So eight months into raising money, raising awareness, raising my physical capacity to endure a 10K at 8K feet, and now waiting in limbo to find out whether I will actually get to Ethiopia. Apparently there are significant concerns about credible terrorist threats on Addis Ababa. The 10K road race course would be pretty difficult to secure and the Great Ethiopian Run, GER for short, is a very largely attended public event, making it in some ways a perfect target. So Self Help Africa has been scrambling to figure out what to do with 15 American runners and 15 Irish runners all set to travel to Ethiopia a week from today, and to run on the 24th. Kind of a nightmare.
Last I heard from Self Help Africa was that they were exploring possibilities to take the same group of runners to another African country in which they work, Zambia or Malawi, and come up with some sort of challenge event while there. I love to travel, especially to culturally different places. However, my motive for signing up to run in the GER was to get back to Ethiopia, the wonderful country that gave us Aregash, and to see first hand the work that Self Help Africa does there.
So last night, after finishing one of my best runs yet, I decided to counter propose. I explained my motives, and asked whether I could instead be invited along on some future trip that Self Help Africa staff take to check in on their Ethiopia project sites. In many ways this would be even more exciting to me - not being part of a large group of runners, but just along with the SHA staff, and possibly able to engage much more closely with their work and the Ethiopians they are working with.
Let's hope this counter proposal did not fall on the floor.