In the midst of countless grazing geladas, a baboon species living only in the Ethiopian highlands, Maira Nolte takes in the beauty of the Ethiopian mountains. "I had no idea what an incredible place I would find myself in. This wealth of nature, and what unbelievable landscapes!" she says, eyes sparkling as she talks about her first trip to Ethiopia, recounting how completely carried away she was with the breathtaking plant life. Simien National Park and its spectacular landscape in particular, fascinated Maira so intensely that the country found a permanent home in her heart.
As a flight attendant with Lufthansa, Maira has come face-to-face with many countries and cultures. But when she first set foot on Ethiopian soil, she knew it: this country is special. Everywhere she looked, she saw people who greeted her with a warm smile – and a centuries-old culture including incredible stories eager to be told. Maira felt this atmosphere most of all in the churches of Lalibela, which were laboriously carved out of solid rock in the 12th century. All of these experiences intensified Maria's desire to visit Ethiopia again.
“It's incredible, this warmth. Really and truly, every single person greets you with a smile.”
Enthused by the country and its people, Maira immerses herself in the community, and eventually accompanies a colleague to an aid project. Touched by the power and joie de vivre of the women and children there, she realized she had a chance to give back. “I really wanted to come back and help,” Maira remembers, saying that the visit completely changed her perspective towards life. She decided to listen to her heart. That's how Ethiopia became the place that changed everything for her.
Since 2018, Maira Nolte has enthusiastically taken on a leading role in an Ethiopian aid project that is part of the Lufthansa Group “help alliance” organization. Learn more about current help alliance projects.