Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ethiopia 2011 | part one

Well friends, here are a few photos about my trip. I think I am finally ready to share more about what I saw. There is so much to share that I'm going to split it up in several posts. I experienced everything from an earthquake to walking through The Red Light District...

It never hits me that I'm going overseas until I'm actually on the plane. I love to journal while we are flying through the clouds. Things seem so peaceful and worries feel irrelevant. It was a long journey, but we finally reached Addis Abeba. 

After a good night's sleep and a shower, we started our trek to Angacha...

Of course there was a little silliness on the way. :)

The land was not what I expected. The land may look beautiful, but the soil is dry from lack of rain. I can't see how anything grows there when all the ground looks like rock. The people are not unlike the soil. Telltale signs of years of hardship were as evident as the dry land in the eyes of some. 

We had hardly been in in Ethiopia 2 days when we were all awoken in the middle of the night. I woke up to my roommate screaming my name and the room trembling. It seemed like a dream to me. An earthquake? In Ethiopia? In the panic we didn't even think to grab anything but shoes. For several hours we shivered in the cold, waiting for the aftershock. It never came, so we went back to our rooms. As you can imagine, sleep was not possible after that.

When light came we decided to explore a bit. Needless to say we drew a lot of attention. The children steal my heart every time. It makes me want to adopt one day.

Such contrast - a shack next to a hotel...well, by third world country standards that is.

With the earthquake behind us, we headed out to the medical clinic to help with their feeding program.

There were so many families in the program. I was so wonderful to see how successful this ministry is in the community. The parents are so proud that their children are doing well. If it wasn't for ICA hundreds of these children would have died. A few of them looked a little pudgy (not much though), which is very, very rare. I didn't see one over weight Ethiopian there. Everyone was extremely thin. 

Beautiful people.

These are the families waiting to get into the program. There over 30 families that came to the clinic just because the foreigners were visiting and were accepted into the program. Their babies were incredibly malnourished and would have died otherwise.

These babies may look like newborns, but they are not. Some of them were up to 6 months old or older.

After finishing up at the clinic we visited the new hospital grounds - they were breathtaking. They made sure to plant flowers at the clinic and the hospital grounds. It's such a simple thing, but to the community it represents hope. Many families have started planting flowers of their own as well. Because of ICA this place has been transformed. The people have future. The flowers are just a symbol of the hope they have that things will get better. That is indeed a beautiful thing. 

This is the crop of potatoes they harvested from the land. God has really blessed these grounds. I thought it was amazing that the money for these things came from a local church in Ethiopia, not from America.

I was able to use a Nikon for the day! It's strange how foreign my point-and-shoot feels after so short a time. I made a good choice in not bringing it though. My mind was much more focused on what I came there to do, instead of photos.


There is so much work yet to be done. ICA has made a huge difference in this community and we got to be a very small part of that. Still, I can hardly describe what it is like to walk among them and feel their need. The burden still weighs heavy on my heart.

More coming soon...

35 comments:

Annie said...

I love seeing Ethiopia through your eyes, Jen.

It's so strange that in third world countries you can see so close together the socioeconomic divide. When I was in Venezuela we could see the slums from our windows. It was jarring.

Leslie said...

Thanks for sharing, Jennifer. I know it's incredibly difficult to communicate the emotions and feelings that come with overseas trips, but you are doing a great job! Awareness is so important. Keep up the great work of spreading their story!

a girl with a smile said...

Wow, it's such a blessing to know the hope we have is shinning upon them. That in the midst of dry land there is life finding a way to grow above the soil

Natalie @ NS Pottery said...

Thank you for sharing, Jennifer! Can't wait to see more photos and hear more of where God is leading your heart! You are beautiful inside and out!

kimberly said...

Wow, those are such stunning photos. Thank you for sharing your experiences there. It certainly looks like an eye-opening time.

Allie said...

So so SO beautiful. I love your comments...you seem very wise. Thank you so much for sharing.

http://howficklemyheart.wordpress.com

stephanie said...

this is a beautiful post and it moves my heart. these people are just precious. looks very similar to the places i've been in asia makes me long to go back again. xo

sarah {on the brightside...} said...

what amazing photos of your trip... so life changing! we often forget about how big & diverse our world is. our job is to show compassion to those who are in need! thank you for taking time to show His love to this part of the world & for sharing this experience with us! what a blessing! :)

Laura said...

