Flag of Ethiopia

When I was in the 7th grade a new girl came to town. Her name was Lily and she was quite different because she was from a faraway country called Ethiopia. In fact, Lily and her family left her home of Eritrea and were hopeful that it would one day become an independent country. Lily left after one year in middle school but I never forgot her shy easy smile and the kindness of her family. Eritrea became free many years later and Lily was the first name that came to mind when I heard the news. For a long time Lily was my only connection to Ethiopia. I personally never traveled there Ethiopia but had the opportunity to try some of the cuisine when I was in graduate school in DC. I loved it! I soon discovered an Ethiopian market in my neighborhood and had access to the spices, honey wine and injera bread that I needed to make my own version of an Ethiopian meal.

As my hands prepared my lentils while drinking honey wine, the belief that I’d one day visit Ethiopia never crossed my mind. But today, as the result of supporters both near and far, I am two weeks from departure to the capital city of Addis Ababa. Although I have not mentioned it on the blog, since February I have been fundraising so that I can take a mission trip with my church to Ethiopia and build homes for people living with leprosy. I completed my fundraising last week, went on a retreat with my team members in the mountains over the weekend and now all that is left is to prepare my heart, mind and spirit for the trip ahead of me.

I am sure that I will see some of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen and because of the poverty, I'll also see the most tragic. I know nothing about construction and am a true “girly girl” stepping outside of my comfort zone. But I go with a heart full of love and hope that my gratitude for being there to provide shelter for those most in need will be evident.

I will be sharing my journey with you although I can’t say that it will be in real time because I don’t know how the internet connection will be. All I can promise is that I am determined to make a difference in the lives of others and will take you with me virtually (even if it is upon my return). In the meantime, I ask for your support, positive wishes, and prayers as I embark upon the adventure of a lifetime!


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