Freezer full of food, check. Things to do list (both work and play ideas) for Craig and the girls, check. Grocery list for tomorrow, check. Oh yah, the packing list, the last minute things to do and lesson plans for Uganda study mission participants…almost check! Preparation for an overseas trip can be overwhelming, especially if one over-thinks things. I have been gently advised that I do so by more than one wise friend over the years.
Keeping perspective is everything…I’m leaving my family that is blessed with love, good sense, good health and security for two weeks. I can’t imagine the thoughts that go through the minds of the women credit union managers from developing countries that travel to Canada to be part of the Canadian Co-operative Association’s Mentorship Program for a month. They leave children of all ages in the hands of family and friends without the myriad of personal technologies that we have become dependent upon to stay in touch. Our unwillingness to leave iPads, iPhones and computers behind perhaps suggests that we’re not near as secure as we think.
I often thought the relationship (or lack thereof) between security, control and choice would make an interesting philosophy thesis but we’ll chew on that one over a beverage someday if you are interested in entering my geek league, if only for a bit. A couple of relationships that I think are worth exploring however, particularly during my Ugandan journey, are Does having control make people happier? , and, What is at the core of human happiness?
If I haven’t yet lost you to a blog that won’t make your head hurt, let me explain…
While doing background reading for Uganda, I paid particular attention to the pieces that paint the reality for woman in the country nicknamed “The Pearl of Africa”.
- The average number of children born to a woman in Uganda is 6
- A Ugandan woman’s life expectancy is 54.5 years
- 80% of women are involved in agriculture and 42% of Ugandan women are unpaid family workers
- Women account for 57 percent of all adults living with HIV/AIDS with practically all women being affected either directly or indirectly by the disease.
These realities paint a bleak picture for Ugandan women.
Driving home from Harris the other day, in a rare move I changed my radio dial from CBC to a Saskatoon rock station for a music fix. Of all musicians, Pink made a comment that stuck with me upon which I plan to frame my learning of Uganda and its people….
When in the depths of despair, it’s important to move to our joyful place.
I want to learn when, where and what that place is for rural Ugandan women
and whether I can help them find and be in that place.