MARIA PEPPER – 26 FEBRUARY 2014
A NINE-year-old girl living in Blackwater enjoyed an unforgettable return visit toEthiopia, from where she was adopted as a baby.
Isabelle Schulte, who attends Gorey Educate Together school, was accompanied on the trip by her father Rogier, a native of The Netherlands.
Isabelle visited the orphanage where she was cared for as an infant and also met her Ethiopian pen pal, Yabsera, in person.
It was the first time that the young girl has been back to Ethiopia since her adoption in 2005 at the age of nine months.
The Schulte family have been living in Blackwater since then.
Isabelle, who has an older brother and younger sister, has been writing to 10-year old Ethiopian girl Yasbera for a number of years, and she was delighted to be able to meet her during the visit.
The Schultes sponsor Yasbera through the community development organisation Plan Ireland which organised the recent visit.
Rogier and his daughter also called to the orphanage where Isabelle once lived.
She saw photos of herself on the wall from when she was a baby.
The Schultes have kept in touch with the orphanage in Addis Ababa for the past eight years, sending photos of Isabelle as she grows up.
Speaking about the trip, her dad said: ‘We felt it was important for Isabelle to have a real picture in her head of everyday life in the country where she came from.’
The Schulte family are now liaising with Gorey Educate Together on a plan to fundraise for a school in Ethiopia.