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I wanted to volunteer in Africa since long before I retired. Vincentian Lay Missionaries allowed me to succeed in this ambition without a long term commitment, as I was not in a position to go for a year or two. I travelled to Ethiopia full of curiosity about this country, which had not ever been colonised. I spent time in Addis Ababa with the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, in a teaching role and then I travelled down to Woylita, Soddo, in the south west of the country.
I taught for six weeks in Bruh Tesfa Montessori teacher training college. Everyone was so helpful and so welcoming. The students were an absolute joy and I called on all my teaching experience from Ireland over those challenging six weeks. I am looking forward to going to Ethiopia again as I feel I have real friends there. I would urge any retired person to take this opportunity to do something wonderful, different but, at every stage, very safe.