On our last and final day in Ethiopia, Scott Harrison asked us if we wanted to visit one. final. village. The second of two villages that co-traveller and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg had funded. Our total travel time that day had already been five hours and this last village was an additional hour and a half on a paved road, followed by another hour on a sketchy dirt road. We were weary but with the promise of amazing geography, and the reminder that the villagers had been awaiting our arrival all day, we sallied forth.
The trip to the village ended up being one of the best. Driving on the top of a plateau with valleys and cliffs meters off the road , we made slow time, but every vista incredible. Where most villages were rockin’ the old testament style architecture the few buildings we saw looked prehistoric. With layers of mountains in the distance we drove through foggy clouds, shared the road with camel caravans, sat on the top of the Land Cruiers to feel the wind and get a better view, stopped to take photos on awkward peaks to capture the last moments of the sunset, and even chased donkeys around the mountain side.
At the end of the road was a village. This village was in a valley, loosely connected to 5,000 other villagers. This was the final of 27 wells in that cluster. For everyone in that area, charity:water’s well work was complete. Instead of getting sick from drinking water, they received energy. Instead of the mothers walking six hours a day for hydration, they farmed. School, not survival, was now the main goal of these children.
The villagers thanked us as best they could. Threw popcorn, sang songs, danced, made injera and honey. They gave us a coffee ceremony. Speeches and hugs. But for them this well was a miracle.