43 minutes | Apr 8, 2020

On the Way to Ethiopia in the Middle of a Worldwide Pandemic Part I

Today on the podcast, our special guest recounts her story of her International trip to Ethiopia when it was announced that the United States was going to be shutting down their borders.  The story of how one family reacted and the decision making processes that took place. Transcript of Podcast Annie: Welcome to The Journey Podcast, at Journey Couching we care deeply about real and authentic relationships. Relationships that are natural, that fall into place when two people get together and are just able to talk about what’s on their hearts and what matters to them deeply. Today I have with me Jeff Carlton and Sarah Banowetz and the topic that we’re going to talk about today is, we’re just going to talk about their perspectives, about what’s going on in the world both as individual people and as business owners, so welcome Jeff and Sarah, how are you guys doing today? Sarah: Thank you Annie. Jeff: Good, good, this is our first shot at doing one of these Zoom things, I think I just made a funny face at the start so- Annie: I’ve got to remember not to pick my boogers or something. Jeff: Just, what you see is what you get, so hopefully the content is maybe better than the delivery from at least one third of us, being me. Annie: And that was cool, I just realized is that we have a couple of generations here, so the way generations think about what’s going on in the world, and the world will be different. Jeff: Yeah, Sarah always says I’m old school and she’s new school, she definitely defines that clearly to me, often, don’t you Sarah? Sarah: Yes. Annie: So I guess I’ll throw it to you first then, Jeff. Do you want to give just a little synopsis of what’s going on in your life right now as you’re dealing with this chaos in our world. Jeff: So much, so different. First of all, I wish I had bought Zoom stock a couple of months ago. Oh my gosh, that company is so well positioned for what’s going on, it’s amazing. On a more serious note, and just a glad note is, and then one reason I’m really excited to talk about with Sarah today is, she actually left, and get this for timing, the day that they announced that they were cutting off travel to Europe. Not just the day, an hour after the flight, with her three kids takes off from Chicago to go to Germany to go to Ethiopia, an hour after she’s in the air, and they announce that they’re cutting off travel to Europe. I’m like, “Woo, okay.” My daughter and three grandkids are on this plane going to Europe. Sarah: It was a hard call because we had made these reservations back in Thanksgiving Day of 2019, and just so that everybody listening to this realizes, the date that we’re recording this is we’re right in the middle of the whole COVID-19 crisis. So we had booked these tickets to Ethiopia on Thanksgiving Day and we were going to go over spring break and the few weeks before it was, do you go, do you not go? We were just leaving it up in the air, we didn’t know what we were going to do. We decided to go, my husband thought it would be a good idea for us to go because not that many people were flying, there wasn’t shut-downs at the time. The wisdom that we had gotten was that in about a week it would be really easy to make a decision because it was either definitely you could go, or definitely you can’t go. At that point when we were making the decision, they were saying this is a really tough call to make. So we made the tough call and we left. Annie: And I watched you make that decision and I don’t think that you took it carelessly, I saw you weight the options and go back and forth and at the time that you guys went, it was like that. It was like that information that we had to make decisions could go either way and you were just left to make your best guess based off of the information that we had, and that’s what I watched you do. I watched you weigh the odds back and forth. Sarah: Yeah. Jeff: Well, and just how well you and Matt, how well you guys worked together to navigate through all this too. What a team, I was like, “Pop”. Sarah: Even that morning, I had a hard time falling asleep because you know if you’re taking three of your kids. We have six kids, we have three girls and three boys, two of our children are from Ethiopia, one daughter and one son, and then two biological daughters and two biological sons. Our Ethiopian daughter was allowed to travel. Our Ethiopian son was trying for a new visa and he was not allowed to travel. We just got notification yesterday that he is now, because he got accepted for that new visa program, but three weeks ago he was not allowed to travel so what we had decided to do was, because we really wanted to get our daughter back to Ethiopia this year to her extended family. Her family out there, including her biological father. Sarah: It was a girls trip so that’s why we were split up here, to just give perspective to what was happening. I was taking our daughters to Ethiopia and my husband and our teenage sons were staying at home over spring break. That morning that we left, I’m getting ready to take our daughters over on an international trip, I’ve been over to Ethiopia four times, we have family and friends there, I felt confident about that, but I do struggle with anxiety and I will say that it was hard. On that morning I didn’t sleep