This is one of my favourite pictures of the trip so far. It really captures the things I am growing to love about Ethiopia already – the colours, the smiling faces and the warm welcome we receive everywhere we go.

"Ethiopia"

Yes we stick out like a bit of a sore thumb, but whereas in some places this might make you feel uncomfortable, here it makes you feel special – everyone really does want to be your friend.

Picture by Kayla Robertson, World Vision. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more photos and updates.

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If I had a pound for every time I had used the word ‘amazing’ today I would be a rich woman, especially by Ethiopian standards. I actually used it twice in a tweet earlier today, which isn’t very clever, but the people I have met today really are amazing, so I make no excuses for the word.*

Today we went to visit an amazing** food project that has been supported by World Vision. The project is made up of around half a dozen women, all of whom were facing significant challenges when they started the group four years ago, including living with HIV and struggling as single parents to provide for their children on their own. One thing they shared though was ambition – a determination to makes their lives better.

The group were supported by World Vision and by the Ethiopian government to set up a business making the Ethiopian staple, injera. They wanted to do something that would provide an income for their families for years to come, a sustainable business that they could then grow into something much bigger as in turn their confidence and experience grew. View Post

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While I’m entertaining you with stories, please don’t forget the reason behind the trip – to raise awareness of the Enough Food IF campaign.

There is enough food for everyone in the world if we share and use it wisely. Fact.

We took this gorgeous picture this week, and it would be brilliant if you could share it and help let as many people as possible know about what we are doing.

Thank you!

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Find out more about the campaign here.

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Living in one room with five other members of your family may not seem like exactly the lap of luxury, but when ten years ago you and your children were living at the side of the road under a plastic sheet, it’s actually something to get pretty excited about.

Hannah lives in Lideta with her husband, who is HIV positive, her three children, her niece and her grandson. With the support of World Vision, she purchased a washing machine to set up her own laundry business, and now takes in washing from her community. This is the family’s only source of income.

Despite having so little, Hannah is keen to share. She welcomes us into her home quite literally with open arms and enthuses about the support she has received from World Vision. “Take the kitten!” she exclaims, when we coo over her pets, “take me if you like! It is the least I can offer.”

She proudly shows off her store room, complete with supplies of injera that she has prepared over the last few days, and crouched in the narrow passageway that leads from the front door to the main room of the house proceeds to cook us a feast. Chairs are strung from the ceiling, pink lacy cloths cover her coffee table, and photos of her sponsors sit proudly alongside a photograph of her daughter graduating from school. View Post

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We stepped off the plane at 6.30am Ethiopian time this morning after what couldn’t really be described as the most comfortable of flights.

Think Ryanair, but for seven hours. Then pick a seat against a wall that can’t recline. Chuck in pastries and tea at 2am and the worst film in the world being shown on a tiny screen, miles away down the aisle. Oh and then ask the chattiest man in Cameroon to sit down next to you.

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That’s all nothing though is it? So I was a bit uncomfortable for a few hours. First world problems as Bee would say, and quite literally in this case compared with some of the challenges faced every day on Ethiopia. I feel a little bit pathetic complaining about eating and strange times. I should be grateful I have something to eat at all.

We can’t find our lift at the airport, so end up getting a taxi across town. It’s still only 8am here – although more like one o’clock if you use the Ethiopian system of counting the hours since sunrise – but the streets are already swarming with people. Men holding hands stroll casually into the street, accompanied by frequent beeping from cars and buses, but no one seems to be in a rush. Homosexuality is not allowed here, but people are generally affectionate and tactile, so it’s not uncommon to see friends walking hand in hand.

At our hotel, a nap is most definitely on the cards.

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After a sleep and a little something from my flapjack stash, we head out for a bit of an explore, and stop for a visit at the Holy Trinity church. The building is relatively modern by UK standards – it was finished in 1944 – but the stained glass and the light inside is beautiful.

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Just driving around is awesome and I’m hypnotised by the people, shacks and stalls that line the street. Today has been about settling in, but tomorrow I’m going to get to meet the group of HIV positive women who have started their own successful food business. I can’t wait.

P.S. I am blogging from an app on my phone due to a suspiciously unreliable ‘high speed’ internet connection so please forgive me if this post looks odd in any way – I’ve never app blogged before.

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