A Walk to Beautiful

This was a dream of mine to visit the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Dr. Catherine Hamlin saw a need for the rural women of Ethiopia who suffer from physical impairment, shame & marginalization as a result of a obstetric fistula. Her hospital offers amazing hope & care. Many of the women who come have suffered for years, living in isolation due to the lack of understanding in their communities.

Each patient is given a colourful quilt, a symbol of new life that they now have. I had to bite back my tears, as I saw amongst the hospital gardens, many women walking with their colourful quilts wrapped around them.

Catherine Hamlin lives in a small home on the compound. She turns 93 this year & still puts on her white cloak every morning & does her hospital rounds to greet each patient.

Press on the link below to watch the documentary, that tells the story.

A Walk to Beautiful

Beautiful Souls: Portraits of Africa

I would love to invite each of you to my exhibit at the Pembina Hills Art Gallery from September 4-28th.   The exhibit is entitled Beautiful Souls:  Portraits of Africa.  All of the proceeds  from the exhibit will go to bringing hope and restoration to the orphaned children of Ethiopia through HOPEthiopa.

addis ababa, ethiopia

 

 

One of the biggest gifts I have received was the chance to visit Natinel and his family in their home during my travels to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Natinel is our sponsor child through Compassion Canada.

My dear friend Ramona Wiebe made beautiful dolls that I was able to give to each of the kids. They LOVED them, and immediatly decided what each dolls name should be. Thank-you Ramona, you made some hearts very happy.

In Ethiopia, it is tradition to provide a coffee ceremony for your guest. Yes, I felt completely honoured, as I sat amongst these gracious people. Natinel’s mom, Hannah, roasted the coffee beans and served me the freshly brewed coffee. These moments of being so honoured left me feeling very humbled and loved. This is true hospitality.

Samuel and Caleb were convinced that one of the items I needed to bring Natinel was a soccer ball. From previous letters we had received from Natinel we knew he loved soccer. I can’t describe the look on his face when I handed him this bright yellow ball!  I had packed a load more (flattened at the bottom of my bags) and was able to pass along to Compassion’s Addis project a bunch more that could be used by the community. Something in our own lives we take so forgranted…….

As a photographer I have been blessed to meet many families & capture moments of their togetherness. As simple as this photograph is, it is one of those moments I truly treasure.

Natinel intentely listening as the interpretor read the letters Samuel, Caleb and Anaya had written to him.

Natinel drawing a picture and writing his name. He wanted me to bring this back to our home to give to Samuel, Caleb and Anaya. Really nothing can describe this moment for me. Yes, just a few of our dollars that is providing education & empowering another human being.

 

Samuel is a day labourer. He makes approximately a dollar a day. Hannah once baked bread to sell in the market but because of the increase in food cost, is unable to buy the flour to make bread. Their family has challenging circumstances but as I sat amongst them in their home,  I realized once again that I should not define them by the poverty that surrounded them.  Samuel was clearly a leader, I could see he was an amazing father. He laughed with his children, and volunteered as a pastor to bring hope in his own community. At one point in our visit he asked if I would pray for him and his family. I must say, I felt ackward as I lifted up a prayer. As I finished, I asked if they would pray for my family too. We agreed we would pray for each other-God would hear prayers spoken in Amharic and English. Although oceans separated us, our families were connected. Our families needed one another.

Thank-you Natinel, Hannah & Samuel  for inviting me into your home. I am grateful for you kindness to me. I already anticipate visiting you again when all of us Voths take the trek to Addis Ababa in the near future!

Love, judith

africa

my bags are packed. my heart is ready to be filled with the sights, smells and beautiful people of Africa.

 

until the end of August, it will not be possible for me to reply to emails concerning photo sessions and bookings. thanks!