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American Mothers Travel to Kenya for Blogging Project

Oli Scarff/Get‚Äčty Images(NAIROBI) -- At any other time, San Francisco mom Amy Graff would be thinking about sending her kids to summer camp, keeping them out of the sun, and saving them from the perils of the deep end. But this summer, she's in Kenya, Africa, and her worries are completely different.

"All I could think was, 'Please don't be positive. Please don't be positive,'" blogged Amy Graff on Baby Center last week. "As we waited for the results of an HIV test given to two children, ages 3 and 5, I was terrified. I found myself praying ... 'Please, God. Please, God. I know you haven't heard from me in a while, but please, don't let it happen' ... Then second lines ran across the [test] strips. My heart sank."

Graff is one of 10 American bloggers who recently traveled to Kenya on a weeklong trip with the ONE campaign to write about the joys and sorrows of mothers who live half a world away in Kenya.

They met HIV-positive mothers testing their children for the virus, saw the dramatic difference a malaria vaccine could make in the lives of Kenyan women and children, and met health care workers who bike, or walk, miles to reach their patients. Then, they shared their experiences with their hundreds of thousands of readers back in the U.S.

For all the differences, the similarities were what really hit home for many of the American women.

As blogger Jyl Pattel wrote, "When I asked a cute African mom what her greatest challenge was, I predicted her answer would be 'Keeping my children alive.' What I heard instead was the same thing I'm concerned with: 'Raising good children.' Women around the world all have challenges. But ultimately, at our core, we have very similar concerns and needs."

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