February 21, 2024

We traveled through the highland area of the Bura region today, visiting two community well sites. The drive was lengthy, about 8 hours round trip, navigating Ethiopia’s challenging terrain. I couldn’t help but wonder if my boss, Susanne, is testing my endurance with these trips!

As we arrived at the first well, the entire village gathered around our three jeeps with curiosity and smiles. This well was funded by Myron and Terrie Jordahl, and the water has been flowing for a year. This well is supporting 65 families in the area, so about 400 people.

The scene overwhelmed me with poverty—the children, dressed in tattered clothes, played in the water with a mix of fascination and wariness. Despite their gratitude, I grappled with feeling like a “white savior.” Elanore Decker, my travel buddy, however, saw their genuine appreciation and explained how they felt honored to be chosen for a well site. Still, I wondered how they felt about us “white people.”  I wonder how the current climate in my own country is coloring these feelings.

The people here are beautiful, and watching the children with the water is a special experience.  This young boy was so hesitant to come to the well.  He eventually overcame his shyness and we loved seeing his joy unfold!