Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sweet Sleep in Africa

By now, most of you know about the trip this summer to Uganda that I'm working towards going on. It's with a group called Sweet Sleep (click words"Sweet Sleep" there to visit their site) that is headquartered right here in Brentwood, TN. I've had the honor of meeting the founder and president, Jen Gash, a lovely woman with a great smile and laugh. I've been to my first informational meeting (held this past week), found my passport, and have a doctor's appointment next week to start shots, vaccinations, etc.

In the next few weeks, I'm working on:
- sending out a letter about this trip, my involvement and my need to raise $4500 to all my friends and family
- arranging to be out of town and away from work & my family for 10 days
- working with friends who are trying to arrange a fundraising dinner for my trip
- continuing to prepare my heart, mind, body & soul for this experience
Here is a picture of Sweet Sleep's VP, Stuart McAlister, when he and Jen traveled to Uganda at the 1st of the year to scope it out and assess need:
And here is a shot from one of the orphanages they visited and one we will return to in July:
As you'll see, it's squalor. Pure and simple. They're beyond "at capacity" and the figures Stuart shared with us at last week's meeting were something like this:  bed to child ratio?  1:25. The brown pile you see on the left is actually several pieces of foam scraps that they pull out and make makeshift pallets from at night.
Here is an "after" photo from a previous Sweet Sleep trip:
And, in closing, a few more pics for you. Disclaimer: These are not affiliated with Sweet Sleep but while surfing and blog hopping, I found these that were taken by another group who were in Uganda just a few weeks ago and enjoyed this pictorial depiction of my destination.