very well the night before because I was packing and stuff. That morning I woke up, I’d only gotten probably three or four hours of sleep, and I’m the kind of person that needs a full night of sleep otherwise the anxiety gets really high. Sarah: So my anxiety was really high and I just asked my husband, “Can you stay home from work this morning, can you do the rest of the packing that we need to get done and I need to take a nap because I’m not going to make a wise decision here without taking a nap, because what I want to do right now, is I am scared out of my mind and I just want to quit.” My dad, Jeff, has taught me to not be a quitter. So I was, “Okay, I can still quit because they’re refunding tickets,” so it wasn’t a financial matter, it was just a matter of do we do this or not? I went and took a probably two or three hour nap. Sarah: We had to leave around noon and so I took a two or three hour nap while he finished packing, he had to go to Walmart and grab some stuff for us. Then when I woke up, I felt refreshed and felt better and the fear had gone away. It was then just logic, do we actually go or not? That’s when he looked at me and said, “Yeah, I think that this is the right decision for you to go. I think that less people will be flying, and you’ll have an easier time”. Sarah: Because I said do we go this summer instead? And he said, “I think it’s going to be safer for you guys to go now than it will be this summer, for you to go when everyone starts traveling again.” So I said okay. My brother came to pick us up to drop us off at the Chicago airport and that’s where the story takes off then. Annie: I know because I’ve heard, but I want to hear your story about when you guys were in the air and you had a little circumstance that happened while you were in the air and I want to know what you were thinking in that moment and what you felt, and what did you tell your daughters that are there with you, that are leaning on you for perspective. Jeff: Well, and she’s shared with me just the technology piece of this, because it was real time. We were in on this too [crosstalk 00:08:10]. Sarah: Everyone was in on this, it’s crazy the way technology is, and it’s such a blessing from God, I will say that was such a blessing from God. So we had gotten cheaper flights by driving to Chicago and leaving from Chicago. We were going from Chicago to Germany, and when I say Germany now, now that’s a hot topic here. So we were going from Chicago to Germany, Germany to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, right? So, we had left Chicago, and I will say in hindsight, the scariest point of traveling to Ethiopia in terms of getting Corona virus, was the actual Chicago airport, O’Hare. Annie: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Sarah: It was the most crowded out of everything, that was the point where it was like, “Oh my gosh, this is real, be careful”. Again, there was this one hallway at the airport in Germany where everyone congregated together for about three minutes, and that was scary again, but otherwise I honestly felt very safe. The airport was very clear, the planes were very empty and we had spray. My mom’s a nurse so we had spray, rubbing alcohol. We had hand sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, we were washing our hands, and we had gloves so I felt very, very safe. Sarah: Here’s the point where it got a little hairy, and this doesn’t have to do necessarily with us getting sick, it was just the situation. We leave, we fly out of Chicago. We are about 45 minutes to an hour in the air, I went and looked at the map, we had not even hit the ocean yet. We were still over North America, we were over Canada and this man from Cedar Rapids. I ran into him on the plane and he was across the hall, he heard me talking to my daughter. Oh, he asked if I was the leader of a school trip because I’m telling the girls to sanitize everything and so I had finally got them all settled and he leans over the hallway, the aisle and he was, “Are you running a school trip, or what’s going on?” Because obviously it’s me and then two white children and then my Ethiopian daughter. Sarah: He didn’t know who these people were. I was, “No, these are my daughters” so he starts talking to me and we’re talking pretty close and at one point him talking, spit hit my arm. Annie: Oh no. Jeff: No. Sarah: I didn’t tell you this, Dad. I didn’t want to be rude, but I’m also thinking, “Yeah, we’re doing this thing, but I also want to be wise about it” so what I- Jeff: Keep your spit to yourself, buddy. Sarah: I know, so I’m trying to back up but he keeps getting closer to me, obviously we’re in an airplane, right? So I’m trying to back up a little bit but I’m trying not to be rude but he said he was from Cedar Rapids and at this point we had no cases in Cedar Rapids, so I’m like, “He’s from Cedar Rapids, it’s okay”. I’m talking to him and we’re just talking about, I don’t know, just how you talk. While we’re standing there in this aisle talking, this young woman walks by us, sobbing. It must have been about an hour into the trip because it was late, our flight left around 8pm or something, so I had started getting them ready for bed, and I got them set up with movies and stuff and the plane had turned its lights down and stuff. Sarah: She walks by sobbing and I look at her and I said, “Are you okay?” She