Eliana and Angelina

My 13-year-old daughter Eliana, is going to Rwanda on Monday. After years of hesitating to take her on Vitamin Angels’ trips, because of health and safety concerns she is going to a country that was witness to one of the largest genocides in recent history. She’s excited, my wife and I are a little nervous and our family and friends are incredulous as in ‘You’re sending her where?!’ It is all Angelina Jolie’s fault, but I’ll get to that later.

Yesterday at the pretrip meeting, all of the parents were comparing notes. Most agreed that even mentioning Rwanda is a conversation stopper. Earlier in the day while calling AAA to get Ellie medical traveler insurance, I mentioned her trip’s destination and the line went silent.

Have you ever allowed your child to go to a dangerous place? What was that like for you and for them? Has your child ever gone to a developing country to do service?

Published on: July 14, 2008
About the Author
Photo of Howard Schiffer

Howard Schiffer is the founder and CEO of Vitamin Angels, a powerful non-profit that impacts the health of millions of undernourished people around the world by providing much needed vitamin supplementation. Howard is the author of three books. He has three children and lives with his wife in Santa Barbara, California.

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