Bringing ukuleles to Haiti or India- isn’t that a bit frivillous?
Yes. It is. Ukuleles are silly and fun. But you know if you have ever been in a hard place, love and joy can lift you on to your feet. Here are a few stories about Haiti and India and ukuleles and love.
Kids being….kids! The power of play should not be underestimated.
Two ladies I know with similar names, Laurie and Lori know a lot about this. Lori Goldberg is the Mother of Global Family Philanthropy. Daniel and I went to Haiti with her a few years ago with a dozen ukuleles in tow. Laurie Kallevig leads the Survivor Girl Ukulele Band. She is playing ukulele in India right now with a group of girls (and boys!) who have been victims of human traficking. It’s not about discovering the next virtuoso– although you never know– it probably won’t help any one of them make a living (I can tell you how well it’s working for me!) It is about else-something essential and intangible: hope.
With your help we will be sending both groups support materials, CDs and copies of COLOR-ALONG Ukulele. (The Kickstarter campaign is almost over- If you wish to order a copy or fund a program make sure you get in before April 1!)
Because of their dangerous situation, the girls faces do not appear in photos, but you know there is a huge smile just out of frame.
Read this blog post of Lauries–It will help you understand… Why Does She Love Me? is about one of her girls, facing her struggle to understand love. Laurie now has two “chota teachers”(little teachers) helping her- her first part time employees! All the stories in her blog are so beautiful I can not do them justice by exerpting, I suggest you read them through.
The Haitian taxi is a pickup-truck. Rain or shine, 15-50 people sit and stand in the bed of old Toyotas and bump up and down the roads. Rain or shine, you get a great view from there.
Not only did I see the lives of the people who live there, washing laundry in streams, cookig by the roadside, but I got to see my own life flash before my eyes quite a few times.
The end of the commute to the orphanage was always the best part. As we crackled up the rocky drive the children would stream out of the whitewashed concrete block home, running to greet the truck, chanting “gee-tar, gee-tar!!!!!” (Their name for the the ukuleles) until we had taken them down from the wall and passed them around for the day’s first impromptu lesson.
I have no dillusions about my impact on other people’s lives- I fully realize that the gift I recieved was greater than anything I left behind. The laughter and the joy, the love I felt will be with me always and has made my life better.
Laurie has given a huge part of her life to the girls in India, and I think she would be the first tell you how much she is receiving in return.
There are many ways to be rich.
Be frivilous with your wealth, indulge in joy. Laugh. Play. With love, the more you give away, the more you have.