Lance & Megan's Blog

In the business of Hope


Besides working at Mother Theresa’s home, we also worked with an organization called Hope Enterprise.

How should I describe Hope Enterprise…? Hmmmm, well it took a while to find the place. We called the number we had, but no one seemed to answer. I had an approximate address (I say approximate because they don’t have street addresses in Ethiopia.) We wandered around for awhile until we found them, walked in and just asked if we could help out. It turned out to be a great place, and I am so glad we found them!

They give free lunches to the hungry 6 days a week. They also help build schools, provide school supplies and food. They live up to their name and make sure that they are providing hope to those who need it.

As a team, we divided into two groups. Half of us worked on the women’s side, the others with the men’s side. Lunchtime is a crazy time. The men’s building was the busiest. In one day, approximately 700 men come through to eat in an hour and a half. 

Let’s do some math. How many seconds are there in an hour and a half? 5,400 How many men did I say come through? 700 So how long did each man have to eat his meal? About 7.5 seconds How long did we have to put the food on the plate? Does it even matter at this point? People were flying on the men’s side!

This is how it went. We arrive early, are told to wait for a little bit, no problem, we have to trek up a busy hill in the hot sun to get there. Once they are ready, we put our bags under a desk, hurry down  the stairs to the feeding center, put on aprons, grab some injera, fold in half, then 1/3, and 1/3 again to make a little triangle.

A mountain of injera!

Stack it on a flat woven plate and repeat about 700 times. We start putting the injera onto plates and then stack up the plates, the men start to come through, they give a little token, take their plate, wash their hands, sit down and wait for their wat, we come by and give them two scoops of wat (soupy sauce stuff made with lentils.) When over half the men have finished their plates, we move them out, give a quick wipe down of the tables and the next bunch of men come through and the whole thing repeats, after we wash all the dishes of course. And the whole time this is going on, we’re still folding injera. 


The women’s side is a different story. The women’s building is about a 15 minute walk from the men’s. It is down a quiet lane, with flowers all planted around the dining area. It is much more relaxed here. When we come, they offer tea and bread and we chat for a bit. The injera is already folded so we basically just wait until there are enough women. Only about 200 women come through, not including any children they bring. Once we have a large crowd of women, we begin passing out the injera and wat. It is much louder here since the noise is made up of chatting women, playful kids, and crying babies.

I love injera!

Last group through

I always loved working here since everyone was so friendly and happy. We wash dishes together once everyone has left and then sometimes we have more tea, bread, and conversation.

posted under team, travel

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