10,000 evocative words about Uganda.

As my Ethiopian Airways jet pulls up and away from Entebbe, Uganda, I’m sitting with my nose pressed against the glass, already missing the ubiquitous banana plantations, the smiling faces of the children, the beautiful grace of the men &women, and the ever-striving energy of Africa.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, here are 10,000 to remember Uganda by:

Church isn't the same without a sweet sound system...

Could you walk to school 5 miles in these shoes?

Yep, that's putting your scooter to good use.

Smart girls rock!

My hands got tired from waving so much.

Looking so much like Joan of Arc....

Now this is extreme biking...

Big Billy of Nyaka

One month is all it takes to weave a basket.

A puzzle is a marvelous thing.

Until we meet again, keep jumping for joy!

38 thoughts on “10,000 evocative words about Uganda.

  1. Wonderful blogs and exceptional photos, Betty! I just love all that you are doing and can’t wait to follow your 12 x 12 adventures. My church has had a ceramic cow at the front of the pews for years for children and adults to contribute toward this awesome project.

    Happy Holidays to you and your’s,
    Nancy Young

  2. You must be so rich in your heart, Betty. I envy that. I can only imagine the superb treasures such experiences give you! I wish you many more. And myself, too.

  3. Betty: you never cease to amaze! From writing to photography to giving to blogging, you are one talented soul. I am so excited for you about the Heifer gig; we give to them every year and I am so impressed with their organization. Sounds like a perfect match, you and Heifer.

    My next door neighbor’s daughter is one of the directors and creators of Same Sky, fair-trade company whose mission is to empower women worldwide and inspire a movement of women empowering women. It’s an awesome organization.

  4. Thanks Betty for your giving spirit and work there.

    I definitely need that scooter guy to drop by our house and show me some tips on reorganizing the contents of the family car.

  5. I’m so happy to have found your blog via Renee’s new “Blogger of the Week” feature. You are a woman after my own heart. My partner has worked for Habitat for Humanity International on and off for 20 years. Her work with that organization took us to Vietnam for a year and to Haiti for a year after that. We have been home in the US since spring.

    Your photos are amazing. Can’t wait to read more. I’m going to subscribe.


  6. I’m so happy to have found you via Renee’s new “Blogger of the Week” feature. You are a woman after my own heart, Betty. My partner has worked for Habitat for Humanity International on and off for the past 20 years. Her work with that organization took us to Vietnam for a year and to Haiti for a year after that. We have been back in the US now since spring.

    Your photos are truly amazing!


  7. Betty,
    All the Pictures tell me the beauty of your heart. because only a beautiful heart can see greatness a midst invisibility. Thank you and be blessed for all you are doing and will do for those vulnerable little angels.

    Much love to you Betty.

    Jane Ekayu.

    • Jane, I am in awe of YOU and all the work you are doing with the girls returning from captivity after years of sexual slavery in the Lord’s Resistance Army.
      Your heart is so tender for those young women, and I love the work you are doing!!

  8. Sign me up for your 12 x 12 Heifer journey!

    Okay, I can’t really do it, but I would if I could! How WONDERFUL! Piggies, and goats, and baby calves, oh, my! My church supported Heifer – a fantastic organization. Can’t wait to read about your experiences!

    Betty, your photos from Africa are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your journey. All of the photos struck me, but the one that struck me the most is the scooter shot with the “Jerry Cans.” Are you familiar with charity:water? Scott Harrison is incredible. He’s the speaker at AFP’s 2012 Conference in Vancouver – I wish so much that I could go … he’s kind of one of my idols! Yet, I’m an AFP member but don’t have the funds for the fundraising event – go figure! Anyway, if you aren’t familiar with his story as founder, check out this video (and have a box of tissues handy):


    Or this video (to understand the remarkable “Jerry Can” connection):


    Thanks so much for reading my blog. I’m not worthy! I wish you and Reed could meet sometime! If you ever visit DC, you guys should do lunch … and I am totally crashing it!

