i came home with more than i gave

My first trip to Ethiopia was March 2010. I met up with an amazing group of individuals at the Germany airport and began a journey that changed my life.

Gracious. That is the word that best describes the people of Ethiopia. From Woudneh and Betty (the couple who organized our stay in country), to the young children in the town of Dera, the kindness and graciousness of this people was evident everywhere you were.

Some highlights of my trip included: teaching children patience with the help of Kierstin, Katie, and a box of crayons; watching an elderly man draw a picture of his house; seeing many people line up at the clinic to see a dentist – some for the first time; and running through the nature reserve park in the pouring rain with a man in a purple suit.

You travel to a different part of the world with a hope of being able to help people in need but instead are taught more about who you are and how you should live. I have often wondered why people have such difficult circumstances in life; but have come to the conclusion that maybe the test is for us as much as it for them. The Hope Arising team is a great example of how this test is passed in life by stepping outside their world to supply something as simple as water to change the life of so many people. Thanks for allowing me to be part of your journey!

Marianne Hirsche

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