In March, a group of students from the Northwest School in Seattle, Washington traveled to Ethiopia as part of the school’s two week immersive learning series known as “The Summits”. While in the capital Addis Ababa, the group met up with students from the International Leadership Academy of Ethiopia (ILAE), which serves as a collaborating school to both the Northwest School and Open Hearts Big Dreams.
The Seattle students and their new friends from ILAE traveled from the capital to the Hudad, a remote village outside of Lalibela, a holy city and the site of the famous Ethiopian rock-hewn churches. The Hudad sits at an elevation of 11,300 feet and is a three hour hike up the side of the mountain from Lalibela. Until a recent school was established, children who were able to attend school made the daily hike both ways down and up the mountain.
During the day, the Northwest and ILAE students worked with the local townspeople on completing a clean water project for the village. But the students did not miss an opportunity to share the literacy efforts of Open Hearts Big Dreams with the children of the village. Up the side of the mountain, the students carried over one hundred copies of various Ready Set Go books in Amharic and English along with other donations for the village. There were enough copies for every student and a few left over in reserve for the teachers.
Fifteen students and teachers from the Northwest school made the trip, including Sintayehu Clements, son of OHBD Board Member, John Clements.