Saturday, September 22, 2007

Asher at the door

Asher, 13 months old

Asher's favorite station these days is on the steps just outside our front door. Here he is in typical pose in a picture taken this morning. For some variations on the theme, check out the other four images posted at:


Thursday, September 20, 2007

When it all floats away

It's raining in eastern Uganda. A lot. No prospect of slowing down. Yesterday BBC's website reported, "WFP has launched an $60m appeal for food aid to Uganda alone, where it estimates 1.7 m people will go hungry. North-eastern Uganda has lost most of its crops to flooding, after the heaviest rains in three decades." Sunday I was at the Bukedea district HQ where I saw the WFP lorries preparing to offload sacks of food for displaced people and many others who have lost all their food supply for the next six months--most of it rotted under standing water, just before it would have been ready for harvest. I estimate that there were at least a thousand people waiting for aid on Sunday where I was, and it may have been closer to 2,000. There's no safe drinking water and little or no dry firewood to boil what is contaminated. The malaria-carrying mosquito population is about to increase exponentially. This same scenario is repeated in many sub-counties and parishes in a number of eastern and northeastern parts of Uganda.

I talked on Sunday with a friend who is a district-level chairman in Bukedea and is helping to supervise relief measures in that area. He promised to send me copies of official counts of people affected by loss of houses, crops, animals and other properties.

Meanwhile the rain continues apace, extremely heavy here in Mbale yesterday and today again.

This is already a serious situation, and there's potential for it to get a LOT more so and to have devastating impact for months to come as people deal with fallout like persistent flood-related diseases and stark lack of food until the next chance to harvest some time next year.

Will you pray for these hurting people? Will you consider doing something to help? If so, drop me a note as a comment on this blog or email me at -- (Ian Shelburne, Mbale Mission Team)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Back to Ogur & blessings of the rain

A couple of Sundays ago Leila, along with teachers Becca and Kimberly, joined me on a visit to Ogur Akano, in Lira district. I had been there once before, when we distributed food and other needed supplies to people who were displaced by rebel attacks in the area. That was about four years ago, and since then those people have spent most of the time in a camp for displaced people. It was good to see them back home again! They greeted us when we arrived with cheers and waving branches covered with leaves and flowers. Leila blogged her impressions of the day, complete with an array of images, here:

(Just copy and paste that URL into your browser window and it should take you to Leila's article and pictures)

It's been RAINY in Mbale for many weeks now. This has kept the weather cool and the air clear of the dust and haze that rapidly accumulates when the rain stays away. And, the Great Artist does amazing sky- and mountain-scapes all around us. It can be quite a show:

Rainbow over Wanale mountain

Late afternoon sunlight splashed on clouds over Wanale after the rain