When I planned this trip, I decided to cram as much as possible into our two weeks overseas and make the most of our time. Because of that, I chose to go to Ethiopia, even though it would only be for 36 hours. I felt like we needed to see one of our craftsmen communities, Salem's Designs. They make many of the scarves we sell. Our time in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has been great. The city has a beautiful landscape, lively traffic, welcoming people, good weather, and amazing food. I love this country!
We were greeted at the airport by our host, Salem. You may have read her name before on one of our craftsman cards. Salem is the owner of Salem's Designs, a company that works with artisans throughout the area of Addis Ababa who make woven products, baskets, and jewelry. Salem's passion is to give jobs to many people within the city. Currently, she employs over 80 people. I love that one of the goals of Salem's Designs is to show the rich culture of Ethiopia through beautiful works of art.
We spent a good part of our day with the textile and basket weavers. These men and women were so happy to see us, and we were able to personally meet the craftsmen that have created many Market Colors scarves. We also spent some time shopping and thinking through new ideas for the upcoming seasons. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but I'm excited about all the possibilities.
Last night, we had the opportunity to meet up with a team from our home church in Orlando, Summit Church. Their team of five was traveling through Addis Ababa at the same time, so we broke bread together over a traditional Ethiopian meal. We're headed to Kenya tomorrow with very full and happy stomachs and hearts.
Off to Nairobi!