I’ve heard a certain amusement park described as “The Happiest Place on Earth.” I would like to suggest that anyone who believes that happiness must involve mouse ears and an overdose of sugar needs to experience the joy that is found in simpler places.

I was excited to go Kenya and Uganda in September with Know Think Act and Red Earth Trading Co. It was a dream come true to finally travel to Africa.  While I was there, I experienced joy in the simplest, most authentic form.  Joy was everywhere.  It was demonstrated by smiles, waves, and gracious hospitality.

I loved playing with the children at Blessed Camp in Mombasa, Kenya and at Home Again in Kaihura, Uganda.  Their precious faces shone with bright smiles as they danced and played with one another.  Their enthusiasm grew as I joined in their fun. Uncontrolled laughter bubbled forth as I tickled them.  They shrieked with excitement as I picked them up and swung them above my head.  Their eyes glimmered as they hugged me and pulled me along by my hands.  I too could not remove the childlike smile from my face.

This is pure joy.  No toys, presents, or luxuries were necessary.  They were thrilled with the simplest gestures of love and friendship.  I think we can all learn a thing or two to learn from them. Will you join us in giving joy this Christmas? Each need listed here is a way for each of us to give joy in Uganda and Kenya!

Merry Christmas!

-Hannah, Exchange Tour