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Yes!!! We are off to Ethiopia!

02 Sep 2012, Posted by visitawraamba in Reflections
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think the picture says it all really… We got our visas!! Thanks to some persistence and very good contacts in Turkey and Ethiopia. Who said the world isn’t about who you know?!

visa yeah

Less than 72 hours after sending our passports to Ankara we are now holding them and I can’t begin to describe my joy. It felt like an over-bearing obstacle, with the state funeral in our way and the notoriously slow and bureaucratic procedures at embassies. But it’s real, and we are going to Ethiopia in less than 48 hours!

Meanwhile, our friends in Awra Amba have been working hard on preparing the 2-day celebration and summit, to which they have invited over 500 people – among them politicians, religious leaders and NGO representatives from all over Ethiopia – as well as neighbouring villagers who have not always been too happy about Awra Amba’s existance.

At the summit they will discuss the role of Awra Amba in Ethiopia’s future development strategy. They will meet with people who have modelled communities according to them, hear feedback on what has been successful and what has gone wrong, with a view to improve new community initiatives. The second day of the event will be about celebrating 40 years of hard work and belief in Awra Amba. It will be a celebration of brotherhood and sisterhood – of humanity.

Most of those who started Awra Amba may no longer be here, but the new generation is taking the community into the future armed with University degrees, strong work ethics and an enthusiasm to change their country. It is an exciting time for Awra Amba.

It is 1.30am in Istanbul and having spent the last 7 days working non stop from 8am until midnight I am feeling pretty tired and ready for bed. This week has involved a lot of nervous nail biting and sleepless nights, not only because of the visa issue, but also because my beloved (and so far always loyal) laptop died; we had to find a new apartment to live in; finish one trailer and two showreels (one is for the Awra Amba project – so please check it out on our homepage!); finish one project bid, one funding application and raise enough money to be able to go to Ethiopia. Phew!

We are relieved and very happy to be going to Awra Amba this week and to be a part of this special time in their history. We will keep you updated on how it all goes…

Now I’m off to bed. Good night! Talk to you when we get back 🙂

Paulina

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