January 28, 2013
Florida Hospital Waterman Mission Team Returns from Two Week Mission Trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The 2012 Florida Hospital Waterman mission team has returned from their two-week mission trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
This was the 20th mission trip for Florida Hospital Waterman which has been sending mission teams annually since 1995 to work on projects both inside and outside the United States. This year’s trip was the team’s first trip to Africa. The team helped at both the Learning Village school in Kalaala and the Summit Higher Clinic in nearby Summit, both on the outskirts of Addis Ababa.
Five members of the team worked at the clinic doing physical therapy, assisting the pharmacist, and helping the physicians. The rest of the team worked where needed on the grounds of the 650-student kindergarten and elementary school. They assisted with building a storage unit for the cement blocks made at the school, and some worked in the agricultural area. Team members visited in the classrooms and interacted with the children during recess and lunch breaks. Each day they held a Vacation Bible School for the children, starting with 50 children the first day and 400+ by the last day.
Christmas day the team members went to each of the classrooms and did a craft with the children. The children were given a canvas bag, glitter glue sticks and permanent markers to personalize their bags. Then they were each given a pen, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser and some stickers. It was not a traditional Christmas, but “it felt so good to be doing something for others that have so little, and seeing the excitement on their faces was a perfect way to spend Christmas day” said Catherine Burke, DI Operations Manager at Florida Hospital Waterman.
“I am so very grateful for all that I learned about the country, the culture, and the wonderful Ethiopian people,” says Michelle Owens, staff pharmacist at the hospital, who was on her first mission trip. “I have come away from the trip with a special place in my heart for the country, the Learning Village, and the Summit Higher Clinic and Pharmacy. I feel that I have received so much from the trip.”