Hoof Prints: Stillwater grad to volunteer in Uganda

This piece is brought to you by Hoof Prints, a partnership between The Gazette and The Pony Express, Stillwater Area High School’s student newspaper.

By Ally Heinz
Pony Express


As a college during your J-term the best part is finally being able to take a nice and much needed break. Most students take a trip to a warmer place to get away, but Hannah Hoefferle has decided to take a volunteer trip to help those in need, “My entire purpose for this trip is to use my hands and brain to help the people in Kabale and surrounding areas in need,” said Hoefferle.

Hoefferle is 21 years old and attends the University of Minnesota. She had attended Stillwater Area High School before that, graduating in 2014. She is in college with a major in Biology, Society and Environment. Which is why she has chosen to make a trip to Uganda for a medical program. Hoefferle found this trip through the University of Minnesota, but the trip is officially with Child and Family Health International which is an NGO organization.


With all the new things to see and work on its difficult for Hoefferle to just pick one emotion about this trip.

“I’m completely terrified, but at the same time so excited. It comes in waves really. I am a firm believer that whatever it is scares you, you should definitely go for it. My fear stems from the fact that I have absolutely no idea what to expect, but I’m going to keep an open mind going into it.” Hoefferle explained.

A decision to embark on a trip can’t be easy to decide either, with all the places to go in the world Hoefferle saw something different in this trip.

“It has been my dream to visit Africa and I’m so intrigued by the culture, as it is so different from the United States,” Hannah said, “I also fell in love with people and our differences, but how we are all related in AP human geography. I appreciate and respect what make each of us unique and love the stories we all have.” she added.


For a trip to Uganda there is many things Hoefferle could contribute and help with, but she has a particle part in mind.

“We will be assessing health and development of children as a fetus, as an infant and as a toddler, working with the mothers improving maternal health, pre and post natal care, assessing and providing care and information on HIV.” Hoefferle explained.


Through this trip Hoefferle hopes to accomplish many important tasks.

“I want to help do whatever I can, but Im hoping I will mature as person, increase my self confidence, learn to look past cultural biases, and have the understanding and skills to navigate across cultures when I return to the States.” Hoefferle said.

Hoefferle leaves for her trip on December 30 and can not wait to be able to help make a difference, “This trip will allow me to have an amazing experience,” Hoeffele said.