The Hero’s Journey

By Tewodros Asfaw

Bole, Addis Ababa

There was one resolution that I held for 2015. I didn’t know how I would make it happen, when it would happen, or how long I would stay, but I knew I had to go to Ethiopia. After more than a decade of being away, I just knew I had to go back. Life was calling me home. With the start of a new year, I opened my heart to welcome new possibilities in my life and to embrace what came my way with no resistance.

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Beauty and Selfies


Running on the mountains behind Jomo, the same mountains many famous Ethiopian runners practice on!

When I first started my journey in Ethiopia, I expected it to be challenging and inspirational. In many ways, it’s been both of those things, and so much more. I remember the surreal feeling of actually being in the country I was born in for the first time in over a decade and the mixed emotions of excitement, nervousness, and curiosity.

I wanted to adjust to life in Addis as authentically as possible; I wanted to go out of my comfort zone and really make the experience about personal growth. I found that each time I left the house, whether it was getting lost and walking in the rain to get home from the gym, or learning the art of bargaining when shopping to avoid overpaying because I look “American”, or taking a taxi and having my phone stolen, there was always a new adventure awaiting me. In all the experiences I’ve had so far in Ethiopia, there has been a consistent theme of peace and community.

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