    All the best,


    • AA — Well, you make me laugh like nobody’s business, so I am wishing you COULD come along with me — if Uganda is any measure, it’s going to be awesome… but also in dire need of laughter when the going gets rough! I love that you’re so hooked in to the Heifer & charity:water org — YES i did read a lot about Scott & featured them on my blog on March 22 last year — World Water Day. BUT … you are going to love my coming-up blog on a little girl in Austin who has made it her year-long mission to raise money for charity:water… what a story! Jerricans were everywhere in Uganda and when I looked at some of the water sources, it was petrifying to think they were drinking it.
      Jackson Kaguri, founder of Nyaka, has built two big water projects in the town to bring clean, potable water to the people and it’s made a huge difference in their lives — first, they don’t have to lug water so far, and second, it doesn’t make them sick.
      If I get to DC I am totally looking up Reed … I heard all about him in the middle of last year on NPR and developed a huge (philanthropic) crush! Can’t wait to meet you sometime… btw, ocean, sky, redux author is almost related to me — so how funny that we’re all in Charles’s orbit of fans!! Cheers, B

      • I’m searching for that charity:water post right after this! And I will eagerly await the story about the little girl in Austin! It’s hard to believe how people on this big planet of ours don’t have clean drinking water, especially when it’s something we take for granted. My new job is in Fund Development at American Rivers – speaking of clean drinking water, right here in the U.S. of A. Reed would love to meet you! So funny that EOS is almost related to you – I think we’re all related to Charles in some way, and in what way is a question he should ponder. If anyone could come up with an [amusing] answer, he could!

    • Well, luckily Renee, my NEXT year’s project is to be a Blogging Ambassador for Heifer International: 12 countries in 12 months in 2012 … so YAY!!!
      We’ll see if I have what it takes to write, travel and photograph the journey with compassion and heart!! Really appreciate your comment & faith…

  9. Evocative was precisely the right word! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I look forward to your reflections on your trip after you get home.

    • Hey Jo .. Thanks for the comment! I love that you appreciated the “evocative” headline — I couldn’t figure out what title to put on the post, and finally — at 11:30 at night, after several glasses of wine — settled on that. So glad it seemed right to you!!

  10. What can I say? Your stories are overwhelmingly beautiful …. take me away…with you! It would be so out of my comfort zone and yet food for the soul to see these beautiful people with their beautiful colors…I dreamed about it the other night, a man asking me to “show me your colors” and then I open an email that Liz sent me of your last trip. What a treat to be part of your experience Bette….thank you! Love….Ivette

    • Ivette — I am SO ready to take you with me on some of my upcoming trips! Seriously — you should listen to your dreams!! AND I an totally going to set you up with a couple in Aspen who does a ton of work in Nyaka … because I have the feeling it would completely capture your heart. It’s SUCH an amazing, uplifting place !! Talk to you soon, sweetheart!!!

  11. Betty, I think you have a new career in the making (whether you know it or not)—photojournalist (and travel writer)! Your images of the children are simply beautiful. Well done!

      • Thank you for the referrals, Betty! (but can you change the url to cindydyer (you have it as cindycyer at the moment). I meant what I wrote—your photos from your recent trip are spectacular. I guess now that you’re becoming an accomplished photographer, you won’t need me along to record your next adventure. 😦

      • Ooops!! I was writing so fast, I messed up! I am absolutely inviting anybody along on my Heifer trips … if you can get there, you can hang out with me and the piggies (or goats, or baby calves!!

  12. Thanks so much for sharing your trip. I so enjoyed hearing your stories. And, I’m looking forward to learning of your plans for 1012.

  13. Thank you Betty,
    Pictures of a scooter, hiking, and basket weaving are a testament that our people in Uganda work hard everyday. Sometimes when I am talking about Nyaka and Kutamba schools people in USA think that people in these villages sit and wait for charity. Ours is an investment in what these people are already doing. Indeed each of your pictures is worth more than 10,000 words.
    Thank you for sharing Uganda with all of us who were not able to join you on this trip.

    • Jackson, You could not be any more accurate in describing how tirelessly and hard the people in Uganda work. I was blown away by the constant, and yet somehow cheerful way in which people grew food, worked in the fields, tended animals and walked everywhere they needed to go! The loads carried on people’s backs, bikes and scooters alone are a testament to their determination, energy, and optimism … I’m SO happy I was there! Thanks for having me, Jackson!!Betty Londergan 2702 Mabry Rd. NE Atlanta, GA 30319 (610-348-9279) https://whatgives365.wordpress.com


  14. Thank you for the postings and the beautiful photos. Trips to Africa like you have done can really change a persons life. And if you are unable to get there in person blogs such as yours are the next best thing. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Betty I have really enjoyed your writings and photos of Uganda. I printed them out and have a little book to show our grandchildren. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and I am hoping that someday we can meet!!!! Yours Susan Brewster

    • Susan — SO happy I could share these photos with you … and I really hope that we will end up meeting someday … preferably in Nyaka!! THanks for your wonderful comment!

    • Thanks for sending me that info, Scott — I know that Canada has very good relationships with numerous African countries and Canadian foundations do a TON of wonderful work in Uganda in particular! The Stephen Foster Foundation of Canada was an essential early supporter of Jackson’s work in creating the school for AIDS orphans!

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