Greg Climenhaga during the Great Ethiopia Run

I volunteered for EEF with my friend and colleague from a hospital in Ontario, Canada, where we had both recently retired.

This was a wonderful experience volunteering in the Ethiopian Education Foundation hostel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The EEF staff made us feel so welcome and were very helpful in assisting with adapting to the culture and navigating around the city. 

The students are amazing and we quickly felt that we were a part of their community.  They are all so bright and eager to improve their English skills.  Volunteers participated in the weekly coffee ceremonies, which is sharing delicious coffee and freshly popped popcorn and getting to know them.  We worked on English skills, homework, mindfulness, drama classes and playing lots of table games.  Students eagerly took us to church and for walks in which we explored the city. 

One highlight of the experience was participating in the Great Ethiopian Run with the students.  The music, dancing, walking and running with them and 45,000 other participants was simply amazing.  

This opportunity has also afforded me with a time of reflection on the richness and challenges of this developing country.  I have learned so much from the people and this rich experience.