After almost two week of non-stop meetings and activities concerning Dr. Rick Hodes' and JDC's amazing humanitarian work in Ethiopia and relating to "Bring Back Hope" related initiatives, I was feeling exhausted Thursday as I contemplated embarking on a gruelling 3 day trip to the Gojam region to visit Tesfaye's village. Yet Friday brought a new perspective -- how could I not follow through on my plan to revisit my Ethiopian family for the first time since that original Tesfaye "family reunion trip" 5 years ago, when they celebrated his post spine surgery "rebirth" as they saw him standing straight for the first time since he was 8 years old, some twelve years prior. (Click here for original post about the 2010 village family reunion experience.
|Fanteye 12 years old (2010)|
|Fanteye and Tesfaye joyous first embrace|
on seeing each other for the first time
since his extraordinary spine surgery
|Fanteye age 17, ready to|
embark on the long trip
from Addis to Gojam
for my return visit to
|Fanteye with mother Yeshi catching up|
Click here to view complete Village revisited 2015 Highlights Album for additional background photo memories of my exhilarating yet exhausting village visit. The village hasn’t changed much in five years - still no electricity or running water, basic dirt/wood huts - but the noticeable change in the children certainly marked the passage of time. And I can tell you that although these people are certainly entitled to, and would no doubt enjoy, some of the modern rudimentary comforts of life that we all take for granted, they appear to live their life with a certain joy that often eludes us with our proverbial "first world" problems.