It has been wonderful to feel the tremendous support extended to me by so many people as I head off on this Ethiopian adventure! It truly takes a village (my friends, work colleagues, neighbors, family) to send me to a village (Ethiopia, my daughter's village of origin).
Here are some of the amazingly thoughtful contributions from my Cambridge/Somerville village:
- My daughter Aregash who introduced me to Ethiopia, and established for us this permanent connection between here and there, and who is eager to know more about where she came from.
- Self Help Africa giving me another chance to travel with them to Ethiopia.
- My husband who agreed to keep the house standing, and keep Aregash safe, healthy, and happy in my absence.
- My son who helped me make the final decision to go. He's been remarkably mature and thoughtful in helping me make major life decisions, from the decision to bring Aregash home, to job and career related decisions, to this decision to run in Ethiopia.
- Chris and Oliver who agreed to keep things running at work while I'm running in Africa.
- Barbara J who gave me the carefully packaged-to-TSA-specifications collection of toiletries and necessities.
- Joanne who gave me trail mix, downloadable movies and a ride before dawn to the airport, while fighting a miserable cold.
- Maureen, the nurse at my daughter's school, making a surprise, and surprisingly generous, donation to my cause.
- All those others who made donations, both last year and this, to sponsor me. A special shout out to my friend Carol, who not only donated money, but listened to all of my desire and anxiety surrounding this adventure, and thought to collect some easy reading material for me.
- Scott, father of an Aregash schoolmate, offering lots of support via facebook, in person, through others.
- My friend Bob Boes for thinking that it's "cool" that I'm doing this and pointing me at some really amazing Ethiopian Jazz in Addis.
- My "Benetton" group of Nimco and Tam. Always there for me. Never judgmental. Loving, caring, beautiful women.
- My L2L friends who first got to know me 5 years ago as the fellow ditching L2L for a month to bring home a 2-year-old from Ethiopia and who now support me on my return trip. Even those initially trying to convince me to remain on safe American soil (Dick) offered warm and sweet support of my decision to go.
- Karen from Ethiopian adoption Group 88, who was there with me 5 years ago to meet our children, and who has been sending her support via Facebook.
- My friend Betsy with whom I reconnected after more than 40 years, and who entertained the idea for a time of accompanying me on this trip.
- A friend of a friend, Diane, who also considered accompanying me, and through that process has been promoted to a friend.
- My neighbor and friend Izzy who came by tonight, the night before I fly with a beautiful and funny card about traveling so far to get good coffee, and a donation of funds to subsidize my adventure.
- My newest sister, Amy, and her husband Doug, parents to Aregash's birth siblings who have been encouraging and watching as they prepare for their own return to Ethiopia in February.
And the list goes on. I am sure I am missing some of the people and gestures that have made me feel loved and valued, so expect edits and additions to this post over time.
See y'all on the return..