said to me, “No, they shut down the borders and I haven’t seen my husband in five months”. Annie: Whoa. Sarah: Yeah. Annie: So what did you think at that point? Did you feel fear rising? Sarah: So much has changed since that, that was only, how long ago was that? Three weeks ago? Annie: Three weeks, yeah. Sarah: So much has changed in three weeks. I froze for a second and I started to not really understand what she was saying, but I knew that there was a possibility that this could happen because I had even… You know Annie and I work together, right? Annie’s my account manager for my company, she helps run my marketing clients, our marketing clients and so you know how burnt out I was and how I really needed this vacation, this break? Sarah: I wasn’t going to bring any of my work with me. When I left, I had given everybody directions for any emergency situation not even realizing that this necessarily could be the emergency situation, but I had left Annie in charge of running my company and I was going to bring nothing with me except for my cellphone with my work contact information on it. I wasn’t going to bring my laptop. Sarah: Because of Corona virus I decided to bring my laptop because I knew that it was a possibility that we could get to Ethiopia and then they could go close the borders. I did not expect at all, because if I thought that this could have happened that quickly, we wouldn’t have left. Annie: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Sarah: I did not expect that we would be an hour into our first flight still over North America and they closed the borders. That shook me because that was fast and I still had a whole international flight, flights in front of me with my daughters who have never… My youngest daughters, my biological daughters have never flown internationally and it was, oh my gosh, the weight of that. I didn’t react right away because I wanted to know if she was accurate. I did not realize that we had internet on this flight and so we said our goodbyes, the three of us and then stopped talking and then I went to try to figure out if what she had said was true. Sarah: I couldn’t figure out how to get on the internet, I’ve got on the internet a lot on flights, this flight I couldn’t figure it out, I was also under stress. I went back to the flight attendants and I asked if they had heard anything because they were on their phones so I knew that they had internet access, in fact when I walked to the back of the plane, one of the attendants was on her Gmail account, so I said, “Can you look this up because I can’t.” Annie: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Sarah: At first they blew me off and I was like, “No, this lady just walked by crying”. This male flight attendant looked it up and was, “Yep, it’s true. He just announced it.” Once I knew that it was true, my next step was to actually get on the internet. So the flight attendant helped me get on the internet, because it was an international flight we had to do some other things to the thing or whatever. I got on the internet and I started texting, Facebook Messenger my family. At this point it was 11pm, midnight Dad? When I got a hold of you guys? Jeff: Yes, about 10 I want to say- Annie: What was your reaction? Jeff: … or maybe nine o’clock. Yeah, I think it was close to nine actually. Annie: So when Sarah contacted you Jeff, did you already know this information or was she just telling you for the first time. Jeff: Yeah, I think I did and I just thought wow, this is… Because I knew already and so that hit me but then when I talked to her, when we were talking on the text messenger, it was just like, “Wow this is so cool”. I’m no tech guy, I’m amazed that I can sit with my little headset on and actually get [inaudible 00:16:35]. Actually the computer wasn’t working because I had a little piece of the original plastic on it so the camera was all cloudy, so that’s my level of tech is real low and I’m not a tech fan, but oh my gosh, I was just so thankful that in real time we could be talking with her and especially that her husband Matt could be speaking into this. Sarah: My sister had to get in touch with him because I think he had already gone to bed. Jeff: Something, yeah. Sarah: Amy called him and then said you need to get on Viber so that you can talk to Sarah. Annie: What mode did you guys go into? I know from my perspective, my mode would be a planning mode of one way, but everybody has a different way that they react. Sarah: It was definitely a planning mode because that guy, he asked me what I found out by the attendants, the guy that I was talking to, and I said that yes it’s true. Then we started talking about what we were going to do and I joked that I wish they could just turn around the plane because we were only an hour outside of Chicago. Annie: Did your girls know anything at this time or were they just watching TV? Sarah: They didn’t know anything. Annie: Okay. Sarah: They had their earbuds in. Cokey, my Ethiopian daughter had gone to bed so she had already laid down, we knew this was going to two seven hour flights and I had already told them I wanted them to get a full sleep cycle in, so four hours on this flight and then four hours on the next flight. I think I had already sent them off to sleep. I know that Cokey was asleep because I went to say something to her and she had her ithing