Uganda or bust
Everything I know about Africa comes from two (fairly unreliable) sources: "Feed the children" commercials and the 1982 Toto song. (Sing it with me: I bless the rains down in Africa.) Not what you'd call a deep well of knowledge.
When I assemble all the images I have of Africa, they are a mishmash of pain and poverty, exotic animals and potential dangers.
In my mind, I see endless deserts and dense jungles filled with animals I've only seen in the zoo: elephants, crocodiles and lions. Oh, don't forget the giraffes. I like giraffes.
I see flashes of angry men with AK-47s, fighting bloody wars in unstable lands. I see starvation, disease and suffering children. I see a place I never wanted to go - which is funny considering I'm headed there in just a few days.
Steve Swigert, a Noble Research Institute agricultural economist, is returning to Africa for the eighth time, and I'm tagging along. As communications director for the Noble Research Institute, it's an opportunity to see firsthand and write about how our message of agricultural sustainability is bettering lives around the world.
I am headed to Uganda, along with Steve and a few others; a place which seems as real as Atlantis to me. This blog will highlight our journey. So come along with us as we explore Uganda, meet its people and assist Watoto Child Care Ministries in advancing their agricultural mission.
This is an adventure of a lifetime. I have a feeling something special awaits us on this journey. I hear the words of the Toto song: hurry boy, it's waiting there for you. What is waiting? I don't know, but I'm anxious to find out.
In future posts, I'll talk a little bit about how the Noble Research Institute got involved with Watoto. You'll meet Sarah, the first ever Noble-Watoto Fellow. And I'll detail how the Noble Research Institute's agricultural practices are helping to feed orphans.