“Africa Will Change Your Life”

By: Jena Cruciani, RN (Volunteer Trip - March 2012)

How did Africa impact me? When I was asked to write this article I was like “psh no big deal, super easy, going to write it in five minutes and email it back”—wrong. Why may you ask? – let me tell you. Africa was the MOST amazing experience that I have ever, EVER been a part of. After you get past the 16 hours of “leisurely” plane travel, and you step foot into the African sun, something begins to hit you. You probably won’t realize it at first—I know I didn’t, but ever so slowly something changes you as a person. The first time you step foot into our medical camps, the schools we partner with or the slums we trek into, and you look at your surroundings, you look at what you are doing, what you are going to accomplish and who you are helping you become overwhelmed. Now, I’m not talking the overwhelmed like you have a pathophysiology and pharmacology exam in the same week, I mean overwhelmed with hope. Realistically speaking, even with the 1000+ people you will help see in the camps, clinics and schools, you will not be able to help everyone or solve their lack of access to health care, but here’s what you will do: You will inspire people, you will help people, you will shed sweat and tears for people, you will change peoples’ lives, but most of all, you will give people hope. You will walk into this with 20 strangers and leave as a family. You will make a difference. So buckle up, grab hold of something steady (you will need to in the vans) and get ready, because Africa will change your life.