Patchwork, bicycling and dolls

I’m not a baggage handler but if I was I’m sure there’d be times when I’d wonder what all the baggage was about.Where it’s going ,who is it for ? How necessary is it?
Wherever people travel they like to take a little bit of home with them.To bring and take back.Clothes, toothpaste ,a book ,shoes,
although in most countries its easy to buy shampoo and toothpaste.  Security is an important comfort of life.Look how well brands pander to people’s insecurity .They say ‘You know me.You can trust me .And you don’t need to take risk to discover the new and the local.You don’t need to support the strange or the stranger .I’m the only one of quality ” Quite a boring way to follow with loyal blindness into the uniformity of globalisation. The security of baggage and brands can be a trap of restricted experience and a lie that strange is inferior .
But not all baggage is predictable.
And those pioneering the work I have joined in with had great plans of delivering gifts from a variety of sources. If you have read the earlier blog you will remember the bicycle luggage ,but I’ve not yet mentioned the dolls or the clothes or the beautiful quilts.Not my gifts, but the generosity of people who know who their neighbour is and responded .
And so I share with you a little of the distribution of baggage. It emerged as generous gifts from the kindness of strangers ,reaching the surprised on floodwater of joy. We’ve taken some time to deliver assessing need and suitability not wanting to be provoking envy.

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A very big thank you from this family whose life will be transformed by simple transport of a bicycle .Thank you to a colleague .A shock presentation of great happiness .Thank you for letting me experience this.

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And eight little people being blessed by eight magnificent hand knitted dolls ..a few more to distribute amongst children who have recovered from malaria or other sickness. Massive smiles on tiny faces and mothers touched deeply by generosity Thank you.

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What beautiful quilts! The skill in design and execution is tremendous and these have been for little people bringing comfort in poverty .Thank you.Thank you.
The generosity of others has had profound effects .It is a humbling privilege to be a luggage lady,fellow staff have seen professional care and dedication in the givers they may never meet .The transitory handover gave  all round intense pleasure running into lasting practicality and deep experiences of long term gratitude.
Cycling,sowing ,knitting or whatever your baggage, may it  rise out of the dull ,ripple past your security to create extraordinary generosity.

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Welcome

21 JAN 2015

And so we arrived in Uganda. My luggage and I. The beautiful bicycle all in the box.A big thank you to KLM for waiving the fee as a charitable gift. And to the packer.

(Just for the record re the “dwellers all in time and space ” post,  my plane neighbour was upgraded and left me to enjoy a seat for two.Not complaining that his penchant for a violent film didn’t distract my reading)
Uganda is a place of warmth. Not just the equatorial sunshine, but the kindness of her people. So many people   give such heartfelt greetings and
” Welcome ” is their word. It’s  hard not to take a step back and feel undeserving of their words,smile and kindness.

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Some have invited me into their houses in the few days I have been here and whatever the home style, the welcome has been humbling. “Welcome” tumbles off the lips of strangers as I struggle with quelling a sense of intrusion into their privacy.The  visits are deeply appreciated as the pastor of the church  his team and I call in on neighbours in the community just saying what  a church is about. And they have a lot on offer.Caring, feeding  educating, healing,medicines,support and salvation. Whatever the worldview of the folks we have seen there has never not been an active “Welcome “.  Europe. Let’s learn.