Hello everyone! My name is Angela Macdonald and I have been invited to share some thoughts in the LITA blog about my recent trip to Uganda in the beginning of January, this year.
First who am I and why am I writing in the LITA Blog?
I am a team member of Bee World Project . Together with Love is the Answer (LITA) we have recently launched an exciting collaborative effort to deliver beekeeping technical knowledge and training to farmers in Uganda. Some 70+/- farmers were invited to participate in our training program that started the first week of January 2014. As a member of the Bee World Project team, I stepped out from my usual busy bee duties and traveled to Uganda for the start of our program in this beautiful country.
I was very excited to visit Uganda and thankful for having the opportunity to spend time with Catherine, COL (Chief of Love) for LITA. Joyful thoughts raced through me as I envisioned being in the field, connecting with the farmers and their families, hearing their stories, gaining first-hand knowledge, and researching options for building a larger beekeeping school training facility.
There have been many times in my life when I have felt blessed for being both present and aware when special moments were unfolding in my life. I knew this was one of them as soon as our team confirmed we were going to GUG (“Get Uganda Going”) with a Bee World Project program. Having now travelled to Uganda and touched the earth in the communities we are working with, I find myself in constant reflection. There are so many memories and moments fresh in my mind from this colorful experience. My mother-in-law so appropriately said, “this kind of a trip is the kind of journey that just keeps giving back to you, weeks and even months after you return back to your home”. Even now, approximately two months later, I can say this is true!
A few thoughts about beekeeping and love… Being a team member of Bee World Project (BWP) has been so meaningful for me over the last few years. I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with those who are inspired to help others, simply because they care. Our team all have very personal reasons why we care about what we are doing but bottom line, we want to be part of a solution to the inequalities we see in our world. For me, doing good things for others increases the love that I feel in my heart. I am trying to model this for my children.
I believe that beekeeping is a very strong tool for poverty alleviation in developing countries: it requires very little equipment and start-up capital, and you don’t actually have to own land to keep bees. I think beekeeping also creates a spiritual synchronicity with nature; it has the ability to naturally bring all life on our planet a little closer together for a healthier existence.
As we all know, bees themselves are having a hard time these days, so globally we can and should all do our bit to help save the bees too. To do this, you do not need to become a beekeeper. Just do your part to create and support the habitat that bees and other pollinators require.
Now as our Bee World team collaborates with LITA, we can say that because we care, it is through love and beekeeping that we find ourselves in service to others and their environments.
I am asked this question so often and I find it both easy and difficult to answer. EASY… as I usually say “AMAZING!” and difficult… as I try to find the right words to appropriately explain the many beautiful moments that I experienced…so where do I begin?
EASY!! A good place for me to start is by talking about the love in action that LITA represents, as I have observed first-hand. You can see this love in action literally traveling across the Ugandan country-side – in a little blue 4X4 Toyota truck!
One of the things that struck me as I traveled in this little blue truck across the countryside, is that Uganda is a country full of signs (literal sense) of NGOs that have come and gone. The NGOs literally leave the country but they don’t remove their signs. I like to think of these signs as reminders of all the good intentions that people (NGOs) have brought to Uganda. These good intentions are literally everywhere you look! However, I find myself wondering were they just good intentions or were they intentions with good results?
There is a fair bit of dialogue about the effectiveness of international aid both governmental and non-governmental. Many people question how the helping hand is extended and whether it provides lasting impact in countries such as Uganda. After having just spent time with Catherine and having witnessed the “LITA love-work in action”, I can assure you that LITA’s intentions are not only good intentions but they are beautiful and sincere, and do indeed provide immediate and long-term results.
So, I thought it might be fun to share some of what I experienced while in the company of Catherine and a day in the life of ‘Bluey the LITA truck’ on a journey of love and beekeeping. My hope is that you will share this information with your friends and we can all celebrate the LOVE that LITA is.
So stay tuned for my next contribution which I promised will be shorter! Please feel free at any time to share with me your thoughts and questions. Send me an email to Info@beeworldproject.org.