Friday, May 24, 2013

It's A Small World After All ....

I have to share a story with you.

I am always amazed at how teeny our great big world is. Every time. Running into someone you know when you are on holiday. Or finding out your new friend is next door neighbors to a long lost friend of yours. It knocks me over every time. But this story is beyond incredible.

I went to Ethiopia in August 2008. We (Mom + I) went with a mission organization that supports a soccer camp during the rainy season. So, there we were, deep in the heart of Ethiopia - 4 hours from Addis Ababa and 2 hours from the nearest paved road (and bottle of cold Coca Cola).

I was so giddy to be there - I was snapping photos like crazy - soccer kids, baboons, village people, trees, rain bouncing off the lake. Basically, if it held still for 1/8th of a second, I snapped it. I can home from a 10 day trip with over a thousand images.

After we got home (and I recovered from my parting gift, Malaria), I opened my Etsy shop. I filled it with Africa images and then lots of other goodies I have. For some reason, I kept this one particular image of a village family in my shop. It never sold but it was sweet. I had been meaning to remove it but never got around to it.

A couple weeks ago, I got a convo on Etsy (that's an email through Etsy). A woman in Canada wanted to know more specifics about that image. Where exactly was it taken and when? Not the normal client questions but I was more than happy to respond to her. I explained where Lake Langano was and that it was an image of a village family.

Ok, hold on to your socks.

She writes me back : their son was adopted from that area and given the information she had, there was a very good chance that this was an image of him with his biological mother and brother. Did I have any more images of the family or other villagers?

Langano family ... !

I immediately scoured my archives and contacted my aunt who works for SIM and Sports Friends (they took us to Africa and still go every year). My new Canadian friend also sent me images she took of her son and his biological father. I immediately recognized the father - he's distinctive - but I could not find an image of him. I was sure I had one. I was positive. Then I remembered we were introduced to the village elders but I was asked not to take their picture. He had to be one of them.

So, as the story goes now. My wonderful aunt is going to take copies of my photos and copies of the photos my Canadian sent me when she goes back to Langano in June. And my family snap shot is on its way to Canada.

I am so excited to see if anything else develops. But, as I told my new friend/ client, something made me not remove the photo and in my heart it is her son.

Have a great holiday weekend!


  1. What a lovely tale...we are all connected, we just don't always know it.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, it really does give me pause that in such a giant crowded world, we can find such amazing ways that we are all connected. Just wow!

  2. That is, pardon me, AMAZEBALLS!!! Chelsea, what a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing. Wow.

    1. No pardon necessary Brit, it really is a pretty awesome story ... fingers crossed there is a part II later this summer (after soccer camp this year - wish I could go!!!)

  3. How wonderful, Chelsea! Thanks for sharing and I hope you'll keep us posted :)
    xx Emily

    1. Thanks Emily ... fingers crossed for updates later this summer!

  4. awww. sweet story! How wonderful for you to play a part in it all :)

    1. Thanks Keri - it's a pretty magical story and even more so if that little cherub face is in fact his.