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Journey to Cambodia 2017: Sokhem Village

The second day of our time in Cambodia was spent along the border region, and it certainly was an exciting journey to get there.  This is the second year in a row I’ve traveled during monsoon season, and the moment you turn off the paved roads to get to the rural villages, your tuk tuk rides becomes more exciting than any amusement park attraction. Then you finally just give up once the motorcart gets completely stuck, and you take off your shoes to walk the rest of the way.  Mud, glorious mud!

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2017 Cleft Bottle Campaign

Babies who are born with cleft lip or palate often have difficulty gaining weight. This leads to babies with cleft being diagnosed as failure to thrive and even sadly passing away. We are hoping to prevent this problem by bringing cleft bottles to children in Asia.

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Cambodia: Part One

I have to admit that when the Love Without Boundaries’ Board of Directors first decided to expand our work outside the borders of China, another location in Asia seemed like a natural progression. Same continent, right?  (Despite every country being completely unique, of course.)  But exactly where in Asia was the biggest question we faced, which I spent months carefully researching. Last week I found myself walking barefoot down a muddy road to one of several rural villages in Cambodia, where the hundreds of children I met there completely stole my heart.

walking in cambodia
Read more.

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Uganda: Part Four

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know the children from Karukoba village in Uganda a bit more, although I am sure you are like me in finding it difficult to know they are facing so many challenges. You might also be thinking that you are happy this blog series is now done, since I know I write far too much each time. (Hence my difficulty with Twitter!)

princess-evalyne-darisonPrincess, Evalyne, and Darison

On my final night in the village, I asked some of the local people why they feel the region has remained in a cycle of poverty. Read more.

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Uganda: Part Three

Have you had a drink of water yet today? Or how about a long shower? Did you even give it a second thought as you turned on the tap and watched the H2O pour out? I will admit with great remorse that before my trip to Africa, I absolutely took water for granted. If you take nothing else away from this short blog series, I hope you will give a prayer of thanks tonight for the abundance of available water with which most of us are blessed.

carrying-water-group

From the first moment I drove into Uganda, there was one constant sight no matter where you looked – yellow plastic jugs called jerry cans. You don’t go anywhere without one, as they hold the one thing our bodies need the most:  WATER. Read more.

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Uganda: Part Two

Yesterday I wrote Part One of a blog series on my recent trip to Uganda, and today I would like to share a bit about how I found myself standing on a remote hilltop in Karukoba village in the first place.

It all came down to honeybees.

African beehivesAfrican beehives

As the LWB Board began discussing where we would take our programs to help more children, we began to clearly see that while we understand the complexities of working in China backwards and forwards, we had a lot to learn about orphan and vulnerable child programs in other countries. And every individual country of course has its own needs, challenges and laws in place, so I had a whole lot of research to do. Read more.

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Uganda: Part One

Several weeks ago, I shared the exciting news that LWB has decided to “live up to our name” and help orphaned and impoverished children beyond the boundaries of China. Over the next few days, I want to tell you about my August trip to Uganda.

In particular, I want to introduce you to the children from a village in the far southwest corner of the country, a stone’s throw from Rwanda, because I know they will touch your heart the way they have completely stolen mine. Read more.

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From Cleft Lip to Kaifeng, Part Two

Yesterday, LWB volunteer Nick Donovan shared his thoughts in a blog about why he decided to join our Cleft Medical Exchange and his initial impressions. Here is part two of his blog in which Nick witnesses his first cleft surgery:

As I entered the operating floor, I found myself content, focused, and composed. I had been here before. Knowing the patient’s perspective, I was anxious to see how the medical team approached days like this:  eight surgeries were on the schedule. I quickly changed into scrubs and threw on a surgical cap. I grabbed my face mask, and a mirror caught the corner of my eye. It took me three minutes to tie the mask on as I lost myself in the reflection. I was out of my comfort zone; I was now one of the masks.


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From Cleft Lip to Kaifeng, Part One

The day has come.

CME2016 holding hands

Countless appointments, days of preparation, and hours without food or water. Your surgery day has arrived. Read more.

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Personal Reflections on the 2016 Cleft Medical Exchange

CME2016 Winnie 2 4.19.16

After months of planning and anticipation and one crazy week jam-packed with surgeries, the 2016 Cleft Medical Exchange has concluded. The travelers have all arrived home safely, and I am sure the hospital is happy to have things back to normal as well. Read more.

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