on and her- Jeff: You said the plane was fairly empty so that was fortunate because you guys could actually lay down- Sarah: Yeah. Jeff: … through the seating areas which was pretty cool. It was obviously a first class flight, you weren’t in first class but you had so much room, you could spread out. Sarah: Everyone was laying down flat because we had so much room, there wasn’t that many people on the flight. Especially the next flight because a lot changed. Annie: I want to know your planning mode because our listeners don’t know that you didn’t come back right away. Sarah: I didn’t come back right away. We got into planning mode and I talked to my husband, my sister woke him up and then he got on Viber and was talking to me and my thought at this point, as much as I love Ethiopia and want to get to Ethiopia, my thought was I did want to turn around in Germany and come back home. I had- Jeff: I would have voted for that one. I like that idea. Sarah: Well, part of it being that my Ethiopian daughter is on a green card, and so she’s a permanent resident, so when he said that US citizens could still come back, there was a moment when we were trying to figure out what about Cokey. What about my daughter, which by the way, she’s on another podcast, her actual name is Basa, her nickname is Cokey, so if ever I say Basa, Cokey is the same person. That’s what I wanted, my husband got on and he started working to try to get us to get a new flight from Germany back to Chicago right away after we landed. That was my first goal and so I rested, at this point I go into self-care with my anxiety, I’m on an international trip with my three daughters, granted my oldest one is 20, Basa is 20, Cokey, but my other ones are 13 years old and 11. Sarah: I go into self-preservation mode where I’m like, “Okay Sarah, they’re taking care of this, your family back home is taking care of this, you need to rest.” Annie: How can you do that? Sarah: It was a matter of knowing that if I didn’t rest, I would not be able to take care of my daughters very well later on. I’m 37 years old now and I’ve gone through life well enough to know that if I wanted to do what I needed to do, I had to rest. Annie: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Sarah: Also, this is not my first rodeo with doing scary things. I’ve had a doctor look over me and tell me that if I didn’t stop having children because of my C-sections, that I would die. He stood over my bed and said, actual words, “Sarah, if you want to live to see the four children you already have, you need to stop having children,” and walking through that. I’ve already been on four international trips at this point, this is my fifth. I think the things that God puts in front of you that are hard, they help prepare you for those moments when you need to be prepared for them. So I did, I rested. Jeff: Right, and let me just interject one thing here too that’s so cool, Sarah’s not a natural flyer. Some people just love to fly, right? They’re just totally at ease and it’s just fun, she used to hate it, she’s gotten a lot better, but again I think some of the take-aways here is, we all have stress, we all have anxiety but Sarah’s and mine too, I’m just not a natural flyer, so when you’re dealing with that and then trying to navigate past that, “This isn’t natural to be up in this big thing up in the sky” and now adding all these other things, it’s one of those things, maybe like faith lamaze for the gals who’ve done lamaze before if they go, “Whoosh”. At some point you just need to let go and go okay well, It’s so much out of my control now. Annie: I think it’s amazing that she could sleep though, because when I think of myself, if I’m overwhelmed or stressed- Jeff: Right, yeah. Annie: … the last thing I can do is sleep. Jeff: Yes. Sarah: Honestly I don’t know if I actually fell asleep or not though. I will say that I made the decision to put my eye things on because I even told you guys that didn’t I? Didn’t I say I’m going to rest now? Jeff: Even resting, right, is good. Even if it’s not sleep, it’s resting, right? Sarah: I didn’t stress about if I would actually fall asleep or not but I put my eye things on, I put my neck pillow on, I lay down because actually we could lay down, and I made the conscious decision to at least get into a sleeping position. Annie: That’s good, I like that. Sarah: Whether I fell asleep or not, I don’t remember at this point, so much has changed. I rested and then I did get up to check to see what Matt had figured out and so around midnight I think then it was, midnight or one o’clock in the morning, Matt, I checked to see where he was at with things and found out that the… My goal was that he would be able to book a flight before everyone woke up in Germany to find out this because then all of the US citizens would be flocking out of Germany. Annie: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Sarah: So that was my goal and he was on the phone for I think three hours and trying the website and stuff. So what he said is, “Sarah, I just think you guys need to go on to Ethiopia. Just follow your original flight plan, we’ll figure it out when you get to Ethiopia”. He was concerned that even if we did get a flight out of Germany, it was going to be packed full of people and he knew that these planes were not packed going out to Africa, and so he would rather that