Tuesday, August 18, 2009


There is little in the way of words that could or will be used to describe the experience that Kristen and I had while in Africa. The people, the culture, the land was unlike anything anyone could ever imagine without visiting the country firsthand. I find myself reeling in the days following our return to the states, questioning much of what I found to be common place in our society. Africa challenged me on all levels. It pushed me past the confines of comfort physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. It forced me to face my inner demons.

The mentally and physically disabled children of Shaurimoyo, that we had the privilege to work with, define the human spirit. I will forever be shaped by their level of compassion to one another and their outlook on a horrific life that is unimaginable in our western culture. To the children in pediatric burn unit of Mawenzi Government Hospital and to the nameless patient on the surgical table in the OR, I fully am able to now comprehend exactly why I want to be a doctor.

For the first time in my life I can say that I truly felt alive. Our experiences in the Ngorongoro Crater, at sunset in Zanzibar, running for miles through fields of sunflowers at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro finally allowed me to take stock in what is important in life. I will leave a handful of pictures that briefly capture a life changing trip.