Why did you pick this program?
We chose this program after researching different ones for quite a while. We felt like they were so helpful and kind, while also affordable for college students. They answered any questions we asked, which was a lot, and they did so very quickly.
We felt like Love Volunteers genuinely cared so much about the people that they were helping, which was extremely important to us. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to work in an orphanage.
For a very long time we have felt like that is something we were called to do. We saw on their site that they offered this program in many different countries. Choosing which country was a little bit difficult, but we did know from the beginning that we wanted to work in Africa.
After a lot of thought, prayer, and advice, we chose Uganda. Uganda was the perfect fit for us, and we are so happy that is where we chose.
What is the most important thing you learned abroad?
The most important things we learned during our stay in Uganda are simple. We learned to truly appreciate every little thing that we have here in America. We have always known that we are extremely privileged in this country, but until you see people with absolutely nothing, you don't fully understand how blessed we are.
It has been hard for us to come back here and see all of the luxury that we have, and remember everything that the people there don't have. The people there showed us how little material things actually mean in our happiness.
The kids were so loving and happy, even with nothing. Everyone there was so kind to us, and that is something we have tried bringing back home with us. People in America would be a lot happier with themselves if they just learned to be less dependent on material things, and more on being kind to each other.
Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home.
The whole experience was something we couldn't have had in the states. We were able to stay with the founder of Kidron Valley Ministries during our time in Uganda, and that really allowed us to be fully immersed in their culture.
They made sure to cook for us everyday, and give us the chance to see how wonderful African food is. They taught us so much about the people and the way that they live.
We were able to see many different places in Uganda, and it helped us feel like we belonged there. An experience that we had there that was so different than in America was having people wave to us.
We almost never smile and wave to people that we don't know, but in Uganda, everyone waved to us. The children would get so happy just to have us wave to them or say hi.
Walking through town, everyone would say "Mzungu, hi!" and wave (Mzungu means white visitor). It made us feel really welcomed everywhere, even if sometimes people were shocked to see our white skin.
What made this trip meaningful to you, or how did this trip change your perceptions, future path?
This trip completely changed us both. We have felt really called to help people for a long time, but this made us sure that it is what we want to do. We know that we want to go back as soon as we can, and bring more supplies for them.
We are currently getting supplies together to send over there. They need so much, and they are really simple items. We were asked by the director of the facility we worked at to get sponsors for the children there, and that is something that we really know could make a difference in their lives.
So, we are working towards helping Kidron Valley in every way that we can. They need so much help and support from anyone willing to give it. It isn't too easy getting people to sponsor these children, but we ask that anyone willing to would try.
Our lives have been changed by the people that we met there, and our futures will be so different because of them.