Ethiopia’s Attitude of Gratitude

I just arrived back from an amazing experience in Ethiopia. I mean…AH-MAZ-ING. There are only a few things you really remember vividly your whole life, and this will be one for me.

The people, the culture, the love and gratitude were all shockingly more than I had expected. Ethiopians are a beautiful people, and the whole group that went on the mission acted like one cohesive team right from the start.

Experiences like this always make me look at my own life through a different lens. We complain about our healthcare, but some of the families we worked with walked for days to see a doctor about their spine deformity. YES – you read that right – they WALK for DAYS. Not miles. Days.

He gave me a thumbs up for the lollipops!

Could you imagine your family walking for that long just to see a doctor? Once at the hospital, these patients will be taken in – no questions asked. The care and determination help make their hospital system an amazing thing to see.

I’m not saying that any healthcare system is perfect. The US has lots of room for improvement, too. But in striving for the biggest and best in healthcare, we forget the basics. We shoot for super precise scans rather than a better primary care system. We demand individualized cancer treatment, rather than focusing our efforts on prevention.

The best healthcare systems have BOTH great technology AND a great basic standards of care. A great standard of care that every person – every patient – has access to sets the foundation of better health for everyone. The best care shouldn’t be limited to those with the biggest wallet or the best employer-based insurance.

The CUTEST little girl who we got to visit

Honestly, traveling to Ethiopia made me realize how gosh darn spoiled we are in America. All the little things that many of us take for granted were HUGE for these kiddos. Handing out candies, for example, made these kids light up like Christmas morning. Their gratitude for all the little things is something we should all remember in our daily lives.

Their attitude of gratitude is forever memorable.

I’m ever so grateful for this amazing trip across the world to help these remarkable people. They will always remain in my heart.

 

4 thoughts on “Ethiopia’s Attitude of Gratitude

  • November 8, 2017 at 9:04 am
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    It always amazes me how many things we take for granted are not there for so many others.The simple things are often the most amazing for some. Having been a full time teacher I have had students that were caught off guard by the simple niceties I offered in my class. Please and Thank You often were a foreign concept. Respect and sincere interest in them in many cases was unknown.

    My wife, Special Ed Teacher, and I have visited schools in the Caribbean and been shocked at the condition and lack of supplies that we just expect. The teachers have been doing a great job with what they have and the students loved working with us when we were able to help. Personal interaction often was limited due to large numbers of students per teacher.

    Working with young, 1st grade thru 4th grade, often taught us, and reminded us why we went into this trade.

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    • November 12, 2017 at 5:48 pm
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      This is so true. In our society of constant improvement, we sometimes need to stop and smell the roses. The emails and the social media can wait, but the people who surround us cannot. I’m so glad you have also helped others by teaching here and abroad. It’s a noble profession that often gets overlooked!

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  • November 8, 2017 at 8:26 pm
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    Hi, Lauren! This is a great story! It`s very inspirational to read about you and people with a great will like yours who are helping ones that need help the most. Keep that spirit and love, that is a real treasure. I was wondering, after experience this positive and after you saw there, would you consider going back at some point?

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    • November 12, 2017 at 5:57 pm
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      Hi Nigel! Absolutely! I believe there will be more mission trips to this hospital and I would go again without a second thought. The coordinating doctor who works throughout Ethiopia has a website – https://rickhodes.org/ – he keeps it updated with stories of this patients, including the ones who just had surgery. You should check it out!

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