Our visit was incredible. We did cool things like climb the Simien Mountains and met great people like the ones I am going to tell you about.
OHBD did so many good things. When we were in Dangla, we met a science teacher from Project Ethiopia. He was showing students how to measure viscosity of water by taking three empty plastic bottles and filling them with salt water. The first had no salt in it. The second had a little more in it. The third had the most. Then he took an empty glass container of medicine which was filled with sand with a straw attached to the top. Then he put the glass container in all three bottles. The salt-less water was first and it sank to the bottom. In the second, it didn’t sink all the way down, and in the third it floated toward the top. I found that really interesting, but my favorite part was when he shot off three homemade rockets in the class. My mom and I yelped and jumped out of our seats and everyone had a good laugh. The science instructor doesn’t get any teaching aids so he makes them himself. The best thing about him, I think, is he’s not only creating the materials for himself and his students, he’s teaching other teachers to do it, too. Every single item the teacher used for experiments was once trash. Now it’s empowering Ethiopia’s future leaders, but he can’t do it all on his own; he doesn’t even have his own classroom! OHBD is going to help fund getting him one to continue his great work and keep sharing with more schools.
Another amazing person we met was the founder of Whiz Kids. Whiz Kids Workshop is an organization that made Tsehai Loves Learning, a TV show similar to Sesame Street with puppets. They also make and distribute books to forty schools to help kids learn to read in Amharic and my favorite thing they do is a show called Tibeb Girls. They are three girls who go around and solve problems. At the meeting OHBD had with Whiz Kids and Rotary, I asked, “What would they do if kids didn’t have access to their books at school? How do you make an impact?” It felt really nice to contribute to the conversation. A big difference between OHBD and Whiz Kids is that they are making books for classrooms and we are making books for practice reading and to help kids learn to love to read. Now OHBD and Whiz Kids are going to work together to improve Ethiopia’s literacy rate.
I really enjoyed this trip because I was able to connect to my culture and even learned a little Amharic. OHBD got a lot done and the woman who orchestrated it all is my mom, Ellenore Angelidis.