Personal Update from the Field:

When we arrived in Senale, we were greeted with drumming and singing. Dust rose up from the circle of villagers gathered in the town’s main street and the Ethiopian flag waved high above a growing group of people dancing. Children rushed up beside us, smiling. The atmosphere was festive.

It was incredible to learn that this was all to celebrate our arrival, and to show gratitude for the projects Glimmer has built and monitored here over the past four years. Compared with other villages we had visited the day before — where there is still great need for basic services — the people in Senale immediately seemed happier, less tentative. It didn’t take long for me to understand why.

A large water reservoir at the top of the main street piped water to clean taps across the village, including one at the school and another at the health clinic. Many of the kids around us proudly carried books on their way to class. Down the hill at the health center, a group of women gathered on the lawn for a coffee ceremony preparing to celebrate an impending birth. The sense of pride and ownership I noticed in the people I interacted with was energizing. It made me want to dance, too!Liz Mullaney, Glimmer staff member