A lot of people ask us how we got to the point in our lives that we have decided to MOVE TO AFRICA?! Here’s the short version for Haley.
Once upon a time, there was a nerdy, home-body medical student named Haley. She had adventurous friends who liked to travel and convinced her to go on a medical mission trip over spring break to Peru.
In Peru, she learned how to say “vomit”, “rash” and “fever” in Spanish, ate ceviche for the first time, and decided travelling the world to learn how to give medical care to people with different ways of living was pretty cool. She went again the next year. Then she decided, ‘why stop at Peru?’ and arranged to go as a senior medical student to Mombasa, Kenya for a few weeks.
In Mombasa, she learned to say “thank you”, “I’m sorry”, and “baby” in Kiswahili and how to treat tuberculosis, malaria, AIDS, and delivered babies in a cement cubicle in a hospital. She saw her first lion on safari and ate goat for the first time. She went home to finish school but thought, ‘I think I’ll come back some day’.
In Chicago, she learned to say “a minute” for every unit of time ever, how to treat heroin overdoses and all the exaggerated medical problems that come with poverty and hardships, to keep a clinic, deliver babies, run an ICU, pronounce death and be a family doctor. She ate Portillo’s and Lou Malnati’s for the first time, and met an engineer named Ryan. She went for a long walk halfway through residency and prayed for direction and knew in a moment she wanted to go back to Africa as soon as possible, full time. She pestered everyone she could find who knew something about how to make it happen. A year after asking the first questions, many hours of researching, calling, interviewing, applying and dead ends later, she found the Christian Health Service Corps, and it fit. She realized she didn’t want to go without Ryan, but that worked out, because he wanted to go with her, too.
And now, they are living happily ever after: selling/donating all their things, getting visas, raising funds to keep the work going, and preparing to go to Kenya together, doing what they each are trained to do in a place where they are needed and can become what God always meant for them to be.
Stay tuned for Ryan’s story. And if you want to be part of our story, please consider praying for us regularly and partnering with us so it can continue. We love you all.