An Ethiopian Diary: Day 11

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Beauty from the countryside

It’s another day in the truck. Travel through Ethiopia is not fast, nor particularly comfortable. But fun? Yes, we can muster that.

It’s not hard in Ethiopia; warm smiles and kindness greet us around every bend. Bumping along in our truck, we spot amazingly decorated homes. “Stop!” Poor Demise, our extremely good natured driver, hears this repeatedly. Getting from Point A to Point B is made infinitely more difficult with a truck full of artists stopping the truck to record the beauty all around. Still, he is good natured about it all, and maybe even having a bit of a good time.

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The artistry of the huts is truly amazing!

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The design inspires!

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Tree trunk pillars. So beautiful!

Over we pull, off to the side of the road. As we attract a crowd, out comes my Polaroid, the great friend-maker. One of the women in the crowd stood out, funny, with a laugh that was like a scream filled with joy. Upon seeing her own image, she let out the loudest laugh of all. She laughed and laughed, but she also said her hair was a mess. Women will be women all the world over. I made a mental note to myself to try very hard to be kind to myself.

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A gorgeous smile from a lady who knows how to laugh.

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Just as our team is discussing the beautiful black and white Guereza monkeys we had been enchanted with throughout our trip, we spot some on the side of the road, but they are fast and elude our cameras ones again. So we stop to buy bananas. And while this did not work on the Guereza monkey, it did work on the baboons. Seeing wild animals in their usual habitat and open natural element is such a thrill. (See video at bottom of blog.)

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The elusive Guereza monkeys

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Our bananas finally come in handy!

And this is how it goes, traveling Ethiopia with a group of artists. We respond to our elements, we react with the situations around us and store it up. We are having fun on the road, but it’s never far from our minds that we are here for a reason beyond all of these rich and fun experiences. We are here to support literacy and education. We are here for Ethiopia Reads and the sweet ones they serve.

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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