Today I was gifted carrots.
Pointy, orange, dusted with dirt and still with the stems attached. Fresh from the ground of rural Tigray, Ethiopia.
People who don’t have financial security, a stable house, have endured war and up until recently, didn’t have clean water, gave me their own fresh food.
They could have sold the carrots for much needed money or even eaten the vegetables themselves, but no. They gave them to me, a woman they had only met 30 minutes prior and who didn’t speak their language.
They gave, even when they couldn’t afford it, to welcome me and make me feel comfortable. This kindness is something that I was met with time and time again by the people of Ethiopia.
After visiting wells, shaking hands and sharing stories, the food and coffee always appears. Whether they have to run across a field to get food for their unexpected guest or they have it prepared ahead of time, the people of Ethiopia never hesitated in sharing their food, culture and time.
People with the least seem to be the most generous.
However, after hearing all the trials and tribulations the people of Ethiopia have overcome, it is clear that true wealth is not measured by money.
For those who have endured war and been stripped of their livelihood, clean water is worth all the money in the world. For women who have to walk miles, multiple times a day to collect water and face abduction, clean water means safety.
For children who miss school because they have to walk hours to get water or are perpetually sick from waterborne diseases, clean water is the promise of education and opportunity.
With clean water, wealth is measured in health, security, healing and faith.
It is measured in the ability to give carrots to a random stranger.
Because clean water is priceless.
Vision Trip June 2023 – Blog #3 – Molly St. Clair