I DID IT! 5 marathons, 5 months! Please support me by donating to the girls of the Blue House orphanage in Uganda.

Five marathons in five months!

Why did I do it?

So six years ago after the kids and spouse left home, it was me and the damn cat. I could either go crazy staring at four walls or try something new. My lovely obnoxious oldest sister convinced me to ski the half Birkie. I thought I could do 12 K, but ended up doing 25 K. That started me on long distance skiing and running.

My future daughter-in-law really thought that I should get a dog. So Misha became my constant running companion.

After my first marathon, I said to myself, you should do a marathon on every continent. I’ve done North America, Asia, and Africa. Now Australia.

This spring I decided, what the heck, why not do 4 marathons to prep for Australia?

Why an orphanage in Uganda?

They need the money.

Three years ago, I received a Christmas letter from my best friend’s brother and his wife asking for donations for the Blue House orphanage in Uganda. So what the heck, they are my friends; I donated 20 bucks.

Later that year my daughter in med school, Kristina, received a fellowship to work in Uganda studying AIDS. She couldn’t possibly go there by herself, so I nominated myself to go along. She was a good chaperone for her Papa.

While there, I wanted to visit the Blue House to see how my money was used. We came upon Kazo, a village deep in the country with no electricity, no maintained roads (except maybe the main one), no piped water, no Kentucky Blue Grass lawns, no motels, no restaurants, and no grocery stores. But everybody had a cell phone. We stopped at two nondescript mud and stick buildings, the “Blue House.” Boy was I unimpressed.

Kristina, as she is wont to do, quickly made friends with the handful of girls who lived there. As the doctor-to-be, she determined that the girls were healthy and happy. We were then given a tour of the site where a new Blue House would be built the following year.

Last year on my way home from the Big Five Marathon in South Africa, and my biking tour of Swaziland, I returned to Uganda, where I met by the new director of the Blue House, Aine Abel.

The new Blue House is a sight to behold. It can accommodate 44 girls, up to 4 to a room. The floors are level. The meals are nourishing. A generator supplies electricity in the main room so the girls can study after dark. The buildings are kept clean and neat. The garden provides a good supplement to the purchased bulk rice. The girls are happy and help out with chores.

By comparison, we visited the home of an orphan hoping to get into the Blue House. She lived with an aunt in a one-room hut no more than 10 feet in diameter. The roof leaked. An outhouse was in poor repair. Cooking was done on an open fire outside; if it rained you got wet. Clean water was a long walk away and stored in jugs.

At the Blue House they want to buy one or two cows to provide milk for the girls and some income. They need a more reliable source of water. Solar panels will reduce need for expensive gasoline for the generator. They want to expand from the current 26 girls to full capacity of 44, but they can’t afford to yet. They also want to become more self-sufficient.

I want to help to make it happen.

Being the grumpy old fart that I am, I usually don’t give much to charity. But, my friends are involved so I decided that this will be my charity. It’s a very small, efficient organization that is making a large impact for the orphans and the area around Kazo, Uganda. Learn more at www.hopemultipurpose.org.

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    2136 Carter Avenue
    ST PAUL, MN 55108-1708
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