"Expect the unexpected," is my mantra as I prepare our volunteer team for the work we do in Ethiopia each year with the kids at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory Care-Points. There are so many things that can happen to throw us off schedule, or throw a wrench in the best laid plans, or just plain surprise us.
After a full day at Kind Hearts, we were nearing the end of the day and we had spent one-on-one time with all 150 kids. Each child received a care-package from their sponsor family and our team was reading letters and going through photos and gifts with each child.
It was finally Becky Dunkle's turn to sit with Derartu, her sponsor child that she had met for the first time last year. Becky was part of our team of volunteers again this year and she was looking forward to her time with Derartu.
The sun was getting low in the sky, and there was beginning to be a chill in the air. Sitting on a few chairs we had set up in the schoolyard, Becky was reading a letter she had written to Derartu (fearing she would be too emotional to remember everything she wanted to say - wanting to fill her with words of encouragement, hope and love.)
As I took photos of their time together, movement caught my eye and I looked up from my camera.
Evidently, it was time for the cows to come home ... literally.
I could see that the herd of cows was not going to walk right over them, so I lowered my camera just a bit and quietly said, "Becky - I don't want to scare you but there will be a herd of cows coming up behind you in a moment."
Becky was so focused on Derartu, that I don't know if my words even registered ... and then suddenly the cows were right behind them!
There was a moment or two of surprise, and they nearly jumped up to move their chairs. Realizing they were in no danger, they laughed and went right on with their conversation, while the cows continued toward home.