02 March 2009

Sewanee, TN = Stellar!

I had a phenomenal time in Sewanee Thursday and Friday. Cindy Potter was a fantastic host, and showed me all the sights to see in Sewanee. I got to have coffee with friends Stephen and April Alvarez, who have been faithful sponsors and supporters, I spoke to a Third World History class, gave a presentation to the whole middle school, met with a Korean exchange student who raised $400 for the Christmas giving initiative by selling her pottery, and I got to see the middle schoolers demonstrate the skills they've learning in their workshops for "Winterim" week. It was really encouraging for me to be with this community who have been so supportive of Lahash and IWASSRU for several years. I got to say thank you and talk to them about the impact they've made in the children's lives. They really blessed me, and I hope I got to bless them.

I love speaking to middle schoolers, and these middle schoolers are amazing. Each class at the middle school sponsors a child at Amazing Grace Orphanage. The 8th graders sponsor Taban Moris, the 7th graders sponsor Poni Evaline, and the 6th graders sponsor Waran Robert. St. Andrew's-Sewanee is like a college prep middle school, so the kids are taught some amazing and profound things, and I could definitely tell how advanced they are when it came time for the Q&A period of my presentation. They asked extremely intelligent questions about the culture and history of Uganda and Southern Sudan. They got really excited about some suggestions I made for ways they can engage with the kids at Amazing Grace. One of the girls asked if she could send some songs that she's written. Of course I said "Of course!"

I spent one night in Chattanooga, TN on my way back down to Atlanta, which was fun, but I'm learning about the importance of community and the very addiction to money I was blogging about recently. I was pick-pocketed yesterday, and lost my cash for food and my debit card. After the initial frustration and mild despair, I sat in the public library getting some perspective on the situation. I met up with Heather Sumner, a friend from Georgia who I met in Uganda, and she and her friends have been taking care of me well, buying me food and beverages.

My ticket home is for Tuesday, but I think I'm going to go to the airport and ask them to put me on standby for every flight between now and then, hopefully I can get home shortly. According to Murphy's Law, though, it started snowing this morning, and a ton of flights got canceled today, which will probably mean a backlog for the next few days. Please pray that I can get home shortly. I've had a great trip, but I'm ready to be back in friendly Portland.


Anonymous said...

it was cool meeting and hanging out with you.

Dan said...

Leisha! So awesome to hear that you've met all of those friends in Sewanee! I wish I could have visited them with you. Blessings on your trip back.

Kim said...

Thanks for all of your nice comments about our children! I can speak only for my own 6th grade son, but he's been very impressed by what you're doing and talks about it often. Thanks for your amazing and important work!