Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One week out

This time next week I will be en-route to Logan Airport.  I've got my passport and my shots.  I've taken my typhoid medicine and picked up my Cipro and my malaria prescriptions from the pharmacy.  I've got 2 bags of donations packed and 2 more ready to pack. 

I haven't thought too much about what I am bringing for myself-  clothes or personal stuff.  But I'm ok with that.  I can be fine with the bare minimum.

There is a woman who has been very generous and helpful in preparing for this trip, and she's asked me to bring a laptop for her.  I feel it's the least I can do.  With great thanks to a stranger (who would like to be anonymous),  I have a laptop for Dereje.  And I have my own laptop which I would like to bring so that I can dump photos and blog occasionally.  How will I bring 3 laptops with me?

And then,  of course,  there is the difference between ready and "ready."

Monday, September 20, 2010


There is a young man at Kolfe orphanage (our 1st stop on our trip),  well,  in fact there are 150 young men there,  but this post is about 1 of them.

Here is what I know about Dereje:

I know he uses crutches, but I don't know why.  I know he is respected and considered a leader among the boys.  I know he aspires to become a doctor.  He dreams of becoming a doctor.

He's made connections with a doctor from Texas who is establishing a fund for his schooling.

And,  I know he wants a computer.

If you have a used laptop (in good working order) that you would be willing to donate,  would you please let me know?

I know Dereje will appreciate it!  As will I.


I can't believe I get to be a part of this.

A Month From Now

I can't believe I get to know these people.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


One thing I have learned is that there are people who want to know about this trip,  and there are people who simply do not.  It's like food.  You either like rhubarb, or you don't.  I am pretty good, I think, about determining within the 1st few moments in a conversation, which camp the other person falls into.

Camp Tellmeallaboutit is a really fun place for me to visit.  As my last post proves, I have a lot to process...  and that's all pre-trip processing.  I'll be a stinky mess when I come home,  I am sure.  But for now talking this stuff out is fun and helpful and energizing.

I'm wondering a bit about how the folks arrived at Camp Surewhateverwhatsforlunch.  And I do mean wondering.  I like talking about this stuff and I tend to get a little obsessive about my passions,  but I don't think I broadcast the "All Megin all of the time" channel.  I like thinking about and talking about traveling and getting to meet new people and bare witness to an alternate reality and I want to know what a trip to Africa makes you wonder about.

Oh and by the way...  Diane's still making necklaces and you forgot about buying one for your friend's kid.  Great gift.  Everyone who has ordered one loves it!  Quick,  email me before you forget again!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Articulation Attempt

Let me begin by saying this:  I just finished writing this....  long, rambling, tangenty, unclear, verbose mass.  I am torn between deleting it and sharing it.  I decided to share it because it shows just how hard it is for me to talk about the "whys" in a way that makes any sense at all.  I am hoping that by writing this I am getting a bit closer to figuring out how to talk about it.

On Tuesday morning I sat in Tim Horton's with a reporter from our small weekly paper.  It was less and interview and more a conversation.  We started talking and hopped from topic to tangent to story for about an hour and a half.

Throughout our conversation I kept hearing myself talk about "possibility."  In this space I have mostly made pleas for money and shared fundraising progress.  I have not talked too much about the whys and the emotional component of preparing for this trip.  I haven't talked about possibility.  I want to...  but I haven't because it's not easy.

I am not going to Africa to eliminate poverty, solve the orphan epidemic, or end world hunger.  There you go.  It's not so hard to talk about the "nots."

People toss about the word "community" easily.  I do it.  Community used to mean the people you knew in your town.  It still means that,  but not only that.  You're here, reading this, you likely know what I mean.  There is my "real life" community of family and friends and neighbors,  the school communities, the church communities, but now there are also the twitter communities, the facebook communities, the flickr communities, the communities on Yahoo, on and on and on.  If not all then at least most communities have a "return on investment."  If you are never there,  never commenting and sharing and helping and asking then there is no return.  You aren't actually a part of the community.  It's like the facebook that my nephew set up for my mom.

___ ___ ___ ___

Some of the t-shirts Erin and Wendy are selling have a graphic of the world.  Its a hazy kind of watercolory world.  It's different from a map which outlines all of the boundaries and differences.  The continents are different shapes,  sure.  But there are more similarities than differences.  It just looks like the earth.

Cue music:  We are the world.... we are the children...

___ ___ ___ ___

But why...  why am I doing this?  I could send money.  I could sent the money I have raised and the money I have spent on travel and accommodations and make a significant impact in an Ethiopian orphanage.

I could donate to one of the many honorable and worthy causes here in Maine.

Those possibilities for impact exist.

But here's the thing.  I am going to Africa for me.  I'm selfish like that.

___ ___ ___ ___

I should delete this post and start over.  Writing about this is hard.

___ ___ ___ ___

I have read the accounts of other folks who take humanitarian trips.  I cry when I read the posts Erin and Wendy wrote about their 1st trip to Ethiopia.  I cry when I read about Korah.  I am a blubbery baby.  I cry easily-  especially about the hard stuff.

What does this have to do with possibility?  with community?

I will never know what it's like to live in Ethiopia.  I don't know anyone who has grown up in an impoverished country.  I've never known anyone who went without clean water.  I've never gotten dinner at the city dump.  I've never NOT had access to medical care...  not even for one single minute.  I have never made choices about which child to feed.

It's possible when I meet people who do I will appreciate our similarities. 

Therein lies all of the possibility. 

The possibility of making my community bigger and smaller at the same time.  Of being a member of The Community instead of all of the communities.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Final Push!

I am making one more fund raising push in an effort to raise an additional $2,000 in the next 30 days.  It is an aggressive goal,  but it can be done!  This trip to Ethiopia is a very unique opportunity and I want to make the most of it.  For me, this means bringing as many supplies as possible.  It also means bringing funds to purchase items needed by the orphanages and communities we will be staying in. 

Lots of you have already donated to our Ethiopia trip.  THANK YOU.  It might seem like I have been asking often.  I have.  But there are non financial ways to help, too.  Perhaps others will be interested in buying prints, necklaces, or pouches as birthday or holiday gifts!  This helps us to meet our fundraising goals AND increases the number of pretty things in the world.  Win-win.

Here is what your donations can do:
  • $250 a year supports one child for 3 hot meals a week, vitamins, and an education
  • $300 pays for one teacher for one year ($30 per month)
  • $25 buys 2 hens and one rooster- picked up and delivered to a families
  • .24 cents feeds one child a hot meal
  • $10 will buy several pairs of shoes for the shoeless
  • $100 transports 50 lbs of supplies
Here is how you can help:
I am so thankful for your support.  Thank you so very much.

Megin Hatch

30 days and Prints for Sale!

I leave in 30 days!

I am selling prints to continue fundraising for Ethiopia.  Right now I am raising money specifically to pay for transporting the supplies that I have, and buying supplies and food when we are in Ethiopia.  

Available prints:

These are for raw prints-  unframed and unmatted.  The borders around these examples are just to simulate framing.  If you would like a custom order please email me at  I would be happy to send you a quote for a larger print and/or matted or framed photograph.

All proceeds go directly to helping orphans.

How to order: 

Email me.  Please include the print you're ordering and the size.  I will reply with an invoice.  You can pay by Paypal or send me a check.  When payment is received, I will ship your order.

Shipping will be calculated on an individual basis.  Orders will be shipped via the USPS.