{Ethiopia Day 2!}

Wednesday, July 11, 2012



This morning we loaded up our bags and drove 3.5 hrs south to Ziway. Along the way we saw ...



Beautiful people and grass huts ...



Donkeys grazing ...



Cattle being herded ...


And groves of Eucalyptus trees EVERYWHERE.


We also learned tons of interesting facts about Ethiopia from our new friend Markos. Did you know there are over 80 languages spoken here along with some 200 dialects? Ethiopia's calendar year and clocks are also different. Currently it is 2004 and 8am. #crazytown.


Before arriving in Ziway we stopped in Butajira for lunch. This maybe might have been the best coffee I've ever tasted. Three sips and it makes all of your jet lag woes disappear (for awhile at least).



We also had our first experience eating injira (a large spongy pancake made of teff flower and water that is best used to shovel food into your boca). 



We got to see, learn, and eat some amazing things, but perhaps the most memorable part of the day was getting to visit three different homes currently receiving aid from FH's child sponsorship program. This is Entesh who lives in a small 8 x 8 room with her two kids, Rediet and Berket.



Hearing her story about how she contracted HIV and now how she raises her children as a single mom moved me to tears. Made me so grateful for the relief and rehabilitation she's currently receiving from FH.



Our next visit was to this family of 9 year old Gadissa and his aunt. Both of Gadissa's parents died before he was 5 and his aunt has since become his legal guardian.



Thankfully Gadissa was sponsored 6 months ago and has since gone from being 11th in his class to being 2nd. He was quite proud to show us his report card which reflected his new street cred.



Gadissa's aunt also invited us into her home for freshly roasted coffee and popcorn (two traditional Ethiopian gestures to welcome guests). It was a surreal experience that made me think of Twinner!



Lastly, we visited this family of 5. Meseret and her 6 year old son are both infected with HIV but their faith is some of the strongest I've EVER seen. By being a part of FH's relief and restoration programs they both are able to receive the medicine and education they need to survive.


Have I mentioned how thankful I am for Food for the Hungry? Only after a day of seeing a small handful of the families being impacted by their work, I'm already in love with the way they are being used to improve health and nutrition to orphans and vulnerable kiddos and their families.

If you've ever thought of sponsoring a child I can't tell you enough how powerful it can be for both you and the child you are sponsoring. Sarah Hepola once said, “Change is not a bolt of lightning that arrives with a zap. It is a bridge built brick by brick, every day, with sweat and humility and slips. It is hard work, and slow work, but it can be thrilling to watch it take shape.” I promise you there's at least one kid who's life will be completely changed if you choose to believe that change is built brick by brick.

Already looking forward to catching you up on tomorrow's adventures as the rest of our team finally arrives in Ziway after 48 hours of travel that could give the Barnum & Baily Circus a run for its money.

Happy Thursday, Homies!
Em

PS, don't forget about tomorrow night's Live Tweet Chat from 1-2pm CST!

13 comments:

Timothy Loerke said...

Beautifully written, Little. I can only imagine what is weighing on your heart at the end of day 2. I love you so!

Jessica - Of Revolt Travel Blog said...

Em, this is one of your best posts yet: I am so inspired by the work you and FH are doing. The photos - the people! - are beautiful, and I love the quote by Sarah Hepola. Wonderful, wonderful.

I also got a big kick out of it being 2004 in Ethiopia. It's all relative, I suppose!

<3

Alyssa said...

Both your post and your husband's comment back left me in tears. Praying blessings your journey.

Anonymous said...

This real good is and stuff

Molly Roberson said...

Wow. So many things Em. I am so thankful you're there. You inspire & challenge me. Thanks for being amazing.

Robyn said...

Beautiful, and a coffee ceremonoy too. I'm sure you will hear and experience stories that will last a life time.

Serene said...

I agree with Alyssa. Love post, love husband's comment.

Ashley said...

Beautiful post and beautiful people! Thank you for sharing with the world!

Hannah DeVries said...

Love these posts already! Those photos are priceless. What an incredible trip!

Hannah DeVries said...

Love these posts already! Those photos are priceless. What an incredible trip!

sarah richmond said...

dear bubba,

i am so enjoying your pictures and words... thank you for sharing them with the world!

ps. you so pretty, emee*

missing you deeply,
twinner

Katy said...

This has to be a life-changing experience. So humbling seeing people who are happy with way less than what we have. Certainly has to change your perspective seeing it in person. it has certainly altered mine just reading about it and seeing it through your words and pictures.

Maria@Live Beautifully said...

I'm just moved to tears reading these posts! You are doing such a beautiful thing and sharing it on here is going to impact so many people in so many wonderful ways! I'm grateful for people like you who shine light on what really matters and recentering my perspective! Much love Em! -Fräulein

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