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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Hallelujah Chorus

I couldn’t let last Saturday go by without a note on the blog. Being a foreigner at a celebration always heightens the senses ,as the subtle understood-by-the -locals conventions trip you up . I was called upon to represent all the UK supporters and tripped arrogantly forgetting the interpreter.But the level of education in English is high and forgiveness and gentleness flow in abundance here.

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It really was an extraordinary day
Extra Ordinary in the sense that ordinary things and ordinary people achieved extra things and became extra special.Faith grasped the hand of extra ordinary love and extraordinary hope.
Seven hundred or was it eight hundred were fed and the school children had extra and the left over drinks are now lazing in the cool fridge.
The event was superb,celebratory,happy,relaxed,joyful,peaceful and so colourful.Polished shoes and shiny hair ,pressed suits and the long celebratory dresses of a Sunday Best mingled with dust free school uniforms .And a retired clergyman looked immaculate after a twenty mile journey on the back of a BodaBoda (motorbike)  on dust roads.Living with dust is an art.

It was called a consecration of a Bishop….he also had a big seat but it wasn’t called a throne.And the mitre and the crook were all in place as symbols of shepherding the people of God. And after that a new team of pastors were ordained ,twenty in total.Men and women who share the gospel with the poor in the villages and in the towns.People who know their livelihood will be lacking numerous high value shilling notes .They know their Christian calling  and they learn from their Bishop that financial wealth is dwarfed by spiritual satisfaction and fulfilment.The poor will always be with us .
And that was part of the extraordinary.That from a congregation of  the not so well off ,the generosity flowed to provide food,music, hospitality,air fare, renovations and laughter so that the poor could enjoy it,the government ministers could worship,the old and the babies embrace and the military and the civilian dance together in a loud hallelujah ..Ugandan style .

Packing

Got it all done … luggage squeezed and the zips all holding . Bike in the box and not forgotten to deflate tyres and remembered the pump .

Thank you to the very many of  you who have donated to Matugga. The generosity and kindness of strangers is something that holds human kind together. Kate Adie, a newsreporter found it in the harshest of places.

So take heart , much bad news there is , but there are far more human souls reaching out to do good to those they know and to those they will never meet .So be kind to those you meet and be generous and be blessed.  We can all do a little little bit to improve the world. Why question kindness?   Thank you to all of you