December 12, 2011
by Kristin Allen
OK, it is really sinking in….
I am going to Niger, West Africa with the amazing organization I am affiliated with, Wells Bring Hope. I am traveling with them to write about their efforts and success so far, and also to witness first-hand the desperate amount of work and hardship that still needs to be addressed.
• Registering with the U.S. State Department as a precaution………..ummmmm, check?
I will be honest. This is the first time I have made this type of a trip. I have been out of the country before, but this is a whooooole different scenario. This is the second poorest country in the WORLD. Nearly two-thirds of the people living in the rural areas do not have safe water to drink. 97% in the rural areas do not have proper sanitation or toilets. We will be spending our time in the rural areas…. Get it???
To make matters worse, there is a severe famine ravaging the country. We don’t know exactly what we will see when we get there, but the bottom line is that people are starving on top of everything else. Heartbreaking…
So, although we go into this with heavy, serious hearts, we are still filled with optimism for what we can and will do, and the impact that is being made from the generous donations of people who have answered the call to help. It makes a difference. It matters.
On Tuesday, I had the chance to meet the team for our first pre-trip prep. The group will be:
• Sam: National Director of Philanthropy for World Vision – the partner to Wells Bring Hope
• Barbara: Founder of Wells Bring Hope
• Ida: One of the original members of Wells Bring Hope
• Hadiara: A Wells Bring Hope member, and native of Niger
• Dan: A cameraman with the critical job of visually documenting the trip
• Yours truly
These people are AMAZING. They are so committed, passionate and singularly focused on the important work being done. We all know that the trip will be extremely challenging – both physically and emotionally. But we also know that it is critically important to the mission.
So sit tight and follow along….I intend to blog my way through this phenomenal, life-changing journey.