For the last three years I have been going to Malawi, Africa. The first trip was to inaugurate a school project; the second trip was a fact finding mission regarding malaria; and the third was to secure the visas for a youth choir who came to the US last summer. Although the trips were never more than three weeks the impact of the time in Malawi linger far longer.
When I applied to the Lily Foundation I tried to convey that this impact was so significant it was becoming a challenge to interpret it to my family. They watched me throw out most of my clothes, vow to never buy shoes again, and take to grunting when asked a question. I have worked through most of these odd moments with a some grace. (I am wearing a new pair of shoes and plan to recycle my old ones.) Yet I came to feel I couldn't keep going with these experiences unless they were shared.
Fortunately for me the Lily Foundation said: here is a lot of money to take your family to Africa. We don't all go at the same time, and one of our children has opted out, and a niece has jumped in, and it will mean different things to each one, but the hope is that it will be something I can share with them instead of describe to them.
What I ask