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The Trek – Phase 1

January 11, 2011

Tom and Teresa left yesterday from Texas to begin their trek to Ethiopia. Once they land in Ethiopia, they will be spending a few weeks in the capitol, Addis Ababa. While in Addis they will stock up on supplies, rest, and prepare for their travels to Arba Minch (south of Addis Ababa). Arba Minch will be their “home base” and once they arrive there, they will make the house they will be living in their “home” and will begin to repair projects and buildings that were built by foreigners years before and were not done so sustainably.

Addis Ababa, Arba Minch, and Turmi (Arba & Turmi are in the Omo Valley)

In order to do this sustainably, Tom and Teresa will work with the locals to supply them with the materials they will need. Tom will also be looking for people within the community that show the aptitude to apprentice with him so that when (and if) these “projects” need to be repaired, the locals will be able to do so with their own two hands.

Once Tom and Teresa (T & T) have established their home in Arba Minch they will begin to work with the locals of Turmi, Ethiopia. Turmi is another full day drive from Arba Minch – think 5-10mph over bumpy and dusty roads. T & T have already begun their planning with the church of Southern Ethiopia (Kale Heywet) to have an outline and time line of how and when they would enter this community. I do not want anyone to assume that they are just riding their Land Rover into a community and disrupting its culture and belief system and replacing it with clean water and “Western ideas” (whatever that means, but I’ve had some people ask me this exact question).

To start any project (especially a water project independent of an organization that has established relationships within a community) one must remember that it takes time and it requires a trust and friendship first, this is exactly why Tom and Teresa have devoted two years of their lives. I respect them that much more for respecting this fact.

I share this brief outline with you so you can become more knowledgeable of how the process works. It takes time, trust, and friendships to be built in order for anything to truly begin. Tom and Teresa spent the past year working with the local church, water well organizations in the US (Living Water International specifically) and developing an outline (broken into phases) and a breakdown of their expenses. If you would like to support them with a note of encouragement (who doesn’t like encouragement?) please visit their facebook page. If you would like to support their project financially, please click here.

You can view their expense report if you would like to see how costs and expenses are broken down for Phase 1 of Project Ethiopia.


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