I was only in the bank for 5 minutes and it was gone. My favorite bike. The lock was clipped. I didn’t waste a moment, and headed to the Badlands of Philadelphia. I was going to steal it back. For 3 days in a row, I buzzed around the roughest part of a rough city. I couldn’t shake the quest. I knew I needed to do something to regain perspective. And I remembered Shilpa [Founder & Executive Director of Surge for Water]. We had met in Haiti a few months earlier, and she answered my question, “Is it really that bad?” with photos and stories about Uganda. I was huffy over a missing bike, but remembering to remember how lucky I was helped.
And I decided to turn a bad moment into a good one, and committed to sponsoring a well. That decision changed how I felt, and has landed me in Africa 2 summers in a row.
And if given a chance, I’ll show some before/after photos of my trips and the work Surge is doing in Kaberamaido. And talk about Musa. And Lucy. And Opolon. And about how generosity over here can change a village over there.
I had seen poverty statistics and was aware that the water in our toilets is cleaner than a lot of drinking water around the world, but meeting the children was what changed the landscape.
Musa is a ball of joy. His teachers think he could be the next great politician in Uganda. He is 7, lives in a cinder block shed, but let’s not bet against him.
Lucy’s home life is complicated. She smiles through tough stuff. There is a narrow path for her out of deep poverty, but she can make it.
Opolon is fun. He lives in a mud hut, rides a bike 10 years too big for him, and his mom gave me a goat.
These children have a chance when they have clean water. It’s a starting point, but it is the starting point that keeps them healthy and in school.
Written by Adam Bruckner, a good friend to Uganda and Surge for Water since 2016. We’re thankful for his ongoing generosity and his perspective on international development!