Sunday started very early for a few of us, who got up at 6am to play football against the local lads who used to live in the slum behind the hotel., before it was razed to the ground. The only place to play was on the street, so the flow of the game was frequently interrupted by a passing bus or taxi, and people walking past on their way to church did so at their peril, but fun was had by all.
The rest of the day was a relaxing time at Debra Zeit, a natural beauty spot about 1.5hr drive outside Addis. It is a lake in a volcanic crater, and we all enjoyed just being out of the city for a bit, and having a bit of space to start reflecting on the week as we prepare to travel home.
As leader of the team, I just want to thank you all for allowing your son / daughter / brother / sister / wife / mum to come on this trip, and for supporting them all the way. It’s been a brilliant team, and everyone has more than pulled their weight despite some of us feeling a bit under the weather at times.
Everyone will be returning changed in some way, with stories to tell and photos to show. We have all had our hearts touched or torn to some extent by the home visits we did and the people we met, and the children we worked with. We are all looking forward very much to seeing friends and family again, but please forgive us if we don’t immediately slot back into the old way of life – we are seeing that through new perspectives, and sometimes it takes a bit of processing.
May the reunions be sweet today, and may you all have a good summer break.
To close, here is a word or sentence from each of the team
Dan – life-changing
Evie – Ethiopia is so beautiful and pure yet absolutely heartbreaking
Leonie – inspiration for motivation
Carl – a liberating experience which reminds me why I teach
Kizzy – an inspiring cocktail of the hardest and best emotions
Louise – beautiful, something that will stay with me forever
Georgia – inspirational; challenging; heartbreaking as a mother
Alex - a brilliant trip and a great new experience
Ruth – heartbreaking; faith affirming; my God just got a bit bigger
Mikayla - dramatic and inspirational
Hannah – I’ve learnt that friends and family are far more precious than anything material
Juliet – eye opening
Erin – Ethiopia, I need to live here
Mel - despite the tragic stories I will have happy memories
Jacob - an inspirational new experience
Jj – horribly amazing
Elias – simply awesome
Angelica – unforgettable experience
Chandos – a trip that reinforces why I am training to become a social worker to help others
Lexi – realizing the depth of issues that charities like WAR are tackling