Finding an Internet connection in Ethiopia can be tricky! As we begin Day 3, here are ere are Jacob I’s reflections on Day 1.
From painfully long plane flights, to teaching little Ethiopian children about the sayings of rapper Lil’ Jon, this first day had a little bit of everything. Everyone in the group has hit it off really well; it’s a cohesive, non-cliquish group which makes the experience that much better.
Africa is definitely a sight to behold. It has stunning beauty that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere in America, and it also has the usual poverty stricken scenes we generally associate with this continent. When we landed in Ethiopia, we stayed in a hotel in Addis Ababa for a few hours, then disembarked early the next morning for Gondar in the north. Stray dogs are everywhere in Addis, so to those who are major dog lovers, it is not a pretty site.
After we touched down in Gondar, we got a little time to settle into our hotel rooms before we started our day of service. About half of us went to the JDC Medical Clinic in Gondar, where they passed out de-worming medicine to JDC clients. (some where so satisfied they came back for seconds!)
The other half of the group went to a rural village to visit a school sponsored by JDC. There, we painted a schoolhouse and and played with children in the village. Pictures from this are below.
Another highlight of the first day was meeting a fellow who called himself “The Dude” – he was very friendly and chatted with all of us about his family, his life in Gondar and his hobbies.
A reoccouring theme of the trip is flexibility. For instance, our schedule always has to be flexible because of complications in this country. Communication issues and the fact that most of us have never been to Ethiopia or Africa means we don’t always know what to expect when we travel to different places. Everything could be scheduled one way, but we may have to adjust on a moment’s notice. Example: Our plane to Gondar stopped on the way to pick up more passengers – an unannounced stopover!
After all the flights and everything we did today, it is safe to assume that we are all exhausted and looking forward to a long and well earned sleep where we can hopefully lose our jetlag and get our bodies accustomed to Ethiopian time. If the first day was this crazy, it’ll be a real gas to see how the rest of the trip goes!
~ Jacob I.
Part of the mural in the village – handprints are from the schoolchildren.
Morgan teaching girls from the village “Mary Had a Little Lamb”
Alli drawing a map of the world for the kids – “Africa…Seattle!”