Just 2 days ago, I was sitting with one of my clients, telling her how this year, I wanted to take a more active role in changing the world, by supporting world efforts to improve Interfaith relationships, and moving closer to world peace. I wanted to leave a mark on the world, by spreading my hope for people to learn from and work with each other in unity.
The following day, I received an invitation to take part in this amazing documentary being filmed in Uganda, about a co-op of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim coffee farmers, who have come together as a group to promote fair trade for their coffee, and form a peaceful, collaborative effort to build Interfaith relationships, and enhance economic prosperity.
I MUST go! I feel called to take on the responsibility of helping even the most diverse groups come together, to learn to work, support, and share with each other, as I am positive that is the only way to world peace.
I have 30 days to raise money for the trip, and for airfare. I cannot do this on my own, and so I'm asking for your help - to take an active role in bringing cultures together, and to assist in the mission of achieving the impossible. Please help send me to Africa! Any donation is so appreciated!
PS - Below is a copy of my itinerary - I'm so excited to share this with you!
|Day 1: Depart Newark Airport, Continental Flight 60 to Brussels; change in Brussels to Continental Flight 5651 to Entebbe. Arrive 10:35 pm. Transfer to Golf Course Hotel. |
Day 2 Wednesday, Feb. 2nd 2011:
Begin the day at Entebbe Botanical Gardens, established in 1901 along the shores of Lake Victoria, plenty of birdlife including the Ross's and Great Blue Turaco. After the gardens, we will drive to Jinja, the source of the Nile River. We will spend time at the source of the Nile River, where it emanates from Lake Victoria, lunch will be enroute. Drive from there to Mbale and stay at Mount Elgon Hotel for 4 nights.
Day 3: Thursday, Feb. 3rd 2011:
Spend day with Mirembe Kawomera farmers. Meet at new Depulping Facility they built with profits from the co-op. Go to local school the co-op has helped support. Go to several coffee farms to experience the industry from this early stage. Spend personal time with farmers. Later in day, join the entire co-op community for first public screening of documentary about them: Delicious Peace Grows in a Ugandan Coffee Bean.
Day 4 Friday, Feb. 4th 2011: This morning we attend services in a Mosque. Meet with Muslim farmers to learn more about their community. In afternoon go to Mbale city to visit Gumutindo co-op, which has the Fair Trade, organic and export licenses and where the farmers' coffee is brought for weighing and storing before shipping to in Mombasa port in Kenya. Return to villages for Friday evening Shabbat (Jewish) services.
Day 5 Saturday, Feb. 5th 2011: Attend Shabbat morning services. Meet with members of the Jewish community and attend discussions about Torah reading of the day and the Abayudaya community. Afternoon in Mbale to explore city.
Day 6 Sunday, Feb. 6th 2011: Attend Sunday worship services at the Anglican church, followed by meeting with members of that community. After services, drive to Mt. Elgon National Park. The park houses the shell of an extinct volcano on the border with Kenya. Its highest peak, Wagagai, is 4,321 m above sea level, making it the fourth highest mountain in East Africa. The rugged slopes, with their spectacular waterfalls, caves, hot springs and mountain vegetation, make this a wonderful and exciting area to hike and climb. From the park, drive to Kampala at Cassia Lodge for dinner and overnight.*
*For those traveling back to the US at this point, not going on safari, transfer will be directly from here to Entebbe Airport. Flight leaves at 1:45 am on Monday, Feb. 7 and returns to JFK (not Newark) at 4:30 pm same day. There is a six hour stopover in Amsterdam.
Day 7 Monday, Feb. 7th 2011: Begin day with a brief bus tour of the capital city of Uganda (Kampala), including views of the seven hills of the city, and stop for a tour at the ruins of Kasubi tombs, a burial place for the Buganda kings. Depart and go through Uganda's beautiful green countryside. We shall have a stopover at the Equator en-route as well as at fresh vegetable and fruit markets. Proceed to the Queen Elizabeth National Park with a game drive enroute (depending on where we stay), arriving at Mweya Safari Lodge or King Fisher Lodge in the early evening for dinner and overnight, 2 nights.
Day 8 Tuesday, Feb. 8th 2011: After an early Breakfast we'll go for a morning game drive in the Park. Expect to see the famous Big Five: African Elephant, Buffalos, Lions, Bush bucks, Kobs, Giant forest hog, Hyenas and Waterbucks. In the after noon we'll take a launch cruise along the amazing Kazinga channel and you will appreciate the schools of Hippos, Buffaloes, and Crocodiles close to the waterside as well as the rare Leopard prowling.. There is a variety of bird life on this ride.
*** Unfortunately, duty calls - and I will not be able to continue on for the gorilla trek - I will be returning home on Thursday, February 10th, to perform a Bar Mitzvah that weekend. But I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate to this point!
Day 9 Wednesday, Feb 9th 2011: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest by driving through the "Switzerland of Africa," an area known as Kigezi Highlands, with its terraced hillside and winding roads. Pass through Ishasha where if we are lucky we shall have an opportunity to see the tree climbing lions, or take the alternative route through the cultivated area. Overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp or Gorilla Resort. FB for two nights.
Day 10 Thursday, Feb. 10: Gorilla Tracking
Go for gorilla tracking, walking up steeply in the dense rain forest through different trails crisscrossed by animals allowing access to tourists. Gorilla tracking is an inspiring and wonderful adventure for any African safari which one can't afford to miss. The Gorillas are peaceful animals and it is an unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact.
Day 11 Friday, Feb 11th 2011, Departure 9:40 pm.
After an early morning breakfast we have a long drive back to Kampala from the African gorilla sanctuary with a stopover in enroute for lunch.