I wish I had something profound to tell you, but I’m still mostly speechless. We arrived yesterday afternoon after a five hour flight delay in DC and thirteen hours in the air and immediately headed out to Mary Joy Development Association.
The kids put on incredible shows for us, dancing, tumbling, and juggling. There were traditional Ethiopian coffee and tea ceremonies, and so many intense, vibrant kids to connect with. Mary Joy helps community children with education, health care, and housing. It’s a program that allows orphaned kids to stay in their communities, and grow to be good citizens who can, in turn, enrich that community as adults.
After that we capped off the night with dinner at Yod Abyssinia.
The environment, live entertainment, and food was incredible. It was a great way to immerse ourselves in Ethiopian culture on the first night.
More tomorrow. Hopefully I won’t be as speechless.
* Last three photos by our awesome trip photographer, Karen Walrond.
I’ll be traveling to Ethiopia as an expense-paid guest of the ONE Campaign to report on how American-supported programs are improving and saving lives. ONE is a non-partisan organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease by pressing political leaders to support smart programs that do just that. They’re also launching a new initiative to focus specifically on Agriculture, which is where I’m most excited to join in. ONE doesn’t ask for your money, just your voice. It’s something I can get behind and I hope you can, too.