Over a month ago we returned from our yearly trip to Africa. In some ways it feels like we’ve just returned and in other ways it feels like a lifetime since the trip. Either way, we left behind old and new friends, smiling faces and a team that we believe in. On day thirteen of the trip, after 6 flights and countless memories – Chelsea wrote these words about her first experience in Africa:
As we’ve trekked this journey over the past couple weeks, we’ve slowly ascended the rungs of development—a phenomenon I’m still wrapping my mind around. We started in southern Uganda, where we witnessed children pulling their drinking water from trash-ridden streams, thousands of people selling goods along the streets to make ends meet, and countless more signs of abject poverty. It is one thing to know that this kind of life exists for millions of people across the globe. It is quite another to bear witness to it.
Despite economic poverty, the people of Uganda have no shortage of those intangible things that make a life rich: love, kindness, generosity, gratitude, and an unwavering hope for the future. In our short time there, we experienced unparalleled hospitality and kindness from dear friends we’ve made over the years, as well as people we were meeting for the first time. We heard firsthand from headmasters, teachers and students about the incredible impact the SUN program has made on their schools. We worked hard to ensure we made the most of our time there, but everyday was truly a reward (as you can see in this walk through video below!). We left feeling inspired and energized, with a clearer understanding of the needs of the communities we serve, and new goals for the future of All We Are.
On our last night in Africa, as we watched the water swallow up the sun at sunset, all I could think was, How incredibly lucky am I? How fortunate am I to be surrounded by amazing friends who share this vision for improving the world? How lucky am I to be living this exact life, in this moment in time? I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve with All We Are. I’m endlessly thankful for the supporters who believe in our work. And I can’t wait until the next time I am back in the Ugandan sun with my amazing teammates, who double as some of my most cherished friends.