By
November 21, 2005 12:00 PM

I needed to escape,” says Jessica Simpson, reflecting on her recent 10-day trip to Kenya. “I needed to get away from life and surround myself in that which is good.” For the pop princess, that meant getting some hands-on experience as a goodwill ambassador for Operation Smile, an international charity that provides free reconstructive surgery to kids born with facial deformities. Simpson, 25, rode a bus from Nairobi to the town of Nakuru in western Kenya, where she sat in on a cleft lip and palate operation for an 18-month-old girl, one of 158 procedures that Smile’s plastic surgeons performed during her visit. Though husband Nick Lachey, 32, was in Sweden recording a new album, Simpson stayed in touch by cell phone. “I told him, ‘Nick, you would be so proud of me. I had spiders in my bed, and I didn’t even care because I was so tired.’ I told him I really roughed it.” Toward the end of the trip—which “Simpson and her group paid for themselves,” says a Smile executive—she fell ill for a day. Simpson, who left Nov. 1, says, “It wasn’t a big deal, just a high fever.” But the journey was worth it. “It’s crazy, to go there to bring blessings to these kids,” she says, “and they end up blessing you more.”

You May Like

EDIT POST