Friday, September 22, 2006

Stress and Trauma Healing

Karl and Evelyn Bartsch came to Uganda to offer the fourth training module for the training of trainers project. The topic was stress management and trauma healing. I was fortunate to receive the training this time around. Normally, I am responsible for writing the manual, conducting the training, and coordinating logisitics, but to my great relief, I was nurtured by the caring support of Karl and Evelyn.
Karl and Evelyn have successful private practices in America, but they chose to leave their comforts behind to stay in a place without electricity, drinkable water, and thier usual diet, to give us a new and deep perspective on our work as caregivers. Karl and Evelyn have been married for 45 years.
In the picture above Karl and Evelyn are leading us in a song called, "Healing River". The participants loved it, and are translating it into Luo.


Trevor said...


I'm in Mongolia now, but once I get back to DU in January, I still want to help raise funds for some good cause. Is the program you told me about (this one, I think) still short on funds? Be well, you two.


Holly & Ben Porter said...

Hey Trevor, it is still short. We're exploring a few funding possibilites that could potentially come through before January when you get back--when we get closer to the date we should check in with each other. If this project is taken care of I'm sure there will be other opportunities to put funds to good use!

I can't believe your adventures in Mongolia! Heard from Ara and Whitney recently, and talked to Maria on the phone--it's awesome seeing where our ABAers are these days.

michaelivan said...

Loved reading your comment on my blog... of course, love your blog layout--copy cat. Actually--You've been at this blogging thing much longer than I. So, I suppose you can claim I cheated it from you. Anyway--the Bartsch's look really familiar--but I'm not sure where I might have met them. Hmmm.

As for a non-pretentious vaca to Africa--I'm always interested in visiting Mother Africa. I was on the west side in January--far from a vaca though--shooting video in Sierra Leone and Liberia. I've got friends in Morocco who want me to visit as perhaps I can swing something next year for Uganda and Morocco. Ahh, the "freer" life. I have days where there is lots of that feeling--and others--not so much. It is sometimes much more difficult living in the so-called "1st World". Enjoy your experieces there and take them everywhere you go, girl!

Hope to see y'all face to face sooner than later!

Alyssa said...

Ben and Holly,
Just wanted to tell you that I am thinking about you and praying for you. I love reading your blog and seeing the pictures, although it seems a little "stalker-esque" to have all one-sided communication. Let me know if there is anything specific I can be praying for you about. People keep asking me about you and the people in Uganda, you just seem to be on people's minds recently. Thanks for emailing my friends about counseling stuff. Seriously, you are my heroes. :) FYI: God and I are in deep conversation about spending some extended time overseas, primarily due to visiting you all; I'll let you know how that goes. Lots of love to you both.
Grace and peace,
Alyssa English

Holly & Ben Porter said...

Alyssa, and any of the other TNL 5 who happen to read this, I'm in Gulu and Carol and Immaculate, and Grace and Robert, etc. all send their greetings! They ask about you all often and talk about when you were here. You should be encouraged by what an impact you had in a short time. They love you. (and so do I!)

Thanks for the prayers and keep them coming. Especially right now, the fragile state of things seems to be deteriorating...makes me nervous and very sad. Pray for peace. Pray that the government, the LRA would be committed to working towards it. Also, pray that the media would be more responsible in the way they cover things and realize the impact it has on how the peace process goes.

jared said...

Ben & Holly,

Rarely a day goes by without thoughts of you and life there; rarely a week goes by without a conversation about our time in Uganda. It is good to continue to see through your eyes the continued suffering and fragile hope.

Grace and peace.

Jared Mackey
[the TNL 5]

Holly & Ben Porter said...


Okay, I'm completely not joking...Dan wants to make a statue of you on the rock where you shared a pipe with his dad. He already bought cement and wants you to send a picture. This totally makes me laugh just to write it--not that you don't deserve a statue--but it's just very funny and bizaar. It's also true, so if you'd send a picture of yourself posing in whatever way you'd like to have in cement overlooking a field of maize forever...

Anonymous said...

I'd come back to Uganda just to see the statue of Jared! Or maybe to stay... :)

We miss you all much & prayers are surrounding you & the Acholi people - send our (my) love to the Lira & Gulu office!!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Guys,
Karl Bartsch stands out to me from our brief time with him at orientation - what a sound, sensible, sensitive guy.
As you know, I am a scientist by background and being english I don't do the touchy feely stuff too well. If he impressed me (as he did) then he must be good !
Take care
Nigel (& Rachel too)

...and if you are reading this Karl - thanks !

Anonymous said...

Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I received your letter! Thanks so much!!! I know this is kind of a long process but i really appreciate all your help with it. I am anxious and hopeful that an opportunity (even if it's not this one) will come through for me to come and do work there with you all.
my prayers are with you,