“If you knew me, you would not have killed me.” -Rwandan modern saying Since the genocide in 1994, Rwandans and their government have worked hard to ensure that they learn from their past. You can see signs of this throughout the country. One such thing is called Umuganda. It’s the last Saturday of each month which is set aside for community to come together to discuss neighborhood issues and do community work. While it’s roots precede the genocide, the government now has pushed this concept not only to save the country money in upkeep costs, but also to bring communities together to know each other.
“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.” -Maya Angelou We met so many hurricane-strength, rainbow color mommas during our interviews and time in Ethiopia.
Meet Aseged. When I asked him what he wanted the rest of the world to know about Ethiopia, he told me, I was in the government for 40 years. I'm going to speak to you honestly- we were on the wrong track. There was corruption. But now with our [new] government, we are on the right track. Now our government is caring about the people. I think it is now our turn in the world.⠀
In t-minus 2 days, I'll be on a plane headed out to meet more people and hear their stories. We will be doing everything from creating content for local organizations to interviewing a woman who has been an influential voice in Ethiopia bringing more women into leadership in their government to just enjoying the incredible culture. I'll be posting lots of instastories, but you can also follow the journey through the eyes of some of my other team members- @shaughncooper @kristopherslens @joey_wren or @brihallofficial
The beauty of getting to go back and work multiple times in the same place is that you make friends that become dear friends. My family already has messages for me to pass along and my daughter has made her cards for Uncle Zelalem and Aunt Nardi with strict instructions to make sure they receive them. It took me until adulthood to really appreciate the loveliness of friendships that can be held across long distances.⠀
Sweet little family on a snowy morning.⠀