Ethiopia, Day 4: These Dear Souls Will Not Be Forgotten

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Tomorrow morning we hit the road bright and early for tribal Ethiopia. South Omo, here we come!

ImageBUT … I will miss the sweet souls of Kololo, Ethiopia: their warmth, eagerness to learn and gratitude. It makes leaving the community — as well as the little bundles of joy that stole my heart — bittersweet.

Today was our last day with the students, and the children created a mural-sized painting to decorate each of the classrooms. It was a joy-filled day as the kids worked in large scale and on canvas for the first time.

The school has 277 students, and we could not work on the canvases all at once, so the children who were not painting worked with crayons and paper and dance. I thought them the “Hokey Pokey” which was meet with squeals of delight, huge smiles and laughter. Then they thought me some traditional dances. Um, let’s just say they are really good dancers. This girl from the West could not keep up, but the kids shared a great deal of laughter as I had a go at it. Joy abounded; the day was definitely a success. It was sad to leave, and these dear souls will not be forgotten.

ImageI am filled with gratitude to each and every person who took part in making this school a reality. Education is not a foregone conclusion here, but it should be. Education is valued here in a way that transforms entire communities. Generous donors both large and small came together to fulfill the words of Nelson Mandela, whom I quote often because he is so right. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Yeah!

Love from Ethiopia,
Stephanie

Interested in supporting education in Ethiopia? Click here to donate, or “like” my Facebook page to see daily featured SSA items, 100% of proceeds from which will go to Ethiopia Reads!

About Stephanie Schlatter Art

Stephanie Schlatter is an Artist who draws from the world for inspiration. While she calls Grand Rapids, Michigan, home she’s often off on new adventures. For more than a decade, her journeys have taken her across the globe. She has studied art both locally and abroad, including time in Mexico, where she decided to shift her focus from photography to painting. Stephanie's travels led her to found Absolutely Art: A Project for Change in 2006. Through this non-profit organization, she brings art instruction to the children of Ethiopia while supporting their education. Stephanie's work reflects an expression influenced by other cultures which resonates a variety of influences that have given her work direction.

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