December 15, 2017

Our Nicaragua team is having a blast serving the communities around our facility in Tola! It isn’t just all work and no play as you can tell by the photo… the team has begun to feel like family!


As we rose from our beds this morning accompanied by the chilly air, I was able to look up and still see the stars and moon from last night’s sleep. Sipping on my 1st cup of coffee, followed by another 2 or 4, depending on who you ask, the Ugandan sky went from starry night to a pink and purple beauty which later gave way to the sun rising on another day of clinic.

Last night at dinner we were told that there was already a line of people forming outside the site anticipating our arrival. In my mind, I’m sitting there comparing it to what some do for Black Friday back in the States for things, gifts, and possessions…except for here they camp out over night because this could be their one opportunity for their child, mother, father, sister, brother, or friend to get any sort of medical attention. They wait in line for life…for a sense of hope.

Sure enough when we arrive the line of people is wrapped all the way around 3 sides of the building then continued far down the dusty dirt pathway. We set up camp in all the classrooms, gave everyone in line bracelets with numbers on them, connected with our translators (who are literally God’s gift to us) and hit the ground running.

Throughout the day I’m constantly reminded that the person sitting in front of me who’s pouring out their pains, needs, and illnesses is my brother or sister. Now I can’t say I did this on every single patient, but I’m reminded to be present. To take my time to not only listen to why they spent the night waiting in line to see us, but to get to know who they are and where they live. They’re a gift. There was an 82yr old woman who walked 2 miles on her bare feet with a limp leg…but what was she doing when she sat down in front of me…smiling ear to ear. When there’s 86 different languages in Uganda, there’s one thing that’s universal- the smile. You can never go wrong with it!

What an incredible feeling to be able to see every single person who showed up today-200 to be exact! This team, community, and Ugandan family we’ve formulated here is one that’s like no other. Going to bed with grateful hearts, tired bodies, and a love for our people here. We love y’all back home and are definitely feeling your prayers!

+Angelle Hayes, RN, BSN


December 13, 2017

I love so many things about Africa, but the thing I love most is that the small things go anything but unnoticed. I worked as a runner/optometrist (lol jk. I’m only allowed to give out reading glasses) which gave me some time to get a better look at the beautiful thing that make up the clinic. I’m probably a bit more observant than most but Uganda continually charms me with its ability to revel in belonging to the continent of extremes. No small thing, like a child chasing a butterfly as our van passes, or the impeccable patterning of hand-swept dirt patios is left untouched by its astounding hand.

Even more so, I’m in love with this country’s ability to envelop everyone into its vibrance for life. Each of our volunteers are roped into creating beautiful moments, even if they may seem small. I couldn’t help but smile after I watched 21 Americans effortlessly offer patient joy. Whether it was a smile and an attempted use of the local language(s), or a helping hand up the stoop to the clinic rooms, the kindness was so apparent. The locals aren’t untouched by Uganda’s love, either. Their constant willingness and trust is absolutely overwhelming at times. I find myself praying that I may be willing and ready to extend love as they are to me.

For the third time now I’m in awe at this country’s beauty and tendency to wrap everyone in its loving arms, regardless of who that person may be. Can’t thank sweet Jesus enough for generously allowing me to witness it. Hopefully he never stops letting me come back.

Love you people BIG

+ Emilia Vawter, Undergraduate Student