So my excuse for taking so long is this, I was still on African time. Nothing is rushed, you can take your time. My translator said to me several times… Why do you move so fast? (Well I’ve been asked that question a thousand of times since I moved South, so maybe that isn’t just Africa.) Regardless, I am finally settled back home. I had a bit to do when I arrived home. While Andy did a terrific job at being a single dad for three weeks, the normal things I take care of were slightly neglected (to Andy’s credit, I wouldn’t grocery shop if I were him either, I chastise him everytime he goes because he refuses to look for sales or use a coupon.) So laundry is caught up, groceries are bought, dusting, sweeping, mopping, etc. are nearly finished. I also took time last week to prepare for my opportunity to share my experiences with the church. I don’t think 45 minutes was quite enough, but luckily I speak very quickly. 🙂 You can hear about my experiences in Ethiopia at http://www.tapestrysavannah.com/.
But even if you had the chance to hear me speak on Sunday, you still haven’t heard it all. It is a great thing to have a blog, I can go on and on and on about my experiences. I can bore you to death with details, and I never have to witness you roll your eyes. So… sit back and relax. Get ready for a daily recounting of my trip. I will write every day until I’ve said it all (scared? you should be! This girl has never experienced a shortage of words!) My only fear is that a recounting of my experiences will only lead me back to the place of sadness when I had to leave. If only I could have convinced Andy and Tek to just come there instead of me coming back here (and Lord knows I tried!) But alas, they refused, so back to America I came… with every intention of going back soon… with every intention of one day making Ethiopia my home (Andy fights this one… we shall see…) and with every intention of making you all fall in love with this country as I have.
Where to begin? Well I have exactly 33 minutes before having to leave the comfort of this Starbucks to spend my day in an office. The daily grind… didn’t miss it one bit. I missed people, I missed a few luxuries, and I missed my church. But I didn’t miss the monotony of life one bit. I enjoy the fluidness of travel, the uncertainity, the unique experiences, and the daily introduction to new and interesting people. Okay, enough whining of what I miss. I’m sure there will be plenty of time for that.
I will follow the format of my speaking on Sunday. I will discuss the 5 things I learned from Africa. I will expand further than I did on each lesson, providing more details and more stories. Each lesson allows me to discuss all of the organizations I was introduced to and also allows me to share how I was impacted by them. I will conclude my series of entries with ways you can get involved. I won’t do this to manipulate you into giving, but rather provide you with the opportunity to further your knowledge of the organizations/people and then make an educated decision as to whether you would want to financially support the organizations. And if you feel pressured, just don’t read that blog post! 🙂
Okay, first… Ethiopia. If you haven’t figured it out yet, Ethiopia is a country in Africa. (Africa is a continent, not a country, we Americans tend to forget that.) Ethiopia is located in the East of Africa. As you can see, it is a landlocked country surrounded by some of the most unstable and/or oppressive countries in Africa (Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Uganda). It is a beautiful country with a diverse landscape. I had the privledge of going to the Northern region to Lalibela, and it was gorgeous. I will add a picture of my trip to the North in this post.
Here are a few statistics:
Population: 81 million
Life expectancy: 49 years
Literacy rate: 36%
Access to safe water: 22%
Annual income: $180 million
Number of orphaned children: 5 million
These and additional statistics can be found here: http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/learn/world-vision-ethiopia
Well the clock just struck 8am. So more to come later.