Lauren Casper »

Longing for Addis

The first morning I woke up in Addis Ababa I felt like I had come home. The window of our hotel room was open and there was a breeze blowing the curtain. The sun was just beginning to rise and I could hear the funny beep of foreign cars honking as they zipped down the street. I walked over to the window and looked out over the field in front of a backdrop of hills. There were kids playing soccer already while some adults with their goats, donkeys, and cattle watched. The animals for either grazing or resting. Women were walking out from the fields with large baskets on their heads with babies strapped to their backs. They were going to the market to sells their items. Others were walking along the road to school or work. The city was coming to life and even though I had never been to this place before (heck, I had never left North America before) it felt so familiar and comforting. A deep love grew in my heart as I stood looking out that window… a love that has only grown with each passing day. Over the week I got to see so much more of the city and fall even deeper in love. We flew “home” at the end of the week and I grieved (mostly the grief was associated with leaving my son). When we returned to Addis just weeks later my heart pounded with excitement as the plane touched down in Bole International, Addis Ababa. I was home again! The next morning I woke up much the same way I had the month before… once again I stood at the window and watched the city come to life. I felt peace. I felt love. I felt more at home than I ever have before. A week later our plane took off and brought us back to America with our new son. Again I grieved… this time for a city and a country that I had fallen in love with and had to leave behind. Now I pray for Addis every day. I look at pictures and long to be there. I talk to my son (who can’t understand a word I’m saying) all about his homeland. I tell him we’ll take him back there someday. I grab the Ethiopian woman I meet on the beach and talk to her as long as I can. I love the familiar face and the beautiful accent. I tear up when she speaks in Amharic to my son and he lights up. I miss Ethiopia… every single day. This video gives such a great idea of the beauty, life, and love that is in Addis Ababa. The heart of the city is the people. They are amazing. So much joy, love, and light. Watch and you will see why this place and these people have captured my heart…

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