Frequently Asked Questions
We’re excited that you’re considering the life-changing experience of a trip to Ethiopia. Below are common questions that we’ve gotten in the past. If you have additional questions that have not been addressed below, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Do I Sign Up For A Trip?
On our trip page, you can look over the dates for upcoming trips to Ethiopia. Find a trip that works for you, and click on the link to sign up. You will be directed to a trip application. In the trip application, you will be able to select the trip you want to go on.
How old do I have to be to go on a trip? Can I travel without a parent?
Team members need to be 14 years old to come on our trips. The days can be long and tiring, and younger children tend to have a hard time keeping up with the jet lag and long days.
If you are a minor wanting to travel without a parent, you must be 16 years of age, and your parents will need to sign a minor consent form giving the team leader the authority to make decisions on their behalf while you are on the trip.
Do I have to pay a deposit?
Yes. In order for us to be able to hold your spot on our trip and on the flight, you will need to pay a $600 (non-refundable) deposit. The deposit will be applies toward the total expense of your trip.
Can I see my sponsored child on my trip?
Yes, you will be able to see your sponsored child while in Ethiopia! We understand this is an amazing opportunity, and have had many great experiences on our trips when our team members get to meet their sponsor child in person. When you are sent the information about the trip you have signed up for, there will be information regarding sponsor kids, and a form to fill out letting us know which child you sponsor and what ministry he/she is a part of. The only exception might be if you are sponsoring a child in the Talita program. Unfortunately due to team size or time constraints, not every team is able to make it out to Yergalem. If you let us know in advance, the team leader will make every effort possible to make that happen, though.
What does the trip cost cover?
Our trips are considered all-inclusive. The only expenses you will have to cover while in Ethiopia are personal expenses you incur – extra sodas/waters, souvenirs, donations to our ministries you decide to make while there, etc.
The covered expenses are: round trip airfare from the closest major airport to your home, hotel in Washington DC (if necessary), lodging in Addis Ababa in Ordinary Hero’s beautiful guest house with an incredible staff and amazing views of the city, 3 meals a day, transportation while in Ethiopia, translators, your Visa fee, a team t-shirt, daily bottled water, an Ethiopian Cultural restaurant experience, and taxes and tips.
What will we be doing in Ethiopia?
You will be visiting some of the ministries that Ordinary Hero has partnered with and helps support. The specific itineraries are up to our individual team leaders, but they usually include time spent in Korah (the trash dump), Entoto Mountain, feeding programs, Hope for the Hopeless locations, and visiting businesses that employ people who are in our sponsorship programs where you can buy items such as jewelry, scarves, coffee, etc.
Every trip is a little different, and our teams help out these ministries as needed, so one team may paint walls, another may help run day camps, etc. Each ministry leader communicates any special needs to our staff prior to each trip.
Do I need a passport? And why are you asking for a copy of it?
Yes, you need a passport to travel internationally. AND , it cannot expire within 6 months of your travel date. Check your expiration date so you can apply for a new passport in plenty of time to get it back before you travel.
We ask for a copy of your passport for a couple of reasons. First of all, the name on your airline ticket must match your passport name exactly. If it does not, Ethiopian Airlines could deny you a boarding pass in Washington DC. By having a copy of your passport, we can triple check this before we purchase the tickets. Once tickets are purchased, if we find a name is misspelled, Ethiopian Airlines will charge $300 to make any changes. Having a copy of your passport helps us avoid these fees. Another reason we ask for a copy is that we send our team leaders on the trip with a notebook that contains important information about each team member in case of emergency. This includes emergency contact information, copies of passports, and your travel insurance. We do not keep any personal information for any of our team members on file, nor do we ever share it with anyone. All of this is deleted or shredded upon returning to the US after your trip.
What about shots – do I need to get immunizations?
While Ethiopia does not require proof of immunizations to enter the country, there are specific immunizations that are recommended if you are visiting. We strongly recommend discussing this question with your personal doctor or a doctor at an international immunization clinic. The staff at Ordinary Hero are not doctors, so we are not able to give medical advice. Your doctor will be well informed on what immunizations to recommend to keep you healthy, and discussing any questions you have with him/her will enable you to make informed decisions about your health care questions. It is best to make an appointment soon after you sign up for your trip, as some of the immunizations are given in a series and need a certain amount of time between shots.
I’ve been to Ethiopia before, can I take a day away from the team to visit friends or do my own thing?
Our policy is that our team members stay together at all times due to liability and safety issues. You will not be able to take off and do your own thing during this trip.