We recently had the visit of newlyweds Jamie and Zvi Kresch. Zvi, an international ophthalmologist, was in Ethiopia teaching and helping upgrade skills of local eye doctors. We asked if they might be able to help us by taking time to photograph some of our village projects.
Thus, one recent Friday, they found themselves in a pickup truck, pulling into the hot, dusty village of Gorgor, 25 miles from the Sudan border. The center of the village has a primary school with a tattered Ethiopian flag flying bravely, and many round tukuls/huts made of sticks and mud.
This village of 200 families, which had 1 well – 1 inadequate well, which goes dry, where women wait for hours to fill water containers, and where fights break out over water.
Knowing that JDC has built over 200 functioning wells in Ethiopia, a friend named Moshe funded a new well here, in honor of their wedding. As they pulled into the village, they saw 2 wells – the old and the new, with a line of donkeys carrying gerry-cans of water, and both men and women pumping the water from the new well.
Noting their arrival, the villagers started making speeches, thanking them for the well. They were embarrassed – they were the photographers, not the builder and not the donor.
And then the sign came out announcing that this was actually a wedding gift, which they learned about nearly a year after their marriage.
Jamie commented: “We thought we were doing a favor and going into the countryside, we were amazed to learn that we were actually visiting our most unique wedding gift.” Zvi used the opportunity to encourage all the kids to study hard and do well with their lives. And Moshe commented “This is a gift which keeps giving – a lot nicer than candlesticks or new dishes. Every day it’s helping keep hundreds of people alive.”
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