Sunday in Ethiopia

The day yesterday was one of those exquisite days. The sun overshadowed the full moon as the day dawned and we headed out of Adama to T'ede in a Land Cruiser loaded with flour. T'ede is off the main road and the Cruiser followed a "kind of" path past Acacia trees, goats and donkeys and a few stray children until we got to the big haystack. We stopped and two people hefted the four huge bags of flour to the side of the road and we trekked to Pastor Zerahun's house where we fetched the donkeys to cart the flour back for us. The sponsored children and widows were scheduled to come to the church at 11:30. Meanwhile we loaded back up in the Land Cruiser and headed out for another village, Karro.

It is hot, but there is a nice breeze as we bounce along a kind of road. For about a half hour we go over rock piles and ruts and I think I got a small insight to how it might have been for the pioneer wagontrains as they rolled west over uneven terrain! We went about as fast as a wagontrain, too! I loved it! The vistas were breathtaking. We were headed to call on several families who were the recipients of bio sand filters (see our gift catalog on our website!). The people in Karro have a very difficult time with water. There is no water nearby and they spend a good share of every day walking long distances to dig trenches to find water, loading up their plastic water jugs and then walking back home. It's a good thing the families have lots of kids because they send their children out for water in shifts in order to supply the house with enough water for the day. The only problem is, the water is very, very dirty and the villagers suffer with giardia and typhoid, among other problems because of the water.

The first home we entered proudly displayed their BSF (bio sand filter) and poured some precious water in it .... and it came out clear and clean! I drank a glass of it and hoped I wouldn't keel over with agonizing stomach pains ... but I didn't! Good water! They are so grateful for this miracle. We visited two more homes where the owners gratefully displayed their gift of life. One woman said the new water cured her constant headaches!




After having such a good time with these wonderful village people, we went back to T'ede where the widows and children gathered in the tiny church. The widows brought their bags which were loaded with flour and each received some money from the feeding program we have there. For these families, the flour and birr (Ethiopian money) tips them from too little to eat to enough to eat. All of the sponsored children were there with their mothers (most of whom were recipients of the flour) and they shyly took the gifts that their sponsors sent them and then pretty soon I saw lollipops sticking out of most of their mouths and big chocolate eyes sparkling with the novelty of candy. They sat patiently until their mothers had their flour and then, tightly clutching their bags, followed them home. I am always amazed at how well-behaved the children are. I took a walk through the village afterwards and enjoyed the "Saloms" and other greetings from the friendly villagers. Some of the children, of course, were quite in awe of my white face and I knew not to approach the very littlest children because they would cry.



I am loving the weather here in Adama..... sunshine and very, very warm. I really do love it here. Today we broke ground for the new W&OH. I will send you some pictures of that, too. A very different construction scene that you would see in America!!

Tomorrow we head back to Addis early as we have a lot of shopping for the orphanages to do. Many things we cannot get in Adama. The nursery here at Tezera's needs fans. It is very stuffy in there and no way to allow airflow ... but you cannot get fans in Adama. Isn't that funny? It is hot here most of the time. We were able to buy four baby scales and that was quite the production! First Tezera had to write a letter outlining the need and then it had to be approved by the pharmacy and then we had to take the approval (with the pharmacist who is a Christian brother) to the supplier who had to draw up papers in duplicate and everything had to be stamped and then they don't have them and so they are on order in Addis and hopefully we can pick up tomorrow!! Whew!

Wednesday we leave for the West and our first stop will be Nekemte. Abebe says we probably can use the internet there but not Gimbie. I have learned soooooooo much about the governmental setup and control of things and how things have to be done. It is very much about relationships. We will be flooded with children, that I can promise you!

Love you ....
Joy