Traveling and storytelling and the right to dream.

In less than a week, I head off to Iganga, Uganda to spend two weeks with the kids at Musana Children’s Home. While I’m there I expect to be doing a little sewing, a little dancing, a little mosquito net mending, a little netball playing, a little tutoring, and a lot of loving those kids.

But one of my projects has me a bit intimidated. Along with my daughter, Molly (a photography hobbyist and fellow kid-lover), a couple of netbooks (long battery life is a must as power is spotty) and a couple of digital cameras, I’ll be helping the kids of Musana tell stories. Fiction? Factual? Illustrated? Photographed? I’m not certain. I’m approaching the project with few rules, few expectations, and a very open mind and heart.

I’ve heard from one of the directors that for some of the kids, their childhood imaginations may be locked away behind the bars of their past tragedies or abuse. It’s hard to imagine a child who finds it difficult to dream. Hence, my intimidation.

Dreaming filled a huge space in my childhood. It was part of my learning and loving and life in general. Dreaming is a like a periscope to happiness and, at the very least, a survival skill every kid deserves to master.

I’m taking loads of picture books with me – thanks to all my dear friends who have donated – hoping to do a lot of reading with the kids. It will be fascinating to see how they respond to our mostly American stories. Then we’ll chat and we’ll play … and hopefully, with some divine inspiration, we’ll dream.

And maybe tell some stories along the way.

I know that “Musana” means “sunshine.” And sunshine spells hope.

Looking forward to 14-days of radiant sunshine!!