we safely flew on to Ethiopia, instead of catching Corona virus on the way back to America through Germany. Sarah: I said okay. To some extent I wanted to get home but then I wanted to get to Ethiopia too and I was just, “I like Iowa, I like Ethiopia. I’m fine with either one”. Annie: But then you went on to enjoy your time, to love your time there. Sarah: Oh, we had such an amazing time. Jeff: Hey, before we go to that, real quick though. I think it’s so key, and as it related to Journey and the importance of healthy one-on-one or couple to couple relationships, going back to that relationship you and Matt have, isn’t it neat that you could toss that in his lap and say, “Matt, I need your help here. I need your perspective because I’m right in the middle of this battle. I’m flying off here”. Sarah: I didn’t have fast enough internet, I wasn’t going to take my energy to try to solve the problem myself. I knew that he was at home and he could do it and if he needed to take the day off the next day, he could have done that. Jeff: Right. His perspective and just… So that’s where I felt good is, I’ve seen these guys navigate through tough things before. If it had just have been me I would have been, “What can I do to get her back?” I just thought that it was such a cool thing that they worked together, and as we were just getting into, they went and had a really good trip and counter intuitively, Africa has a really… Because you would think Africa has all kinds of… It’s really just broken out like crazy over there. Well it hasn’t. Ethiopia has one of the lowest rates of infection all over the world right now. Sarah: And that is very interesting, I think our listeners would like to hear about what it was like to be in Ethiopia. Annie: I do, yeah. Sarah: I do want to mention because I don’t want anyone to feel bad or to look at their own life and say, “Oh my husband and I don’t have a relationship like that.” I’m going to say Matt and I have been married for almost 19 years, we got married young, and we do have a really good relationship, but it has also been very, very, very hard and I will say that we’ve doing counseling, my mom’s a counselor and she recommended this specific marriage counseling which I don’t know what its called but Kelly- Annie: EFT. Sarah: EFT. If anyone is listening to this and they… I thought marriage counseling would be like, “Oh, tell me what I need to do, and if I do all these checklists, then I’ll have a happy marriage,” and I wasn’t interested in that and so EFT is so different and I won’t explain it right now, but if anyone’s listening and they… Because right now, we’re all close together with our families and stuff too and these counselors are doing counseling appointments via Zoom, and so if you have any need for a specific kind of counseling, even this marriage counseling type of thing that they do, it’s been really helpful for Matt and I. I think that this is part of it, we were able to handle a crisis situation because we had shored ourselves up prior to this happening. Jeff: Right, and whether even your husband or a friend, just how important it is- Sarah: It could have been someone else. Jeff: … just have somebody along beside of you, even if they’re not in the room. Sarah: To that end, which we’ll get into in a little bit, but to the end of a friend, the thing is while Matt was helping me personally with our family. Annie here was the person who was helping run the company. While Matt and I are making decisions about our family and stuff, Annie is making decisions with the rest of the team about Banowetz Marketing and no, Annie and I are not married, but yes, similar relationship. Like you said, a friend. Someone that you can trust who you can lean on for support in those times when you need them, and Annie, Melody and Jen and June and the rest of the team, those were the people that were helping back with the company while I was gone too. Jeff: I’m wonder too, because as we’re talking here and I’m looking at the clock, we’ve probably spent an half an hour here and I think we could go for hours. Sarah: We could. Jeff: I’m wondering if we maybe don’t wrap it up with that idea of just encouraging people, which again is what Journey is about, right? Is that intentional relationship building. Might be a good idea to jump into that now with the situation where people do have some time, where they are close together, and start to build that because it’s something that is tougher to do when there’s a lot of distractions going on. There was football games, basketball games, different things happen, movies, plays we can go to. It’s distraction, right? It’s great stuff, but it’s distraction whereas now, we can actually intentionally help each other to grow and that’s what Journey is about, Journey Coaching is about. Annie: I agree with you. I just think the listeners are going to want to ask Sarah to come back at some time because they want to hear the good [crosstalk 00:29:40]. Jeff: This could be a multi-stage podcast, right? Let me just share one other thing real quick here, so I was in the grocery store the day after she left and I’m walking around and so many people are tossing toilet paper into their shopping carts. These big things of toilet paper and I wanted to go up to them and say, “Guys, relax. There’ll be enough toilet paper, my daughter just left for Ethiopia, they’re in a