Mountains of Oromia


Give Thanks


Another Thanksgiving has come and gone…

Many of you know that the fall holidays aren’t very high on my list of favorite holidays. In fact, since graduating from university I’ve spent maybe a handful of Christmases and Thanksgivings at home. There’s a distinct difference though between spending a holiday a long phone call/Skype session away and being on the far side of Africa.

I got to speak with my parents for about fifteen minutes. It was some absurdly early hour in the States and they managed to catch me at the perfect moment in between the end of Thanksgiving lunch/a great concert by a trio of trainees and me squeezing in some errands. The cell network has been spotty in my training site for the past week, so luckily, we spent today in Assela or the phone call wouldn’t have gone through.

I’ve mentioned before how much gratitude I feel every day that I am here. Even when things get tough, I still have so much for which to be thankful.

I give thanks…

  • For the opportunity to even be here in Ethiopia
  • For the amazing people I’ve met so far
  • For the privilege I’ve been blessed with by being born an American and native English speaker
  • For my family, who will wake up and go sit in the car at an absurdly early hour to talk to me for fifteen minutes
  • For the immense growth and change I’ve undergone over the past year and will continue to undergo throughout my service
  • For the amazing Thanksgiving that some of the trainees put together in Assela, complete with beautiful decorations and an amazing array of Thanksgiving foods
  • For clean water, electricity and three meals a day
  • For luxury items, like my laptop, ebook reader, Nutella and a cell phone that make my life more comfortable

What do you give thanks for?

Morning Water


In the Early Morning Grey…

The rooster outside my window wakes before dawn, rousing me from sleep, alerting me to the new day.
The neighbors rise with the sun, unlatching their metal door, throwing out the washing water and filling up buckets for the morning.
The nearby Orthodox church begins preaching to the early risers–sometimes softly, sometimes loudly, but always consistently.
The sheep in the shower room begins baaing, anxious to be let out so he can graze on the grass wet with morning dew.
Nearby compounds nearby turn up their tvs and radios, listening to the sounds as they go about their morning chores.
Buses rumble into action down the main road, speeding past, blasting their horns to warn pedestrians and animals alike to steer clear.
My host mom begins the rhythmic chop-chop-chop as she prepares vegetables to cook for breakfast.
The smell of burning charcoal fills the house as the stove is brought inside, freshly filled after a long night of warming the house.
Birds coo on the rooftop, clanging about on the metal roof.

Laundry Day