Can you believe it? My two months here in Uganda, Africa are coming to an end. It has been mind boggling how fast it has gone by. I can go back in a split second to the moment where I was walking on the beach and enthusiastically telling my mom about Amani and my desire to go to Africa for the summer ten months ago. I remember my brother and sister thinking I was absolutely crazy for wanting to go away, by myself, to a foreign country for two months. I was determined to make a difference in the lives of the orphans who's faces I had fallen in love with before even meeting them in person. For ten months, I poured over the internet, trying to find any pictures, videos or blogs that had anything to do with Amani. The thought of spending eight weeks in Uganda was what got me through my past semester of nursing school. I had no clue what God had in store for me or how He was going to use me. I was just willing to go and serve. It's as simple as that. God calls us to go and serve his people, especially his orphans and widows. Through this entire experience, I have met so many amazing people who are simply obeying His calling by being willing to go and leaving the rest up to God. As a side note, if you have ever had the desire to volunteer or go on a mission trip, just do it. Make the time and you will be so incredibly blessed. I love this quote and its so true- "Nobody can do everything but everybody can do something. "
I went into this trip expecting to be doing great things... changing lives. Yes, I think I did impact the lives that were around me, but it was in a smaller, lasting way. I held babies when they cried, providing comfort and love. I gave good night kisses and said Nkwagala or " I love you" to 17 beautiful, little girls every night. I was there to hold the hand of one of my little girls while she received IV treatment for malaria for 5+ hours each day for a week. I was able to pray every night for each girl and tell them that they were so, so special. I was able to give out clothing to children in a village that probably wore the same clothes almost every day. I bought beautiful, handmade bead necklaces from strong, resilient women that helped them provide for their families. I watched Freida, who came to Amani severely malnourished, grow stronger each day. I saw her sweet smile as I praised her and said her name, despite the many hospital visits I accompanied her on. I tended to her wound dressings and saw to giving medicine to each baby every morning. Above all, I was just there. I believe its the little things that add up, even if its as simple as a smile. I may have changed Africa in a little way, but more importantly, Africa changed me in a huge way!
Thank you once again to everyone who supported me, both financially and with your continued prayers. I am so humbled to have had the opportunity to be submersed in this beautiful country with its equally beautiful people. Please pray for me as I begin to prepare my heart for the transition back to the states as well as the goodbyes I have ahead of me. I will be leaving Uganda August 6th and will be back home August 7th. They say that once you come to Africa, it forever becomes a part of you. I know I will absolutely be leaving a piece of me here and in return, Uganda has left its red clay stained imprint on my heart.
* Sorry my computer wouldnt let me upload any pictures for this blog post. We are having some wifi technical difficulties lately. I will hopefully have the opportunity to upload more later on this week!