Ep #003: Rachel Micklas, Ethiopia 2012-14

Rachel Micklas lands in her Ethiopian village with a desire to share her love of soccer. Soon after arriving, she forms a soccer team of young girls, who have never played on a team. Months later, they find themselves in the finals of the regional soccer tournament, several players down, fighting for the championship. Listen to hear the rest of this story and more, from Rachel Micklas’s service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia.

On this Episode:

  • How Rachel took a ragtag team of girls from kicking around a makeshift ball all the way to the regional tournament finals
  • A graphic recounting of slaughtering an ox (skip minute 20:00 to 22:30 if you don’t do well with gore)
  • The misadventures of finding a bed, which ran away but then was caught

Photos from Rachel’s Story

(click the photo to enlarge and learn more)

Rachel’s Peace Corps Story

Where and when did you serve? What did you do?

Served in Ethiopia from 2012-14 as a Primary Ed Teacher Trainer; however, I also heavily served as an environment volunteer.

What is one of your favorite Peace Corps memories?

The girls’ soccer team I coached won the local tournament and the celebration afterward was such an incredible and joyous experience. Also, when I left country my town gave me the most amazing going away party where a few of the girls gave me the largest friendship bracelet I had ever seen. I had told them the bigger the bracelet the more you loved someone.

What is one of your least favorite Peace Corps memories?

My site visit with my initial counterpart. It took me four days to get to my site, we were there for a night, and then it took five days to come back. In that time I went to a funeral, got chased by an ox, and unknowingly went to my first t’ej bet.

What do you miss about the Peace Corps?

I miss the food as well as the generosity of the locals.

Do you have a favorite quote or local saying that you’d like to share?

Izoh (m)/Izosh (f) – stay strong, persevere.

 

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