Thank you for posting this.

Kerrie said...

Can't wait to hear more! I can't believe there was an earthquake while you were there! I didn't even hear anything about that when you were gone!

Autumn said...

What a beautiful trip and a beautiful people. I'm happy you were able to go and make something better in the world :)

giveaway!

Gail @ Sophisticated Steps said...

So great that you shared with us! Beautiful pics of beautiful people.

Stephanie Griffioen said...

Such beautiful pictures. I especially love the black and whites of the children. Can't wait for more posts from your trip.

Charissa Steyn said...

Hope you are finding time to process it all...seems like you had a life-changing time!!! The pics are stunning!

Sarah said...

It breaks my heart so much to see those people in that manner. Especially the babies. I'm so thankful for people like you who actually make the trip out there to serve. I pray I have the courage to do so one day.

- Sarah
http://agirlintransit.blogspot.com/

Erin said...

You are such an inspiration to me and I really admire how much love you have for others in your heart. It pains me to see these beautiful children living in conditions like these. I will be praying for them. I cannot wait to see more and hear more about your time there!

The Soul Anchor said...

Oh Jennifer! It's SO good that you were able to go to this country and have your heart expanded. It always amazes me to see the pictures of poverty in other countries. Most Americans then like to talk about how it makes them grateful for how blessed we are, but I wonder, when I look at the disparity between Western life and third world countries, is the great gap really because of God's blessing or because of our greed?

Jessica said...

you did a great job capturing the trip. what a humbling reminder of how much we're blessed with.

daniel.and.stefanie said...

Wow, thank you so much for sharing your pictures with us! It is such a reminder of how blessed we are, yet it gives me a renewed burden for wanting to give more to organizations that are meeting the needs of people in countries like Ethiopia.

lowercase letters said...

jen! i love this SO. MUCH. this brings back memories of my mission trips to Jamaica and makes me miss it.
i love the beautiful faces. you girls are all so pretty! that earthquake sounded so scary... someone waking me up screaming my name would have been horrifying. you take such beautiful pictures! seeing these children causes me to miss all of the little sweet faces of my buddies in Jamaica.
i can't wait to see the next parts!
p.s. i'm having a GiVeAwAy! southernpinky.blogspot.com

b said...

Great post, friend! I wrote about the trip today, too...at http://tinyurl.com/6hbv7cb .

Can't wait until lunch next week!

gina said...

INCREDIBLE! Welcome home, and look forward to part 2, 3 and etc...! Those pics are worth a million words!

el.vi. said...

AMazing trip!

Abigail said...

Wow. What a post...so beautiful.
I love these photographs..the first black and white one of the child..breathtaking and convicting for me. Thanks for sharing your journey. X

Rachel said...

SUCH a beautiful place.

It just breaks my heart to see those children not having enough food. Makes me want to adopt too.

Do you know how strong the earthquake was?

EMily said...

Jen, this is wonderful! I cannot wait to hear more!

Sydney said...

I had to research Ethiopia once and the stories just break my heart. Can't wait to hear more!

Mr. Taylor and his Lady said...

what an experience. my heart goes out to all of these beautiful people. although they go through so much hardship, they still manage to put a smile on their face. the land is so beautiful in green. i'm so surprised to read that it can still manage that with lack of rain and dry soil. can't wait to see the rest of your eye opening experience! i feel like we are living vicariously through you in these images. the children are breathtaking!
xo TJ

Heather said...

Love this cause, love your heart. So blessed to sponsor <3 you!

kristyn ellen said...

These photos are fantastic, amazing to see what you have seen.

Funmilayo I. said...

The photos are awesome! Looks like you guys had a great time

Amber Noella said...

Gosh this has blessed me so much. Those people are SO BEAUTIFUL.

Amylou said...

This whole post touched my heart today! Thank you so much Jen, for sharing your stories with us here! You can definitely feel the need in these photos. Everyone is so beautiful! I loved reading about how the flowers represented hope too! Such a simple thing and it means so much!

Breeanna @ a brilliant melody said...

Such an amazing trip! It reminds me of my trip to a Thailand village. The people had a similar look in their eyes.

I look forward to hearing more about it!

{amy k.} said...

these photos are beautiful! what did you use to shoot them? and how do i learn more about the program you travel to these places with? i would love to get involved!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails