When Candy and Ernie Schrader visited the Omo River Valley, the Gibe III dam, and captial of Ethiopia, Addis Abbaba, in April they brought along goods from several Walla Walla businesses to donate.
The Schraders donated soccer jerseys, jump ropes, and air pumps from Cummins Athletic Supply, collapsable purses from Tallman’s Drug, and two dozen bandanas from the New York Store.
Cummins Athletic Supply donated the jerseys, and the Schraders purchased the remaining items at cost.
“Basically I brought whatever I could fit in my suitcase,” Candy Schrader said.
Candy, who has visited dozens of other countries while traveling with her husband, said the trip to Ethiopia was rewarding, but for different reasons than she originally imagined.
“I always thought that I would go to Africa to see the animals, or go on a safari,” Candy said, “But when I met the people, saw their cultures and religions, that was more rewarding.
“If I had a chance to go back for a safari or to visit Ethiopia, I’d rather go back to learn more about the people of Ethiopia,” Candy said.
The Schraders donated their goods in the village of Sodo, Ethiopia, about an hour away from the building site of the Gibe III dam.
“You get a lot better feeling,” Ernie said, “and you don’t feel like you’ve thrown your money away, when you can personally hand someone a ball or a little girl something to put in her hair.”