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Peter Vogt | Addis Abba, Ethiopia

May 1, 2012

How did you become involved with your work in Ethiopia?

The organization I worked with is All God’s Children. It is a Portland, Oregon based charity that runs orphanages/adoption agencies in a number of countries including Ethiopia. It also organizes mission work trips. Dan Wilson, a former catcher with the Seattle Mariners, is a friend of one of my brothers. Dan organized a previous trip four years ago and the team worked on building a neighborhood daycare center in Addis Abba, Ethiopia (I was not on that trip).

What did the mission involve on a daily basis?

The project involved working at a relatively new school located on the outskirts of Addis Abba. The school did not have a library, proper sanitary facilities, or any playing fields. There were 17 people on our team, and we worked with an Ethiopian crew. The school has approximately 1200 students, and thee children were on site at lunch/recess. This was a very big project and we had limited tools. For instance, we hand mixed cement for the foundations, and we completed an outdoor basketball court and volleyball court. Prior to our arrival, a soccer field had been graded. In addition, most of the foundation for the bathrooms and library were completed. The Ethiopian crew has since completed the work.

The trip was full of hard physical labor but very rewarding. (It also was an excellent weight loss program). Working with the Ethiopians and interacting with the children was great. We also visited an orphanage, and one afternoon we played the teachers in a soccer game. Thankfully, Dan Wilson was a great goalie and the referee went out of his way to favor our team, so the game ended in a draw.

What do you see down the road for your involvement?

I am hopeful I can make similar trips in the future. Logistically it is difficult, but I can’t think of anything else I have done that was as enlightening and rewarding.

What do you see down the road for your involvement?

Although the language Barrie made it interesting, working with and getting to know some of the Ethiopian crew members was a great cross-cultural experience. Many of the men worked in sandals or tennis shoes. At the end of our week, we distributed our work boots, extra shoes and clothing to the crew. Those very simple items were greatly appreciated by the workers, whose average wage was a couple of dollars a day.