Aug. 1, 2012
USC women's lacrosse assistant coach Hilary Bowen is in Uganda with the Fields of Growth International organization to enact positive change in the world through the teaching of sports. While on her trip as a team leader, Hilary will be updating a blog. Keep up with her by visiting Laxin4Change.blogspot.com. See below for her first post written on July 30.
First Post: Uganda in 1 Day! (written July 30)
I cannot believe it is finally here! Tomorrow, I leave with Fields of Growth for Uganda to help spread the game of lacrosse and all of the good that comes with it! I could not be more excited. I had a number of people ask me to keep a blog while I am over there, so here it is! I will update when I can and post pictures, if possible. Below, I have posted a bit about why I am going on this trip, that I had previously written for my donations page. Hopefully, it will give you a good introduction and answer some questions you might have.
As many of you know, giving back has always been extremely important to me. I have been granted so many great opportunities in my life that have shaped me into the individual I am today, and it only feels natural to me to pass along those same wonderful experiences to others. One of the greatest gifts I have been given is the game of lacrosse. There is nothing more joyful to me than getting out on a field with my best friends and playing; simply for the love of the game. There is no place that I feel more comfortable and free.
Many individuals do not have the same opportunity to enjoy this game that I love so much. They lack the resources, coaching, and equipment to play lacrosse and experience all of the great things that come along with it. It has always been my dream, since I started playing the game in the seventh grade, to create these opportunities and to bring the game into the lives of others. It is the reason I coach.
During the month of August, I will be traveling to Uganda with Fields of Growth International (FoG) to do exactly that; spread a love for the game and enrich lives in the process. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am for this opportunity. Fields of Growth is an amazing organization that embodies all of the qualities that I strive to embrace every single day. The organization was founded on the belief that we were put on earth to share our passion, joy, and gifts with others. Lacrosse happens to be the medium, but the goal is much larger. We want to be the change. Fields of Growth seeks to support sustained education, human development and rights initiatives in the respective countries they visit. To see some of the more specific programs through which they accomplish these goals, please visit www.fieldsofgrowthintl.org/projects
This opportunity, specifically, is extremely special. I will be leading a group of collegiate women's lacrosse players on a trip that has been titled the "Get Up, Stand Up" tour. We will be working with young women and girls throughout Uganda to ignite an already growing passion for the game of lacrosse. Through this process, we hope to transcend all gender inequality and provide these females with a sense of empowerment and belief in themselves and their abilities. Some of the specifics of what we will be doing on the trip are as follows:
Having been involved with the organization over the few years and getting to know what the individuals who drive its continued and ever growing success, I know that this is exactly what I am meant to be doing. Their enthusiasm for life and for helping others is immeasurable. There is a tangible positive energy working with the organization, and I am so excited to be surrounded by it and hopefully contribute to its wide spread effects!" To learn more about Fields of Growth, please check out - http://fieldsofgrowthintl.org.
Well, tomorrow I have quite the journey to make. I leave at 8 a.m. out of Los Angeles, have a layover in Minneapolis, followed by a layover in Amsterdam, followed by a quick stop in Rwanda before I finally make it to Entebbe, Uganda. In fact, I leave on July 31 and arrive in August! If you were concerned for my well-being due to the extremely large amount of hours I will be on planes, don't be- I have downloaded four movies and have three books to read : ) But, with that being said, I may not update until later in the week. I guess that is it for now, still have some procrastinated packing to do....