Monthly Archives: January 2014

Ethiopia, Day 13: Between Two Worlds

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As I take rest in Frankfort overnight before returning home, I reflect on an inspirational, thought-provoking trip. I look forward to using my language of images to express all that was experienced and felt!

From the road…

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Um, yeah, happy to have stayed safe.

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We stayed safe due to the best, friendliest, happiest, makin’ friends everywhere driver, Jimmy. (Which, to answer the question I asked at the beginning of our journey, was indeed his real name.)

Just about every time we turned around, Jimmy was experiencing the people, from the time we returned to the car to find him borrowing a local bike, to being dressed up in full tribal wear, to dancing and singing with the local children. We felt lucky to have Jimmy along!

 

The tribes …

The schools …

The players in this adventure: Aklilu, Helen, Elaine and myself … (The scarf over our heads was to protect us from the crazy intense sun — it was 42 degrees Celsius this day. I think our smiles were even an effort.) Moments afterward, Elaine almost fell in a fire. The locals had a blast laughing it up on our account. Always happy to be of entertainment, us ferengi!

Thank you for following my journey! More soon …

In transit,
Stephanie

Ethiopia, Day 12: Beautiful, Inside and Out

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I’m without words again. So filled that my heart literally feels expanded, my soul fed.

It’s awkward for me when people thank me for the time I spend here because I can’t share with them this feeling of how much more I get than give.

day12-1Each year, the feeling grows, the connections with my friends strengthen and my commitment to education deepens.

Sponsorship is a way to make change happen. Eight years ago, when I first came to Ethiopia single, in school, trying to make my art career take off while doing hair part time, I knew I still had $21 a month to give to make a small difference in a child’s life.

Tonight, I spent time with that child I sponsored then and still do. She is 13 now, and her English is now good enough to communicate mostly without a translator.

day12-2We went to an arcade and had dinner together. She is fifth in her class out of 73. She’s beautiful, inside and out. Her smile says it all. My smile is a response.

That’s all. That’s all I have for words, and I feel that is all I need.

Blessings to all,
Stephanie

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