The two trips that we made to Ethiopia as a church in the last five years were transformative experiences. We were looking forward to a third trip next fall.
Recently, though, the US State Department issued an advisory warning U.S. citizens "to defer all non-essential travel to Ethiopia due to ongoing unrest that has led to hundreds of deaths, thousands of arrests, as well as injuries and extensive property damage..."
It is impossible to forecast how long the warning will remain in place. This also makes it impossible for anyone to commit two weeks to a trip that might not happen, even if it's a year away.
Relative to the levels of violence and danger necessary to get covered by American news media outlets, the current climate in Ethiopia is temperate. Still, the situation is volatile and could escalate quickly. In lieu of showing up in person we will send our prayers to cover the just as precious humans without the option of staying thousands of miles away.
If you want to stay current on Ethiopia, the BBC is a reliable source.
We are currently exploring options for alternative international trips in 2017, and we may still find a way to get to Africa. If something materializes by the end of the year, we continue to reserve weeks in late September and early October.