It’s 6:15 on a Saturday morning… I’m halfway into my running clothes (think sports bra and running top with oversized sweat pants and morning hair). In a little bit I will get in the car, drive to Cambridge, and then embark on my 20-mile run. The 20-miler. This run has been the stress-inducing, panic-strickening, biggest-and-last-hurdle-to-overcome-before-my-marathon for the past four years since I took up running. I feel relaxed, if not anxious for my IT band and swollen achilles, and looking forward to three hours of solitude and comraderie after a long, exhausting week. We joked in the office last night that it had been one of the toughest of our careers, but then, of course, the dose of perspective that always seems to strike during moments like that.
For a couple of years I have been interested and involved in the conflict in northern Uganda and other central African countries. First through Invisible Children and later through a lot of reading, minimally publicized news articles, the Enough Project and Resolve Uganda, I have done some fundraising and lobbying on behalf of the child soldiers in an effort to end the reign of terror Joseph Kony and the LRA have over the region. Last June I went to Capitol Hill with about 2,000 other concerned Americans to lobby Congress and the House on a piece of legislation that would promise to pursue and arrest, or otherwise take down Joseph Kony, and to pledge our commitment to the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the central African region. We met with our State Representatives and Senators (Hello Senator Kennedy’s personal office!) and took part in the largest lobbying day in history for a single African issue. The momentum grew, our voices were heard, and late Wednesday afternoon the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act was passed on the floor of Congress in just 30 minutes, without a single objection. I lost a $50,000 contract at work on Wednesday after working REALLY hard to make it happen. Together with the young people of this country, I worked really hard to bring attention to the abuse, kidnapping, and violent indoctrination of children in central Africa and on Wednesday we made huge strides in bringing those children home. This isn’t to say there’s still a huge amount of work to be done (or how much I would have celebrated the $50K agreement), but it’s a great reminder: Perspective.
Last week I officially surpassed my fundraising goal of $2,500.00 for the LLS and Team in Training. Another humbling and exciting milestone. Even better, since then, through fairly minimal Facebook posting and my very supportive friends and fiance, we have pushed the needle even further, raising over $725 THIS WEEK. Thank you feels like too small a phrase to express my appreciation. I am gratified for your kindness, dedication to good, and unbelievable consideration. Off to run 20, can’t wait to share more later.