Going to Niger was not hard. Leaving was hard.
Seeing the oppression and poverty was not difficult. Leaving people in that state was difficult.
I am glad that we have stories and pictures now to be able to spread the word about Galmi Hospital. Because people need to know. People have reacted with horrified surprise that a place as abjectly poor as Galmi exists. How can you care about people you do not know are there? Or respond to a need you do not realize? We and you are no longer ignorant. We can no longer say we do not know. Please don't pretend you don't know.
I'm so thankful to have been able to visit Galmi and work in the hospital there. There is so much suffering that I do not have words for it. There is so much compassion and love too.
I am so astounded by how much wealth we have here in the West. How can poverty like what I've seen here still exist? Seeing these people of Niger - their courage and strength - it sets a fire in your heart. And this fire I've got isn't going out.
I don't know how to conclude, or how to sum up my thoughts in a quick blog post about Niger. But actually I don't really want to wrap up Niger in a little box and tie it with a bow. I am not concluding then, because I am not ending my connection or relationship with Africa. I am not cutting myself off from the oppressed or the marginalized or the poor to pretend they don't exist.
So here is to beginnings. Cheers.