This is actually the middle of our great love story . . . We met in the summer of 1998 while both of us were helping out at a retreat for people living with HIV/AIDS. Eleven months later, we were married. We blended a family with three boys and one girl, and four years later, we had two more boys. There is lots more to this part of our story, but suffice it to say, that this was the beginning of living a dream, of fulfilling our life’s calling.
[Christopher worked in HIV work for public health for 10 years. Le volunteered as a nurse in the AIDS community during that time. Miranda, at this writing is 17, is interested in becoming a pediatrician. The three of them will be in Rwanda in 20 days. They will work in Rwanda for two weeks.]
We can’t wait!!!
Our group, UJAMA, has a total of 17 people scheduled to be on this trip. We are a hodgepodge of medical providers, spouses, students, and allied health professionals. Our trip to Rwanda is the first in a series of trips to Kigali’s main hospital. Our overall goal is to provide training to their health professionals and help in creating a stronger medical infrastructure. However, it is our first trip, so we will certainly be providing medical care while also doing some fact-finding to prepare for our next trip.
So, last Saturday, May 31, a bunch of us got together and packed and packed and packed. Each of us has agreed to "donate" our luggage to the cause. We brought our luggage to Deaconess Hospital and loaded them all with donated medical supplies. This leaves us all with one carry-on each to fill with clothes and the more sensitive equipment (such as computers and ultrasound equipment). Needless to say, we will not have much room for personal belongings! The best part was that we thought it would take several hours to complete this task, but with the aid of those who have done this before, we eventually got organized and ZOOM! we were done in no time.
The luggage – or lack thereof – creates some concerns. I think the person who is most concerned is our lovely daughter, Miranda, who desperately wants to have all her cosmetics and hairblower – ha ha. There are a few others who secretly confided that they, too, want room for those luxuries.
I must say, what an interesting mix of people . . . I am sure we will all be stretched and we will be provided the opportunity to grow and be inspired by each other. I know that if anything goes wrong with our health while we are there, we are all certainly in VERY good hands.
Probably the most important note here . . . We are deeply, deeply grateful for the many donors to this medical mission. So many donors, so many people to thank. Thank you thank you thank you!!! This mission would not have happened except for you. We are touched and moved. We have wept with joy and a tremendous sense of humility. Some of you have even inspired your friends, colleagues, and loved ones to donate. It is particularly moving when complete strangers have donated to this mission, knowing that it was because one of you who inspired them!
Until our next update . . .
We love you!!
Christopher, Le, and Miranda