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Into Africa

November 21, 2011

Ethiopia may be country with widespread poverty, but they are not a poor country.  They have a proud and rich history and a strong sense of community that embraces those in need.  Ethiopians are very hospitable and I look forward to the welcoming hugs that await me.

Why am I making this trip?  It’s a follow-up to my first visit to Mekele, Ethiopia, where I toured the Nicolas Robinson Kindergarten and dedicated the Laura Wolf Playground (background story).  Because of the generosity of people around the world, including many friends and neighbors in Merrimack through Laura’s World Fund, this year the Nicolas Robinson School will include a high school.  It has grown from 220 students to over 800 and boasts a computer lab, library, eating room and more.  It is one of the highest performing schools in Mekele despite serving the poorest of Mekele’s children.

This is not a typical vacation for me.  First off, I will be packing clothes that I no longer want or need so as I wear them, I can leave them behind.  Do you know how strange it is to wear clothes that you don’t want anymore?  Also, I will be checking 2 bags weighing 50 pounds each and I won’t be bringing any of that back either.  They are filled with 4 donated clarinets (thanks PSNH’s Donna Keeley!), sheet music, Lowell Mower’s Lego collection (3 shoeboxes full), jump ropes donated by Jenn at Merrimack Gold’s Gym and a double dutch set from Gale Taylor, children’s clothes from Ashley Dodge and Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Wolf, six soccer balls donated by Dick’s Sporting Goods, and 2 classroom sets of KleenSlates generously provided by Julia Rhodes, their inventor.  Any gap is filled with flashcards, magnets, color paddles, springs, pulleys and voltmeters for a burgeoning science program.

I will spend the week presenting hands-on science activities to the students, culminating in a celebration of the school expansion.  The second week I’ll be visiting the village of Bure in the Gojjam region to explore the possibility of establishing a school program there.

In case you think my visit is a mission for others; well, it’s as much a mission for me.  The happiness and fulfillment of helping others is priceless…worth much more than the value of anything material I could possibly bring.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Charlotte S. Holland permalink
    November 28, 2011 8:34 am

    God Bless you on your journey Rosemarie! I am proud to call you my friend.

  2. Cathi Albert permalink
    November 28, 2011 9:55 am

    Looking forward to following your journey Rosemarie.Can’t wait to see the school and the kids…Be safe. Cathi and Pete

  3. Mary Smith permalink
    November 28, 2011 3:43 pm

    I admire everything you do!!!!

  4. December 5, 2011 2:59 pm

    Love being able to follow you on your trip!

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