We are tired, we are safe, we are content…… we are HOME! We had a wonderful team who worked hard to accomplish much. We have so many memories – but the faces of those we met and cared for remain the most precious. Names like Dr. Fekadu (or Dr. F as he was affectionately called by many of us), Tigi, Sister Meseret ,Tesfahun, Zagreba, Zoditu and others are no longer just names but rather a face with a smile, a memory and a friendship that spans the distance between us.
The Ethiopian and Gundersen staff completed 37 surgeries, completed vision screening on hundreds of kids (with more than 40 having visual concerns), taught English and First Aid, and mended torn clothing, made new curtains, and mended more torn clothing; if the electricity was on the machines were stitching!
We will miss the daily walk along the stoney dirt trail repeatedly answering “What is your name?” and “How old are you?” from the younger kids who joined us along the way. We quickly learned that was the extent of their conversational English – and that they couldn’t count in English as high as our ages!!!
Memories of injera and wat and other delicious Ethiopian foods, fresh fire roasted coffee, the smoke-filled kitchen, the beautiful mountains and our hike to ‘the top of the world’, lost luggage, sleepless nights and the beautiful Ethiopian people will remain with us.
We are so thankful for each of the team members who all worked hard and created a wonderful team bond; it was a privilege to represent Gundersen Global Partners together as we served others with respect and honor.
To those who joined us via our blog – thanks for following us on this journey; this will be the final blog entry for our March 2014 trip, however, I encourage you to check WXOW, the local ABC affiliate for their upcoming documentary that team members Mark and Amy are creating. It is scheduled to be aired on the local daily evening news and Day Break starting April 27th and concluding with a 30 minute special on Saturday, May 3rd.
We will also be presenting the Noon Conference at Gundersen in the Overholt Auditorium on Thursday, April 3rd from 12:15 to 1 pm. The presentation is open to anyone desiring to hear more about our trip.
Until next time…..