Team February 2009
L-R Back row ~~ Lynn-Dentist, Mary-AILC In Country Director Kenya, Norma-Dental assistant/housewife, Deb-Hematec and Sales Rep, Ashley-CNA, Leslie-Veterinarian, Mike CEO of Pier 49 Pizza, George-Plumbing contractor, Shosho -Founder of AILC, Marilyn-Midwife, Jill- ICU Nurse, Sana-Co-Founder of AILC, Lauri-ER Nurse, Emily-Insurance Agent/Student, Christine-Physical Therapist, Jody-Clinic Nurse, Kay-Middle School Student.
What an awesome team we were and will forever be.....
Last night Team February 2009, had a "Picture Party--Dip Party." It is a tradition when each team returns home, a few weeks later each member brings the photos they took along with a copy of a CD of them to share. Also each member brings a dip of their choice for everyone to enjoy. It was funny in Africa is sort of started as a challenge to see who had the best dip recipe. Knowing that everyone would be thinking of chips and dips, I chose to make a fruit dip, and took huge fresh strawberries for dipping. After all who doesn't like fresh sweet strawberries, especially if you can dip them for added calories....
Everyone was also amazed at my photos. The AILC Organization wants to redo their brochures, their video, and their visual aids for public speaking, using my photos. WOW! I am a little shocked, somewhat honored, yet a bit protective about my photos. The founders, Shosho and Sana, just keep saying, "Oh my what an eye you have for photography!" Sana, also laughed and commented, I remember you lugging all that camera equipment everyday, but now I am so glad you did.
It was nice to see everyone last night. Shosho hugged me and commented, "You clean up pretty nice." I took that as a compliment, and thought to myself, boy I must have looked a sight in Africa! I guess we were all pretty "plain" in Africa and seeing each other all day and most of the night just "plain" it is quite a shock to see each other when we get back to America all dressed up, hair neatly done, make-up on and smelling so nice!
One team member from our expedition said to me at our Picture Party; "I hardly could tell that is you Lauri, without your ball cap and your camera fanny pack!" That's pretty bad that we feel we have to do so much with our hair and faces here at home. Yet, while in Africa we had so much love and appreciation for one another and yet, we were just plain ole plain.
It's kind of sad that we judge others worth and status in society by their outward appearance, their make-up, expensive clothes and a stylish hair do. When what we should judge is the genuine person on the inside, along with the passion, and compassion they exhibit each and everyday!
Before our mission I know each member of Team 2009 had different expectations and visions of Africa. However, I truly feel after our two weeks in the poverty of the country this poem sums the feelings of the entire team. I, myself, hope that the touch of my hand, the compassion in my voice, and the hugs from my heart will always bring a ray of hope and happiness in the lives of those women and children ten-thousand miles away.
Ti's the human touch in this world that counts
The touch of your hand and mine.
That means far more to the fainting heart
Than shelter, bread, or wine.
For shelter is over when the night is gone
And bread only lasts a couple of days.
But, the touch of a hand and the sound of a voice
Sing deep in the soul always.