So being over 7000 miles away from Columbus, we tend to long for things that remind us of home. For some of us it has been a functional gym, for others it has been ice cream, for me it has been fresh vegetables, but for all of us, we shared in a little piece of home tonight. Many of us miss home, we miss our friends, our partners, our pets. But most of all, we feel for Javed, who has a wife and three kids back home. He has a special family ritual that we could all relate to, the American classic of milk and cookies. So when Javed brought out the Oreos he had stashed away, our excitement grew, but not as much as Javed’s. He quickly realized something was lacking and went in search of milk that is “packaged,” ending up with four bags of milk.
Javed told us about a ritual that he has with his kids of eating Oreos and milk. It is something they do to bond together as a family, and by sharing that with the team, he honored us by bringing us into this special part of his life. It sparked nostalgia for all of us, each longing for different periods where we were with our families. The milk we drank reminded Alejandra of the milk she had when she was a kid in Peru, which she distinctly remembered drinking with her grandparents, and the cookies stirred up memories from all of our childhoods.
As we are nearing the end of our journey in Ethiopia (Niraj and Katie depart in just four days!), we are all beginning to think more and more about home. Though we are all longing to be among our loved ones once again, we cannot take for granted the little family we have created within our team. We have shared so much on this trip, from our daily meals, to our goals and dreams, to our personal lives. This is an amazing experience we have shared with one another, and we could not thank our loved ones enough for allowing us this opportunity. We look forward to coming home to you, but in the meantime, rest assured that we are in good hands.