The ability to recover from set backs is a key component in accomplishing a goal like swimming the English Channel. It’s useful in other parts of life, too, of course - like when you are working to help build a school in Angola. And now we have a big set back from which to recover. I will not be going to Angola tomorrow to get the building project underway as planned. On Sunday, just after arriving in South Africa (where I am briefly visiting my niece, who is in law school here this semester), I received an email from our partners in Angola telling me that they are unable to receive me at this time. The reasons are complicated, but the long and short of it is that we will have to reschedule my visit to Waku Kungo.
This has no impact on the progress of the school building. The first $20,000 is on the way there (working its way through church administration and finance systems), and the local leaders in Waku Kungo are eager to get started. Perhaps instead of being there for a ceremonial ground breaking, I can be there for a ceremonial ribbon cutting!
The total of donations so far is up to just about $39,000, so now we just have that last $10,000 or so to go. I’ll be home in a week or so, and will be in a little better position to pursue some of the fundraising to make that last $10,000 a reality.
The response to my swim has been amazing, by the way. A brief account of it was picked up by the Associated Press and the United Press International, and the story has appeared in hundreds of outlets online, and in at least a few print editions. I even got word that the story was mentioned in a paper in Iraq (I presume one for U.S. personnel there). It was on the USA Today website (under “odd news”!), the online version of “Guideposts,” and on a website I look at once in a while called “Happy News.” Glad to spread so much cheer. It looks like I am going to make the “tabloids” too – sorry if that term is offensive to the folks involved! The National Examiner is going to print the story in an upcoming edition. Now if someone could just get me on Oprah!
I confess that I have begun to think about what my next adventure will be. I am not even close to deciding, but I know it will not involve cold water – unless I’m drinking it!
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