When a Stranger Impacts Your Life Forever

March 28, 2017

Ethiopia has a very special place in my heart. It doesn't hurt that I look Ethiopian so standing out like a sore thumb isn't part of my travel experience in the country. However, what truly makes it meaningful for me are the people who I have the honor of meeting with, learning from and being offered an authentic vulnerability in almost every interaction that restores my faith in humanity. That may sound a bit dramatic but, It's sincere. When the openness and kindness of a stranger can move you to tears, you know there is something extraordinary about their view of community and relationship. This is my experience every visit of mine to Addis. My visit last month was no exception.

From the married couple I met 3 years ago whose love story still moves me today just as profoundly as it did at our first meeting, to the enthusiastic and hopeful entrepreneur whose life continues to be transformed by opportunity and grace in the news of winning a housing lottery from the government. The new mother who joyfully celebrated the birth of her first child after decades of difficulty conceiving; Or the sisters who were reunited across two continents after years of separation and illness. And Lastly, the endless compassion and servant leadership by the organization that serves this particular community, and the hope that is restored through building self-efficacy and resilience physically, emotionally and spiritually: I am consistently moved to tears by the love that is experienced through the most basic of relationship  and connectivity in this one community in Addis.

Please enjoy this photo journey so dear to my heart, which captures moments shared  in the households of some of Addis Ababa most incredible families. My wish is that you feel the warmth and love that I experienced in their presence.  I chose to alternate between natural color and black and white, with a deliberately high-grain and sharper finish for an effect that I feel expresses the beauty of each frame. 


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