A Family Trip to Ethiopia


My siblings and I with our aunt.

It was in the fall of 2018 when the day the rest of my family and I had been waiting for finally arrived. The Rooyakker family was going to Ethiopia.  We had been waiting for this trip for years, and had saved money aside so that we could see my Ethiopian family again. We were flying into the capitol, Addis Ababa, and my family and I were excited to explore the culture of Ethiopia and learn more about my heritage.

The flight was really long from Minnesota to Ethiopia. It took about 15 to 16 hours. One of the first things I noticed when we left the airport was both younger and older kids cleaning other people’s shoes on the streets for money.  We thought all of the kids would be going to school instead of cleaning or doing other jobs such as selling fruit, clothes, and other things. I learned that the kids needed to help their families to make money.

My brother and sister and I sitting with the family and people of our village.

America is more developed than Africa.  “Most people there don’t have a lot of electronic devices like we do here, such as computers and TVs,” my dad had said.  It was very surprising though that almost everyone had iPhones. The temperature was really hot and they didn’t have a lot of fresh air there. They don’t have a lot of job options and they don’t got paid much for their work. Their money is not worth that much compared to Americans money.

When we met our Ethiopian family, we noticed that they didn’t have much compared to us, but yet they were all happy to see us.”

When we met our Ethiopian family, we noticed that they didn’t have much compared to us, but yet they were all happy to see us. My dad explained that the land is fertile and they can grow a lot of different things. They had a lot to be happy about. It was interesting to see where my Ethiopian family lived because their houses were built with sticks with mud around it. They grew a lot of corn, coffee beans, bananas, and mangoes.

One of the mud houses in Gambella, Ethiopia.

The African culture is very different than American culture. One thing that was interesting is that they have a lot of traditional singing and dancing in Ethiopia. My favorite part of the entire trip was seeing my family so happy regardless of all that we had been through.  Also Ethiopian food is the best. By taking a trip like this, you get to learn about the country and meet new people. If you are ever interested in taking a trip to Ethiopia, now you have an idea of what they have and what it’s like there.