Thursday, January 15, 2015

Guest Post: The Photo That Stopped Me In My Tracks

This is a story from one of our staff members, Daniele Reisbig. She traveled to Southwest  Uganda in September--October 2014 to meet your grandmothers and students:

I took this photo in the nursery classroom at Nyaka Primary School. The child in this photo is a vibrant little boy. Like many of his classmates, he smiles and loves to have his picture taken. His eyes light up when his teacher is giving a lesson--they all do. I've never seen children so excited to learn before. I loved watching them do their classwork, especially the nursery students, because they worked so hard. The memory of thirty yellow pencils scribbling with such concentrated intensity to write their names still overwhelms my heart.

This photo was a candid picture when he was coming back into the classroom. I didn't even really think about it much at the time. But, when I looked through my photos later, this photo stopped me. I was struck by how beautiful this little boy was. He looked like a little angel. I might have teared up a bit. 

Then I made things much worse for myself because I started to think about his mother. I thought about how she must have held him before she died. She knew that she only had a short time before she wouldn't be able to protect him anymore. I thought about the special kind of grief a parent must feel when they know they are about to leave their child. And I thought about how she must have hoped that someone would see her little boy--her precious gift--the way she did. 

I'm not sure what his mother would say if she were still alive but I think it would be something like this... 

Please love my son. Keep him safe.
Give him what I can't. 

We talk a lot about how special you are to your students and grandmothers but the people who are most grateful for you will never be able to tell you. So please let me say it for them.

Thank you!

I hope you feel the full weight of the daily miracles you are making happen. 
I know I do. 

Guest Poster: Daniele Reisbig
To ask Daniele questions about her trip or to learn about how you can travel to Uganda to have adventures of your own, contact her at +1(517) 575-6623 or

The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project is working on behalf of HIV/AIDS orphans in rural Uganda to end systemic deprivation, poverty, and hunger through a holistic approach to community development, education, and healthcare. If you want to learn more, visit our website: