Monday, September 20, 2010

GUEST POST: Tricia Traeger

It’s hard to talk about Ethiopia and our mission trip with The Davis Moon Project in a meaningful way. One in which I expect you to feel my feelings.

So, since I’ve owed my mission post to our blog since we were two hours away from landing at Dulles on our way home, I’m doin’ a Top Ten list!

My favorite things about Ethiopia from our mission trip with The Davis Moon Project:

1. I was charmed to see children see us and recognize us as something they’d never seen before. Same with some adults. We were evidently a sight to behold in the communities where we delivered children’s books. I’ve never felt more instantly welcomed, more popular, or more loved by strangers.

2. The lingering eye contact that was invited and so sincere when we would look at one another. We unabashedly held each other’s gazes. This exchange between strangers left me with a feeling of peace.

3. My mission-mates. We got along beautifully. That ended up being really important and drew us together.

4. The orphaned children. That one is hard to talk about.

5. Reading the books we brought to the children at the Gladney Orphanage. They fought over them, trying to choose and hold onto their favorites. We had to calm them down, by reading to them, gathering them closely around each of us. I’ve kept a mental picture of this in my mind. In so many ways they were just like all other children their age. I hope our books will encourage them to read.

6. Planting the eucalyptus trees in Dahley – must’ve been 200 of them. Of all the tasks we worked on, I think the trees we planted will outlive us.

7. Exposure to poverty at this level. It made me want to quit non-essential shopping
altogether. While the children we saw everywhere had so little, they seemed to be so happy.

8. Thinking. Being on The Davis Moon Project mission makes you think about the mission of The Davis Moon Project. And you ask yourself a lot of questions about it. Their work makes you think long and hard about their good work.

9. After shocks: when my friend asked me recently what else I would have brought with me to give to the children and adults of Ethiopia, my first reaction was: shoes. On a large scale, I’d like to see clean water reclamation happen in Ethiopia.

10. Getting to do this mission with my husband, Mark Traeger.

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