I've only been home from Ethiopia for less than 48 hours. Physically, I feel a little tired, but emotionally, I am still in shock. I'm quite and still... waiting for this to all make sense.
My cousin, Tracy, invited me to go with her only days after we got back from China with Matthew in November. The trip was through Visiting Orphans and I never turn down a new experience. We had a great flight over and were anxious to get started "loving the least!!!"
Within minutes of landing, I could feel my heart racing. The air was thin and a faint smell of wood-burning greeted me as I stepped off of the plane.
We went through customs and made our way to the parking lot of the airport where our buses and translators waited for us. Our team of 18 watched in amazement as one of the translators, Sammi, lifted our 50 lb. luggage bags and tossed them effortlessly to the top of the van where the smaller translator, AB, caught each piece and placed it strategically before tying them all down for our ride.
By the time we made it to the guest house, my head was spinning. I was nauseated and weak. I medicated myself and laid down. It was hard to form words or even sit up. Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia is at 8,200 ft. elevation and many people suffer from altitude sickness.... I was no exception.
I woke the next morning feeling much better. We drove 5 hours to Shashamane, stopping for breakfast. The workers started a coffee ceremony while we were there, burning incense and filling the place with smoke and a strong scent. It was hard to breath and even harder to eat. We returned to the van and hit the road for more driving.
Driving is much different in Ethiopia. All type of cattle, goats, horses, etc.... make their way across the street without notice. The drivers seem to have free reign over both sides of the road.
We passed sights I had only seen online or on TV, typical Africa. There were ant hills up to 6 ft. high scattered throughout the African plains.
We reached Shashamane and the boarding school where many children from Korah attended, if they were lucky enough to have sponsors. (If you watch the video attached, I spent the whole week with Sammy, the guy introducing Korah.)
We loved on them.
We told them that they are loved and valued.
We loved them like Jesus would.
... and they loved us back. Serving us....
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