Behind the Scenes - Ethiopia
As our plane broke through the clouds, we cast our eyes upon Ethiopia for the very first time. The land we were descending over was dry, yellow, and dusted with circular huts.
We landed and were immediately greeted by Belay, a young man with a bearlike embrace. Despite his toothy grin, I was skeptical. Meeting strangers involved in orphan care always causes me to be on guard. Sometimes I hate admitting that, but when working with the most vulnerable children on earth, I think its okay to need immaculate accreditation.
I heard Belay's story on the long drive through Addis traffic. He was an orphan himself, and is a walking testimony that Selamta's work is important and powerful. He is currently working for Selamta as their driver while he grows his own driving service on the side. He was able to graduate from a university, and is now working hard to earn an honest living.
If Selamta was not around, Belay would have ended up in an orphanage or on the streets. He most likely would not have graduated high school or college, and would not be starting his own business. The effectiveness of Selamta in Belay's life made me curious to learn how they operated.
Over the next two weeks we were able to spend intimate time getting to know the staff and families of Selamta. A lot of the kids were disinterested in us, which is a good sign. How many teenagers in the West do you know who want to spend time with their mom's new friends? Not very many! If Selamta was an unhealthy place, the kids would have been attention starved and clingy. It made our time getting to know specific kids limited, but we were just thankful that their environment was so healthy!
Nick and I slept in bunkbeds and bathed by bucket. We ate fresh eggs and drank Coke (which is so comforting overseas!) We fully experienced the culture, and completely fell in love with the people there. The passion that they have for their country created a love of Ethiopia in our hearts. We will forever be grateful for our time in Ethiopia, and we are so thankful for the amazing work being done by Selamta Family Project!