As I wrap up my thoughts and begin packing to go back to my lovely home in Queens, New York; I must write my reflection on this trip.
I truly enjoyed Addis and the other areas visited in Ethiopia. The people here have a beautiful culture that makes them unique to the world. However, there were way too many petty logistical errors, lack of communication, and uncompassionate instances in the program. Too many things were promised that never followed through. The promise of challenging and affective work was not present in the first month of the program. It became EXTREMELY hard to be in Addis after realizing all this, and basically building a strong inner strength to continue and to make the best out of the experience. All I have to say, is that I am very lucky to have lived with the amazing ladies in house 1, because we all faced very difficult times here and were able to continue our work and seek adventure.
I truly enjoyed the women here. They were so kind, giving, and affectionate which reminded me of my family back home. If there is one thing I have taken away from this trip, is the solidifying concept I already knew:women work VERY hard and women are not treated the way they deserve to be treated. This experience has reassured me that women ALL over the world work very hard for their families and those around them. Also reassuring me, that women are treated like shit in so many circumstances. Even for me, a foreign girl walking down Haya Hulet by myself was something I always tried to avoid, but whenever I did I was constantly on my guard and being exhaustingly cautious.
Would I recommend this program to anyone? Mmm, I’m not sure. There would have to be some changes. For example; a safer neighborhood that can provide an experience both rural and urban regardless of location of internship, efficient communication between students and facilitators, internships that are challenging and encouraging, and health should be in the utmost concern. Unfortunately, when you come to a third world country such as Ethiopia, you are going to run into food that will make you very ill which is not surprising. However, a list of locations where the food is safe for foreigners would have been extremely helpful. Being that this is only a 2-month program, being sick and recovering takes up a lot of time that could have been dedicated to working or traveling.
Adjusting and adapting takes time anywhere. However, having the right attitude and people encouraging you can make all the difference in make a journey life-changing.
I do no regret anything. Ethiopia is beautiful country full of culture!
Thank you Ethiopia, and I will see you again!