Mel, Sarah, and Lindsey arrive in Ethiopia

Finally after spending 3 weeks in Rwanda, the team arrived in Ethiopia for a few intense days of ministry and familiarization with the culture and environment.

Since the Hopethiopia projects are located at the highland plateau at 8000 feet altitude everyone noticed the thinner air and with the dry season the team needed to hydrate constantly.

The first day was spent in the community of Harbu Chulule. We first participated in the local church service with the Full Gospel church of Harbu Chulule. The people were very welcoming and their style of energetic and passionate worship was very inspiring. Each team member spoke and gave some reflections on their experiences in Africa so far. We all went for a local lunch of fasting food, which was a mixture of vegetarian dishes served on Enjera – the typical pancake staple food of the Ethiopian diet. The team visited the reforestation nurseries and was given a good understanding as to why there is such a need for nationwide reforestation.  We then went to the north site projects to walk on the land and see the progress that is being made. They saw the water well, the north reforestation nursery, the brick building facility that is being constructed, and the children’s village that is under construction. After walking on the land we all sat for a while and wrote up scripture sticks that would be planted in the land a few days later. Later that evening we traveled to Wolliso to spend the night and get refreshed.

On the second day we started out on our big adventure. The team planned to hike into Wenchi crater. This is an ancient volcanic crater located north of Wolliso with a starting altitude of 10,500 feet. The descent is about 4,000 feet to where the hot springs and a crater lake with a 400 year old monastery can be found on an island. We hiked to the Hot springs and were able to sample “Ambo” sparkling water that bubbles out of the ground. The climate here is like a beautiful lush paradise compared to the extremely dry and dusty hike. The team all took a shower in the hot springs waterfall that had hot water shooting out of a cliff. We then hiked up to the crater lake and had a wonderful and refreshing swim and snack.

On the last day the team went back to Harbu Chulule to spend some time with the community.. We walked the land and planted the scripture sticks all along the perimeter of the Hopethipia land. We then visited a rural mud hut where one of the local families lived. It was very eye opening for the team to see how locals live with their farm animals inside the shelter at night. The team then visited our Hopethiopia  long term mission students that are living in Harbu Chulule. Our onsite team is made up of Canadians: Kiersti, Rilla, David, and Janessa. They are all staying out at the project site for 2 to 6 months. This group is having a wonderful time and learning the Amharic and Oromiffa languages.

After this last day on the project sites we headed back to Addis where we took in some souvenir shopping, a wonderful cultural dinner, and then off to the airport to travel back to Canada. The team had a great experience and made a wonderful impact on the people of south western Ethioipia.

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