worldwide pandemic.” Annie: Perspective, yeah. Sarah: When you say it like that, to me, so many people were worried and going crazy about this and to me honestly, we live in the Cedar Rapids area, to me it was like going to Iowa City. [crosstalk 00:30:32]- Jeff: Yeah that was- Sarah: … snowstorm and I’m yeah, we had to be wise about it, but I’ve been to Ethiopia so much, I have Ethiopian children, I have Ethiopian friends that I was like Ethiopia is my second home, so to me every time people said that kind of stuff to me is what I hear is, “Relax, my daughter is in Iowa City right now.” Jeff: “How we’re going to get her back from Iowa City? That’s 30 miles, up interstate, oh my gosh.” Oh golly. Sarah: We should at least say what I was leading to with what it was like, right Annie? What it was like. Annie: In the midst of chaos people are looking for good and they want to cling onto other people’s experiences that are good and joyous and happy. Sarah: Yeah. Annie: They want to share in that time. I know that I do. Sarah: It was a very sweet time and the United States from the outside, I saw all the live presidential announcements they were playing on the TV’s in Ethiopia in restaurants and hotels and stuff and people’s houses and everything. From the outside looking in, it looked like the United States absolutely went crazy and I was sitting in Ethiopia just… Do I even want to go home? [crosstalk 00:32:01]. Annie: I don’t know if it was a breakfast but you had this, looks like amazing coffee and I was, “I want that Ethiopian coffee and food.” It looks actually relaxing, I want that food. Sarah: It was very relaxing. It had been four and a half years since I went and I really feel like God really blessed me with this trip, blessed my daughters and I with this trip, to have this time of connection, it really did shore us up to come back to the United States and I feel like we had a break that most people did not have. Quite frankly, the entire world has stopped moving and we were one of the very few people that kept moving, and I realized that there was danger in that and I understand that and I know. I’ve already done a lot of push back about that, we made the best decisions that we could make at the time and then while we were making them, we did the very best things that we could. At this moment, it’s been a little over a week since we got back to the United States and we are still quarantined. Sarah: My three daughters, the four of us are quarantined upstairs on the top level of our house, self quarantined. The boys are in the main level and in the basement. I have not hugged my husband in three weeks since that day that I hugged him when I left, I haven’t hugged my husband, I haven’t touched my sons. I haven’t given them hugs or patted their hand. Sarah: When we go downstairs, we have face masks on if we need to walk through the house. We’re cooking food upstairs so we’re making these conscious decisions to be safe. That said, while we were in Ethiopia, and our Ethiopian family and friends they realized what was happening. I was scared to be around them and they came up to me and gave me big hugs. Jeff: Wow. Sarah: There was a point on St. Patrick’s Day, that’s when things changed a lot and it did change in Ethiopia too. They started having hand washing stations outside. Usually when I’m in Ethiopia they’re very, very, very friendly, strangers, but it wasn’t necessarily that way. People were scared of us when they saw that we had white skin, they would put their face masks on and I don’t blame them for that at all. That was definitely odd but it was very safe. I got sunburned going to Unity Park. We still did social distancing in Ethiopia, not to the extent that we’re doing here, but we were with our small groups of people and when we went to Unity Park, we made sure that… I said I didn’t want to go unless there was very few people there, we used hand sanitizer a lot and we were pretty much really just with our very close friends and our family in Ethiopia. Sarah: It was a very nice, relaxing break and when I got back here, I feel like I’ve been more shored up to handle the decisions that I need to make in my business with the people in my life. What do you think from your perspective Annie? You’ve seen me come back, do you- Annie: I’ve seen you come back refreshed to me it looks like and at ease. Sarah: Yes. Annie: You’ve led in a way that was… Relaxed probably isn’t the best word but you weren’t hyper, you weren’t nervous, you weren’t pushing or running it was we’re just taking one step at a time. I’m going to lead with the information that I have, I’m going to be calm and collected, I’m going to make the decisions based off the information that I have and we’re going to be okay. Sarah: You’d even mentioned last week when we did a sales call together, afterwards you were, “Wow, you’re so relaxed with that.” That really impacted me because I didn’t really think one way or the other until you said it, but I think it did help, I think that- Annie: I love that about you though. Sarah: Well it’s not my natural personality though, my dad knows that’s not my natural personality and we did lose, we lost a client through all of this but then we got two more this week. Annie: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Sarah: It’s just like you said, just analyzing and taking it one step at a