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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Travel + Adventure = Healing - Ethiopia - 1 - On My Way

Today, I'm excited to share the start of my two-week 2018 Ethiopian trip, which ended with a 4-hour layover in Dubai, UAE–that turned into four days!

In the summer of 2018, I was lucky enough to travel to Ethiopia with my son Ryan’s oncologist, Dr. Aziza Shad, and the executive director of The Aslan Project, Julie Broas. They both run Dr. Shad’s nonprofit to help treat cancer children in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa.

Schlepping two huge suitcases with 35 quilts to cover each bed in the Mother Teresa Home in Addis Ababa was my mission, all blessed by many who knew of my travels. I cannot thank the creators of each quilt enough, including individual bee and guild members and Community Quilts from the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild in Bowie-Crofton, Maryland.

My time in Ethiopia and traveling around the country solo after my first four days with Dr. Shad et al. was one of the most profound trips I’ve taken in my life. I think because of the landscapes, foods (injera), and cultures were so different from my own, I was awakened to how almost 130,000,000 people live in harmony (I was visiting before the civil unrest in the country) in the 13th most populous country in the world. The visit made me realize that the lovely people I met all want the same things as I/we do: food, shelter, and clean water. Unfortunately, all three have had perilous status over the past five decades (probably more!). But...there is always hope. Gratefully, I witnessed the hope all over Ethiopia—the Horn of Africa, a rugged, landlocked country split by the Great Rift Valley and a place of ancient cultures of over 3 million years. What's not to like?

The sights, the sounds of a big city, the grimy streets, and the juxtaposition of extreme poverty and wealth filled my senses beyond anything I’ve experienced elsewhere.

Packed and ready to go to Dulles Airport

Photos: 1) from my hotel room in Addis; 2) bags after the 20-hour flight; 3) view from my hotel room




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