my self in a new light, in the lives of many who wore the t-shirt with my picture on it and the words "END CHILD SACRIFICE," in the lives of the children on the road side who sang--we are dancing for you. I remembered where I come from and why I had walked and thought--it was and is worth every step. I admired the sheer determination of so many who persevered when the road ahead seemed endless...but still finished the walk. I could not have been any prouder of every single person who was present or was praying for us every second of the day. And What a way for my Irish Mother to make a statement! People will not forget the reasons we walked, the reasons we came together on July 11th 2009. This was not just my journey after all--it was a journey for everyone who participated in it. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me in your journeying too.
....More to come

Friday, July 10, 2009

It is good you exist, it is good that you are in the world—Joseph Piper:One Day before I walk

Dear Friends, it has been a frantic and terrific few days with the film crew—Discover The Journey—here as well as my friends arriving from Breckenridge, plus trying to cover all the logistics for the Walk. There is much excitement and enthusiasm for Rose's Journey and it keeps me grounded. This will be the last blog post before I walk. But before I forget, here is the number to reach me on the day of the walk: +256-777-723-375. I shall be in touch as soon as I can get to a computer and Internet after the walk.
On The Radio with Allan Kassujja—formerly Mr. President: Yesterday we had an opportunity to be in studio with my good friend and impressive Allan of Capital FM, Uganda. Allan hosts a program called Dessert Island every Sunday at 7PM. It is for high profile folks only so I and the team felt so humbled and privileged for the opportunity to have a conversation with Allan. The program will air this Sunday after the walk but the message will still be relevant. I am so thankful to Allan and Capital FM for joining in Rose's journey and giving us an opportunity to speak to the country about ending child sacrifice.
Meeting George: As mentioned in the last shot blog, I had a chance to meet Goerge yesterday. Here are a few of my thoughts in detail during that encounter: I remembered—as I do so often, the words of Joseph Piper when I met beautiful George and silently prayed over him, “…it is good you exist, it is good that you are in the world…” you are the apple of God’s eye. At three years, George might be oblivious to the horror acts performed on him by a witchdoctor, but the rest of us in the room are not. I look at the place where his genitals are supposed to be…there is nothing there except scar after scar, the wounds have healed, but the scars…the scars tell the story of cruelty. One cruel act against this child has altered his life forever. The plastic Surgeon tries to explain what he might possibly do to help this young man, but I am really not listening to the details. Then he says we cannot really replace what has been taken away from him, we can just try.
I sit there staring at George wondering what life he will have, what definitions of manhood, what emotional scars, what despair, what constant fear, what hope and light and love…we can only try Ben Khing (the surgeon) says…I sense his exasperation and then his hope for something better for his patient. Ben Khing is a tender doctor, a Christian man; I have known him and his wife for years and I know that George could not be in better hands. He holds George who is now happy to be held as long as Ben does not bring out the dreaded needle. We all reassure George—no needles today…he smiles, a beautiful and captivating smile. He is just like any other child of three years and he is a survivor…
Tomorrow we walk on his behalf and on behalf of all the untold stories. Tomorrow we will hold our heads high, for George, all the other Georges around Uganda. We will say to others seeking to wound and destroy…ENOUGH! We will tell the stories of the silenced children, we will journey in Hope. "Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise Hebrews 10:23"
In Rose’s Journey: We journey tomorrow with one heart and voice. Numerous thanks to everyone for the support and encouragement. We shall flood you with updates as soon as we are done walking.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Meeting George

Dear Friends, meeting George was as I thought it would be,emotional and powerful. He is an amazing boy who is happy to play with anyone as long as he is not getting "injections" He shook my hand and when i offered to have him on my lap he asked if I were going to give him an which I happily replied no! We were great buddies after that. Meeting him renews my zeal and enthusiasm for this walk.Will write more when time allows. Love Rose

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I walk in 3 Days

Dear friends and family, what can I say, I am so overwhelmed with your generous support of Rose's Journey--whether with money or prayers or words of encouragement and cheers--you have all outdone yourselves and I thank you much for your faithfulness. Every individual who is walking with me has experienced spontaneous acts of love and encouragement and we hope to in-turn share these with others as we walk. Since my arrival home--two weeks ago--it has been wonderful to see family and catch up with friends. I have also had many opportunities to engage others in the cause. I have on my computer more than 100 articles detailing stories of child sacrifice across the country. These stories are hard and their escalating numbers even more disturbing. The recent face is George Mukisa, one of our Hope Ward Patients. George is a 3 year old lovely boy whose private parts were mutilated by the neighbour (a witchdoctor). George's Father arrived back home one day to find the child missing (the mother had gone for a funeral and left the child in the care of other children). He then heard him crying in the garden near the house and hurried to find the boy abandoned and bleeding. The neighbour, being a witchdoctor was the prime suspect and on searching his shrine, the boys mutilated body parts were found (the witchdoctor was taken to prison). George was taken to Mulago Hospital (government main regional referral centre) and later, after his story was publicised, was moved (under the sponsorship of Stanbic Bank) to Hope Ward for possible reconstructive work. One of our Surgeons--Dr. Ben Khing--has been taking care of George and plans reconstructive surgery after the wounds heal. I am meeting George tomorrow, he is returning for an outpatient check, for wound dressing and for the Surgeon to make an assessment. George and many others like him are the reason I am walking this summer--I imagine that meeting him will be emotional. How can we look a child like George in the eyes and remain the same? He will be on the hearts of everyone come Saturday, and so will many of the children in the stories that I now know by heart. But as you know, the walk is not just about child sacrifice, it is a demonstration of our solidarity in this cause, in the support of hope ward and in the setting up of the scholarship fund. It is a celebration of Hope where there is so much horror and devastation. It is a pilgrimage in friendships, in faith, and a commitment to the healing of communities In a few days I shall be joined by so many people--friends and family, strangers and partners: Here are the details of our walk: For anyone who is in Uganda and would like to join us: We leave from International Hospital at 5:30AM. The vehicles will take us to Bamunanika my home village. We will start walking @ 6:30-7:00AM from the trading centre to Wobulenzi. If you want to join this segment please be sure to leave with us when we do at 5:30AM. We plan to arrive at Wobulenzi at Approx 9:00-9:30AM or earlier. If you are left behind at IHK please jump in the first taxi out to Wobulenzi-Luweero. Wait for us at Wobulenzi--there will be a car painted and signed by different local leaders with the logo "END CHILD SACRIFICE" you cannot miss it. You can join the walk there. We shall leave Wobulenzi at 10:00AM to walk to Luweero arriving at 1:00-1:30PM. If this is the segment you are walking, please make sure you do refreshments with us before you jump right back in a taxi to return to Kampala. Luweero is a resting point: we shall have speeches, media etc. We shall then leave Luweero to go to Kiwoko at 2:00PM arriving at Kiwoko at approx 5:30-6:00PM. The walk starts from the house where my father held the last meeting in which I was disowned for abandoning witchcraft and will end at the door of the house where i first met my Irish parents. There we will have refreshments and return to Kampala after 6:00PM. We hope to have several vehicles following the walk including an ambulance. I look forward to walking with you guys. I am so honored to do this with many of you in spirit. With Gratitude, always "Lord, be the goal of my pilgrimage, and my rest by the way." -St. Augustine