A daily record of gratitude; from quilting to photography to a mix of technology, books, movies and the musings of life!

Welcome to my Blog of my daily gratitude and photo of the day!

Since January 1, 2012, my goal is to write a daily sentence or two (or paragraph or two) about gratitude of the day and to include one photo (at least) that I took that day (but will add others from time to time). It has definitely been a challenge most days throughout the past eight years, and welcomed the challenge again this year - 2020 - Covid and all. I hope you will continue the ride with me!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Reflections on Ethiopia #1

Now that I am back from my Ethiopian trip, and have had time to process and reflect, I am very thankful that this trip-of-a-lifetime was an exercise in humanity. It was about truly giving hope, and quilts, to kids and families in dire circumstances that have very little in what we would consider "human comforts." It's a developing nation, and that was evident everywhere I went and experienced in the culture there. However, the Ethiopians are a proud nation, and are trying in earnest to move their country and people ahead. Of course, this was more visible in the capital city of Addis Ababa, but other areas are trying as well.

Once I began exploring the northern region of Ethiopia (Lalibela and Axum), I realized that people are people the world over. They all want the best for their families, communities and nation, but getting there maybe a hard climb for many of the folks I saw throughout the areas I visited.  New homes were being built, but with no indoor plumbing or electricity. Purchasers of these homes have to pay in advance for the infrastructure, and the pricing is out of reach for many, so homes remain empty. Lots of the new builds were done by Chinese companies, and they had their equipment scattered throughout the countryside in trying to "help" the Ethiopians regionally, but it looked quite haphazard, honestly.

Some areas took my breath away because it seemed so "primitive" for living in 2018. Washing their clothes in the rivers, walking everywhere with their donkeys because not many people own cars, and farming by hand were some of the disparities I saw. Women most definitely have the hardest life from what I witnessed. My heart ached watching so many of them with 50-75 pounds (or more) of wood on their backs walking up or down the mountainous areas to sell firewood to other women, and some even trying to manage a donkey and a kid or two! I had many emotions ruminating in my mind as we drove past. Alarming...amazing...unfair...disturbing...fascinating.

As I mentioned in an earlier post while in Ethiopia, the aid from the USA and UK is helping, and I was happy to see the dollars/pounds at work for many. But is it enough? Probably not, but hopefully education and health services for all of Ethiopia will continue to advance the humanity of an awesome country I was truly blessed to see!


I saw too many women carrying wood on their backs! Back breaking work for sure...

In Addis Ababa

Donkeys earn their keep; they carry the bulk of the load as well.

Workers in the fields harvesting some type of grain (Not teff, it was all harvested before I arrived)

Washing clothes in the river.

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