Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Ever since I started coming to Uganda, I have tried to bring gifts with me to serve the people I’m working with. They so graciously welcome us into their lives and allow the students and I to learn from and with them and I want to give them some sort of small token of thanks. Early on the Professor at Makerere University School of Pharmacy requested we bring pharmacy textbooks because their supply was low and very old. Over the past few years I’ve brought several hundred pounds of textbooks. This year was no different, although in the future this may have to be curtailed because British Airways may cease letting volunteers bring extra luggage at no charge. This year although I had confirmed ahead of time that we were allowed to bring 3 bags each, at the airport gate check-in I had to bargain with them to let us take the bags we had packed with the books and Blood Pressure cuff supplies needed for the screenings.
In addition to textbooks, I was also able to identify a need for reading glasses from talking with the Rev Evas of the Masindi-Kitara Diocese and Janine, the Diocesan Health Coordinator a couple of years ago. Almost everyone’s eyes change as we grow older and in fact long distance vision can improve but close up reading distance vision can grow worse. This is a condition close to my heart since I heavily rely upon my own reading glasses to perform any kind of computer or reading work. Even selecting money from my wallet requires the use of my reading glasses. If you look back at pictures of me on this blog, invariably you will see me wearing glasses on top of my head and this is so the glasses are never far from me. Thus we have also brought reading glasses to Uganda and below is a note of thanks from Janine.
She introduced me to two clergy who have personally benefited from the glasses and who are pictured in this blog. They expressed sincere gratitude to me and the members of my church, St. Luke Lutheran Church in Bloomsburg, PA, who collected and donated the glasses. Reading glasses are available in the USA at all pharmacies and even at some convenience stores; they also tend to be reasonable priced. Unfortunately that is not the case in Uganda. Although they may be available at some stores, the price is not affordable for most people. The provision of reading glasses seems simple but can really make a big difference in the lives of a person who can no longer read without great difficulty. Reading their Bibles and conducting basic business transactions like signing their name or selecting money for a purchase can now be accomplished without eye strain or assistance.
Note from the Diocesan Health Coordinator: We here at Masindi-Kitara Diocese are most grateful for your donation. Here we have many people such as pastors and lay readers who dearly desire to read the Bible, and who are needing to preach and share from the bible. Unfortunately, as they pass the age of forty or so, many of these key people start losing the ability to read the bible as they don’t have reading glasses. Your donation will help the Health Office of Masindi-Kitara provide those who need them these reading glasses. Thank you so very much and may God richly reward you.