Dave went on his last trip out of Djibouti to Ethiopia in May 2011. This time he introduced Chaplain Bill O’Sullivan, his replacement at Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, to the Civil Affairs teams he worked with around Ethiopia.
“Happiness is having your replacement on the ground,” Dave said.
Bill quickly learned the ways of the chaplains’ office. Now he needed to see the field work. His introduction to Ethiopia included crazy drivers, flooding rains and intermittent power and internet.
“Africa travels continue to be interesting,” Dave said.
First stop was Sister Donna’s orphanage where they caught up with what was happening with her (see my next post).
On the drive back, they saw a herd of about 12 dead camels on the side of the road. They appeared to have broken legs. Dave and Bill speculated the camels were in the back of a truck that was in an accident and each had broken a leg or two and had to be put down. “A very sad situation,” Dave said. “In fact, there were lots of accidents and dead animals along the road. I don’t remember it being this bad the last few times I traveled to Awasa.”
They next visited Father Dennis, whom Dave met in December in Arba Minch. Originally from Kampala, Uganda, Father Dennis was in Addis Ababa to learn the Ethiopian national language, Amharic. Dave passed along a few messages through Father Dennis to the religious council in Arba Minch and called it a night.
The next morning, they dropped off six boxes of clothing for the orphanage run by the only Jewish family in Addis Ababa. From there, they went to the U.S. Embassy to introduce Bill to some of the team’s contacts. Then it was time to fly back to Djibouti.
“I can’t believe my time on the Africa continent is almost complete. What an amazing ride. The people God let me meet, work with, minister to and with, and the unknown lives that have been changed – I couldn’t ask for anything better. If this is my last trip in Africa, at least it was a good one,” Dave said.