That's right, Uganda, Entebbe, Uganda to be more specific.
I believe it was almost 3 years ago, now, that Kalema Posiano Ian contacted me on Facebook from his village in Fort Portal, Uganda. It was one of those times when we look at our Facebook and, immediately say, "Doggone it, there's another one of those guys trying to take advantage of me." Well, sorry, but, that's what I thought, but, my second thought was, "Yean, but, that's what I'm trying to do with Golf From the Heart; reaching out through the game of golf to give the Gospel." So, I clicked on the message and began my dialogue with Kalema, my new son in the faith, from Fort Portal, Uganda.
Our engagement was innocuous at first as I tried to feel out this new "boy" who had connected with me because of my golf outreach online. I was very cautious and communicated with him a few times. He shared that he was a golfer in his local village, but, really a caddy at his local 9-hole golf club for, what I understand, $1.00 per "loop". Over a few weeks we began to use FB for video chats and he showed me his room with golf trophies from his successes as a local golfer.
Kalema was in his Junior year of high school. One day he was messaging me early in the day and I asked him why he wasn't in school. He told me that he was banned from school that day as his fees were due and until he paid them, he could not return. "Oh boy, here it comes." I thought. So, I asked alot more questions and became convinced that he was telling me the truth. "Hmmm", I thought "I wonder how much he's talking about?" "So, how much will it cost to get back into school?" "320,000 Uganda Shillings." he said. "What, you gotta be kidding me. What is the exchange rate, for goodness sakes?' "I believe, Dad (he calls me now), it's between 3,500 to 4,000 shillings per dollar." So, I began to do the math. "If I divide 350,000 shillings by 3,700 shillings per dollar we're talkin', now, ahhh, what, $95.00?". "$95 bucks!!" I exclaimed. "Are you kiddin' me. That's all you have to pay to get back into high school?"
"OK," I said, "How and where do I send the money?" I wire transferred the money the next day.
That's how this relationship began and after he took images of his receipt and next invoice and, in fact, a back invoice for the previous semester, I committed to Kalema to ensure he would get through his Junior, then, Senior year at his high school to be the first person in his family to graduate from high school. (we have the diploma to show for it).
This was the beginning of "Let's Golf Uganda", but, it wasn't envisioned as Let's Golf Uganda at this juncture.
You see, Kalema's dream was to come to the United States to attend college on a golf scholarship.
Let's see where that leads.....................
Thanks for reading......
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