We just arrived in the lakeside city of Awassa and I finally have time to relax and knock out a quit blog posting.To recap yesterday’s events – We arrived in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, after a long and (thankfully) unadventurous trip from DC. While our mission for the 2012 DMP trip is to support a school in Arbegona, a rural Ethiopian town, we made good use of our time in Addis and stopped at an orphanage with books and baby supplies.
The orphanage administrators and staff were overjoyed to see us, but nothing can compare to the pure, unadulterated happiness we saw on each one of the orphan’s faces. These kids were a stark contrast to the privileged children we all sat next to on the flight from the states. Instead of designer clothes, they lived in tattered rags. Instead of playing video games, they found joy in singing and running around in the rain. Most of all, they simply embraced human affection.
This was my second time visiting the Kebebtsehay orphanage in Addis and things have greatly improved in only a year’s time. The once bare shelves now have books and the infants now have the attention they need from a sufficiently staffed group of nurses. More importantly, these subtle improvements in the orphanage are representative of something even bigger in Ethiopia – new found optimism. After decades of being the poster child for African poverty, Ethiopia appears to be turning the corner. The Ethiopian people understand education will lift their nation out of poverty and into the 21st century, but none of that is possible without books. Through the Davis Moon Project, we’re ensuring no child in Arbegona will grow up without the chance to read.