Wogahata Haile, began a “dream come true” as she headed to Ethiopia with the Peace Corps on June 30.
During her 27-month stay, Haile will teach English to high school students.
“My birth place is Eritrea, the neighboring country to Ethiopia,” she said, “and I always felt called to reach my people of both Eritrean and Ethiopian descent.”
Haile, 34, of Tega Cay, learned about the Peace Corps when was considering graduate programs at Duke University.
“I was really interested the more I read and heard about the Peace Corps,” said Haile. “It was such an opportunity of a lifetime and I just knew that this was something I always wanted to do.”
Growing up as an American, Haile said she always knew she would go back home one day; She just did not know when the day would come.
“Going to Ethiopia (now) is a feeling of accomplishment and a full circle of my life,” she said.
On June 29, Haile traveled to Washington, D.C., where she met her group who then traveled on with her to Ethiopia on June 30. Haile will participate in three months of training before she begins teaching.
Although she is nervous about communicating with the people of Ethiopia, Haile said she is excited about just being in the country and learning the native language of Amharic.
“(I also look forward to) fully submerging myself into the culture as part of my new everyday life as I embrace the new challenge of becoming a Peace Corps volunteer,” she said.
Haile, a teacher at the Goddard School in Rock Hill for the past year, said she’s not sure if she will return to her job when she gets back from Ethiopia.
“I still want to continue my love for travel and learning more about (other) cultures,” she said.
However, she said the support she has received at home from the Tega Cay community has helped her throughout this process.
“My pastors have tremendously poured into my life and taken time to invest in me,” she said. “My overall church family as well has taken the time to teach me things that have been practical but meaningful to my growth and development as a Christian young woman.”
“My pastors, the leaders and church community has made such an impact in my life that words alone can’t describe.”
View updates and photos on Wogahata Haile’s Facebook page at facebook.com/wogahata.haile.