Happy tears. So wonderful to see the kids and today we will be there till mid evening for the traditional Bon fire and goat dinner. Missing our families. Everyone is feeling great! This team is amazing, we’re small but mighty. Last night restaurant was out if chicken and no need so we dined on 7up and French fries. This morning breakfast was foods we couldn’t eat so having its bread for breakfast. So thankful we brought lots of snacks.
— with Lights of Hope Auction.
Today’s journey brings our fearless crew to Soddo, Ethiopia:
11.5 hour drive and we made it to Soddo!!! Beautiful drive. The bus was packed full inside and on the roof. Had the best pasta ever ever ever at Lake Lagana. Most of us were able to sleep for a few hours on bus. Thrilled to have once again our security/guide Henock with us. He was our guide in 2009. Our bus driver is new to us and we have total faith in him. Traffic here is crazy with kids, goats, cows, people in the middle of roads so it’s lots of dodging back and forth and he was a pro. We stopped at a school field in a village on the way here and passed along a soccer ball, dum dum suckers and pens. We started with two kids and about in about 2 minutes 25 more showed up. It’s 10pm here so were heading to bed. Meeting Desalegn Daka at 7:30 am for breakfast then heading to shanto to see the kids. So excited to see them all again. In the next few days Kristen McIntyre Ryder will be cutting the kids hair, Jina Jones Lorati will be helping the kids with school and talking to teachers, Ally Keo will be helping with crafts and much more. I’ll be doing basic health exams and medical follow up’s on some kids. We all continue to be healthy which I’m so thankful for. Was very worried that first few days when Kristen and Ally were so sick. We stopped to get bottled water today and this was the shop attached to store. We’ve had goat a few times this week.
From Kim, EOR President and super traveler:
Just landed back in addis waiting for luggage. AMAZING two days at Lola children’s home. Abebe Fantahun spoiled us and we had so much fun with the children!!! Photos hopefully tonight depending on Internet. Tomorrow we head to Shanto to see the kids at FOVC. Everyone continues to be healthy and we have laughed so much on this trip. Wonderful team!!!
EOR is so thankful for the work of these four women in Ethiopia. Its a big trip, and a big deal, and a wonderful treat for all of us at home to hear about. Keep on chugging along team EOR!
Update from Mekele!
The team had a fantastic day with partner Lola’s Children Home. They played with the kids, did craft projects, worked on the clinic and had a YUMMY meal of tibs. The kids then did a traditional dinner dance for the EOR team.
The team is healthy and having the trip of a lifetime. Tomorrow President Kim Ewing Pasion will have meetings to discuss future projects.
Here’s another update from last week in Ethiopia!
Amazing wonderful emotional day! We started out on the search for scales so when we go south we can weigh the kids before they start plumptynut. We scored 3 scales! Then off to get a volleyball net to also take south with us. We arrived at children’s heaven over a hour late. Today Ethiopia was playing Nigeria in the soccer finals and I think everyone in Addis was trying to get to the stadium to watch. When we arrived the moment I saw Hanna, the director at children heaven I burst into tears. I adore this women and the work she does. We then walked through the fields to the sound of beautiful singing and the girls were awaiting our arrival. It was so great to see their beautiful faces. They greeted us throughout the days with hugs, I love you’s, and thank you to EOR for supporting us. We played basketball, kick ball, tossed a volleyball around, did beading projects, and loved every moment of our time! They enjoyed the pizza so much! Next week we go back and do the ice cream. Tonight we packed our bags for our flight to mekelle. We have a 3am wake up call. Yep 3 hours from now and we are still up! So thrilled to share that all four of us feel great!!! No sickness today. We’re doing great but getting tired with packed full schedules. Can’t wait to see our friends at Lola children’s home tomorrow! Not sure if we will have internet much the rest of trip. Will try to update as we can.
The EOR Team of 4 is in Ethiopia as we speak. The EOR team left the US this past week. The good news was all of their 20+ bags made it through Ethiopian customs. For those of you that have been through that process before, you know this is a feat. Here is the first post from Kim: “
Good morning! We had a great night of sleep and our team member who was sick is feeling much better. It’s cool in the mornings and hot during day. Each morning we awake to chanting from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, it’s very relaxing. Just did FaceTime with my family so great to see them. Tomorrow is our visit to Children’s heaven. The 115 girls there are my hero’s and inspiration. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers, we can feel them! Many of you have texted about the security and terrorists issues. We feel very safe. I’ve seen more police here then the previous three trips. They visit hotels and our guest house each day to check passport records but we feel very very safe. We receive email updates from the Embassy and they know where we are staying. Loving our time here.”
Running a marathon is already an emotional experience (at least for me it is). By the end of the race your body is DONE and your mind is struggling to force that body to keep on moving. You’ve invested 4 months of your life for this one race. You have one opportunity to make all of the Saturday morning long runs, all of the blisters and chafing, all of the time spent away from your family while you run and run and run mean something. This time, however, I had an even bigger reason to be emotional when I crossed the finish line of the Chicago Marathon: YOU helped me raise over $1,400 to provide necessary medicine and medical supplies to the children of FOVC in Shanto, Ethiopia. To those wonderful people listed in the sign above (and also Kristen Huckaby, Emily Buster, Judy Andronici, Marla Zafft): THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. It meant so much to have you all support EOR’s efforts to improve the quality of life for the amazing children at FOVC. Every time I thought about slowing down or walking (I’m talking to you, miles 17-20) I thought about all of the people that invested their hard-earned money to see me accomplish this goal. I thought about the pictures of the kids in Shanto holding a sign telling me to “Run Strong” and I kept on running.
Very soon the kids in Shanto will receive much needed medical care because of your generosity. Thank you for inspiring me and getting me through the Chicago Marathon!
The Cause and Event Race is quickly approaching….have you registered to be a part of EOR’s team yet? If your answer is no-get a move on! Come to the Bethany area and join your friends for a quick little 5k, 10k or walk. I have yet to decide what I am doing yet-can it a be a mixture of all three? A portion of your registration will go to EOR. Is there a better way to hit your mileage for the week than supporting a good cause?
Please join EOR at the Cause and Event Race. Text 2 other friends you know would walk or run with you, and then make it a party with coffee and breakfast after.
Details here: http://www.causeandeventportland.com
“There are many problems, but I think there is a solution to all these problems, it’s just one and it’s education. You educate all the girls and boys. You give them the opportunity to learn.”
Let us remember our power in supporting education around the world. Thank you to Lola, Children’s Heaven and FOVC for all you do in educating your children.