The coordination of our time in Gimbie is a huge undertaking. Moving a large group from A to B, with varying goals, backgrounds, skills, and convictions takes an enormous amount of energy. All of the coordination falls upon the shoulders of two people, and their stamina is nothing short of admirable.
Janice, a fitness director from the University of Oregon, is the person who initiated the idea of coming to Gimbie to provide surgeries for women in the first place. She tirelessly gave her time and talents working with the doctors from Lincoln City who have been trekking to Ethiopia for years to make sure we arrived safely.
In addition to being a master organizer, she also jumped on the fundraising wagon and sold calendars, held bake sales, collected dresses, managed a vegetable seed delivery, and put her heart and soul into making sure everything was working like a well oiled wheel. She raised $4500 that was earmarked for prolapse surgeries, nutritional supplements for children, and a satellite project.
This year, Janice was awarded The University of Oregon’s Martin Luther King Award.
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” Martin Luther King
Seyoum, a native Ethiopian and recent Oregonian, spends many sleepless days and nights coordinating travel arrangements, vetting complaints, managing the herd of cats we are, and answering cultural questions to ensure that our experience here is the most positive it can be. He sees the payoff of his efforts: we all have fallen hard for this beautiful country, and our time here is but a small part of our broader intentions. His energy has enabled us to take that first step.
“We cannot do great things – only small things with great love.” Mother Teresa