My Sister is headed to Botswana for 2 years!
“The Peace Corps is a service opportunity for motivated changemakers to immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation.” –Peace Corps Website
It is always hard seeing someone off as they venture on to new journeys in life. Getting to know Merhawit has been a life changing experience. She was born in Asmara, Eritrea and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana at the age of 13, along with her Mom, to join her Father, who had already come to America. Merhawit attended Ben Davis High School and graduated from Indiana University, where we met. While in college, her major was public health and her dream after graduation was to empower underpriviledge young girls and women, and also educate them on personal hygiene, preventative health education, and other public health issues women face around the world. She’s studied abroad in Italy in the summer of 2013 and has been back to Africa for mission trips, visiting family, and for her own self discovery journey.
Merhawit has always had a special place in her heart for giving back to Africa and has even gone back to spend weeks in both Eritrea and Ethiopia. So, she’s ready to add Botswana to her list, this time for 2 years! After studying abroad, Merhawit set out to see more of the world and took many trips seeing what other countries had to offer. In the past 5 years, she has also visited:
- London, England
- Cairo, Egypt
- Vienna, Austria
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Frankfort, Germany
- Toronto, Canada
- Cozumel, Tulum, and Playa Del Carmen in Mexico
- Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi Island, Bangkok, Chiang Mai in Thailand
- Doha, Qatar
- & 18 different states across the United States!
After we sat down and recounted everywhere she’s gone, Merhawit said, ‘That’s not a lot,’ I said, ‘sure,’ coming from the girl who has only been in America for 11 years and has travelled in and out of the country more times than she could even remember!!
Merhawit started her adventures for personal enjoyment and exploration. She soon realized that exploring other cultures alone was not fulfilling enough. Although she enjoyed herself, she felt that there was more she needed to accomplish. She knew something was missing. Merhawit began to pray that God would open a door for her that would allow her to fulfill a bigger purpose.
She is now ready to impact lives and share what she has learned about life, the world and her walk with Jesus.
Merhawit is literally one of the most brave individuals I’ve ever met. She isn’t afraid to step out on a limb and do something scary. Something dangerous. Merhawit has never been afraid to pack a bag and go. Now she’s packing and will be gone for 2 years!
After undergrad, Merhawit wanted to figure out how to help internationally, specifically in underserved communities or undeveloped countries. She’s thought about how her 1 life can make an impact that will help change the world. When she told me she was applying for, and then eventually accepted into, the Peace Corps program, my heart was filled with complete joy and happiness for her.
Although I will miss being close to her, I am more excited because I know this is something she is going to really love. I am also soooooo happy for the children and people in Botswana she’ll impact; all the lives she’ll help change on this journey, including her own. I can’t wait to hear about your journey and see what this experience brings you.
Merhawit, having a sister like you is so inspiring. I love and admire your ambition. We have shared our life experiences, life talks, spiritual understanding, and love for change with each other. I wish I could be as brave and confident as you are! I am so very proud of you and I am here to support you on this amazing journey. You are so loved and will be missed. May you continue to be the amazing person you are and share all your love throughout this journey! Please please please continue growing into the amazing woman God created you to be!
Ps. I promise to come visit soon!
Here’s a link to her Instagram account. Follow her to stay up to date with her journey: Merhawit’s Instagram
And, if anyone is interested in learning more about Peace Corps, here’s the link to the Peace Corps Website if you’re interested in volunteering or checking out other ways to support such a great organization: Peace Corps Website