time. Annie: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Jeff: Well I think something too Sarah, that you do that is so helpful is, you look beyond the current reality and I think sometimes people, and it’s so natural as humans, we look at what’s happening right in front of us and we go, “Ha, oh my goodness, this is scary but how can we look beyond what’s right there, look beyond the scary and look for the possibilities of hope?” It sounds a bit trite maybe at this point but if we really intentionally try to do that, some really good things can happen and you eluded to it. You had texted me earlier that you got two new clients and I called you up and kidded with you, I said, “Sarah, didn’t you get the memo, you’re not supposed to be getting clients in this environment, what’s going on here?” Sarah: I don’t think it’s trite. Annie: I’ve heard the saying, if you look for the good, you’ll find it but if you look for the bad you’ll find it as well. Jeff: Right. The other thing real quick before we go here and this is a podcast for another day, Sarah has just always had a heart for Ethiopia and she’s always said she’d love to live in Ethiopia, have coffee and tell people about Jesus. I think one of the things about Ethiopia, because it’s always the other way, we’re always like, “What can we give to Africa, what can we give to Ethiopia?” It seems like Ethiopia can give a lot to us in terms of those relationships, how to sit down with people, have coffee, just have whatever you have in terms of a relaxed, “Hey, we’re just going to sit and talk and get to know each other.” Because they’ll do that for hours, right Sarah? Aren’t there two hour coffee ceremonies or something? Sarah: No, two hours is short. What I was doing in Ethiopia was spending five to six hours sitting around having coffee and injera and that’s the way I spent my days in Ethiopia. Jeff: You loved that, right? Sarah: Oh I adore it and it doesn’t happen here. Jeff: Right, well here’s the thing. Might you be able to impart some of that because maybe we don’t go to five or six hour coffees here, but could we go to instead of 15 or 20 minute rushed interactions, maybe to 30 minute, and hour relaxed coffees where maybe there’s some things we can learn that you can help teach us all. Sarah: You’re right on the right track and it’s not even about the relationship too, that’s a huge part of it, but we have so much to learn from Africa and I had these conversations when I was there too that I brought up. Not only can we learn about relationships from Africa, but I think business people are going to have to learn some things too. I think we as a community are going to have to learn some things too because America survives on commercialism and right now everything’s shut down. Jeff: Right. Sarah: Africa really thrives on sharing and community and I think if there’s a benefit that’s going to come out of this, is the fact that we do need to learn from Africa how community works and how people survive and how they move forward in life in that community. Jeff: Right. We were talking about that in theory quite a lot, community matters. In church worlds we talk about community matters, in other setting we talk about getting together in a group or go bowling together, whatever. It’s not on as deep of a level as it is in Africa because over the years, you go to the history of Africa, people had to do that to survive, right? They’ve had to rely on each other. Sarah: Yeah, exactly, yeah. There’s one more thing that I have to add to this part of the story. I have to add this because I think without this, if you’re listening to this story and you don’t understand this part of the puzzle, it doesn’t fit. I was calm because I know where I’m going. I was calm because I know where my daughters are going. The four of us have given our lives to Jesus Christ. I knew that he is good, and he is fighting for us and that whatever happened, we were going to be okay and without that, I don’t know how you’re calm. You get what I’m saying? That’s ultimately the end result, it did not matter, or does matter, but that’s what I knew is that if anything happens, we are ultimately okay. Annie: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I like that because- Sarah: And that’s the foundation of this whole thing. Jeff: Amen darling, preach it, preach it. Annie: All right, I think it’s time for us to wrap this one up today- Jeff: That was fun. Sarah: Thank you Annie. Annie: Thoroughly enjoyed hearing your story, hearing both perspectives and I just want to say that at Journey we’re all about relationships, about getting people into authentic relationships where they can grow. They can learn their world view, they can learn their strengths and their areas of improvement and I just want to mention that if you’re interested or you’re looking to get in a relationship where you can grow, there are coaches that are available that can walk alongside a seven week process with you to focus on your strengths and to learn how to address your areas of weakness from a strength perspective. You can visit us at journeycoaching.org or on one of our podcast apps. Recorded Voice: Thank you for listening, tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org. The post On the Way to Ethiopia in the Middle of a Worldwide Pandemic Part I appeared first on Journey Coaching.
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