Monday, November 14, 2011

Ethiopia: Day 3 (continued)

(I forgot to say this morning a couple other things that made it a rough start:  the sun comes up early here and it was completely bright by 6. We forgot to pull our curtains shut last night, so we all thought we had overslept and it was like noon when we woke up. Thats  never a cool feeling!  And since it's Sunday, we also woke up to the Muslim call to prayer just blasting all through the city. It was pretty interesting to wake up to that and figure out where you were and what was going on...)

Oooooh what a day it has been! 

I'm really going to try and just do some of the highlights today and keep this short because I'm getting sick typing in this van...

We stopped on the way again to buy some bread for the kids, but I didn't get out this time.  As soon as we arrived at TOG, we walked down the hill to another  building for a little church service.  All the kids are so well behaved and they were all sitting patiently waiting for us. There were seats saved for us in the front row, but (with permission) I went for the kids! I scoped out Mita and with her little eyes glued to me - growing bigger by the second - she realized I was coming to sit with her! Ha, it was seriously too cute! You could tell she was just freaking out that I was walking straight for a good way. I mean she would look at me and grin real big and then look around at all the other kids like, "Oooh my goodness - do you guys see this?! She's coming to sit with ME!" I slid the little girl over who was sitting next to her and pulled Mita up on to my lap. She just couldn't believe it, ha, but she is definitely warming up to me. (And the poor girl is just filthy and smells so bad - I thought I was going to gag!) The picture is awesome - its me with one  very happy little girl on my lap, and about 100 beautiful little black faces.  

By the end of the service, Mita had her hand in mine, rubbing my fingers, and she had her little head leaned back against my chest. Oh she just melts my heart! (She also took on of my hair thingies off my wrist and wore it on her bicep.  I didn't get that one back.) 

The kids behind me obviously thought my hair was pretty cool (since its so different from theirs), and I could feel little hands all over me during chuch. Some of the kids got up and sang and I took a couple videos on my phone I'm excited to share!  Most of it was in Oromiffa, so I didn't get much out of it, but it was a cool experience!

YouTube links:

Once church was over, we had lunch (the kids did too, but in a separate location).  It was rice and vegetables - and pepto. Do I even need to keep saying that? ;) Thank goodness I brought lots of snacks - they've come in really handy!

As soon as we were done eating, it was time to start the projects/lessons with the kids. I brought an activity I got from Oriental Trading that is a little purple felt banner with a yellow cross on it and some little cardboard pictures to glue on that tell the story of Jesus. They were Word of God, His birth, Fishers of men, His love for us, His death, His resurrection, and Salvation. I had a little blurb or story or bible verse to read for each of the pictures as the kids glued them on the cross once we talked about what the picture represented. The semi-difficult thing was that what I said was translated from English to Ahmharic  by one translator (Helina - HopeChest staff), and then Ahmharic to Oromifa by another translator so the kids could understand.  I'm  sure some of what I said was lost in that translation process, but hopefully the kids at least got something out of it. If there was time left at the end, we would ask them some review questions and they had some pretty  cute answers about what they rembered.  One little girl stood right up and said she learned that Jesus loves each and every one of us - no matter what.  Mission accomplished. :)

Meseret (little girl standing up in pink) saying what she learned...
The Elmer's school glue didn't stick very well - especially on felt to felt, but overall, I think  it went really well and it was pretty cool to be able to share the story of Jesus (briefly) with all of the kids there! (They were broken up into 6 groups of 20 kids each, and we had 40 minutes with each group, so that was pretty much the whole afternoon.) After I got through a few groups, the translators had most of it down, so I got to sit with the kids and help them glue. It was pretty obvious they don't work with that stuff every day, because some of them didn't want to touch it and would freak out if you got it on them! 

So I learned something really I interesting today about Mita and Derebe today... Mita was actually in my first group, and about half way through the session I recognized one of the older boys in the group as her oldest brother, Gebere, who I got pictures of last year. Through the translators I started asking questions. If you remember from earlier, I used to sponsor Mita's older brother Derebe up until a month ago when his non-Christian uncle pulled him out. Weeelllll... turns out Derebe is a GIRL! Gebere kept saying he only had two younger SISTERS!! Somehow, children's HopeChest got a picture of another little boy mixed up with Derebe's or something... So I was sponsoring a girl! Poor thing got all boy stuff in her care package from me! Ugh! The story still isnt completely clear as to why she is the only one that got pulled out, but Mita and Gebere are living with their grandma. And I'm not going to get to see Derebe (which translators confirmed is a girl name) because she isnt nearby. Weird story...

Gebere and Mita
At one point in the afternoon, Karen called me over to her area where she was passing out the care packages. It was Mita's turn and she wanted me to give her all the things I brought.  I sat her down next to me and read her my letter - she LOVED the picture of me and all my family. She just grinned and kept staring as the translator told her who everyone was. She's still pretty shy so it was kind of hard to read her, but I put her headband on and a barrette's in her hair. She first said she wanted to put her new clothes on but then said she would just put them on at home. I hope she wears them when we come back on Saturday! I got her a jump rope and socks and some beef jerky and other random things, and I'm pretty sure she was just amazed the whole time that I was actually there giving her the things. I told her I made her the blanket and he eyes just got big again and she stared at me, ha. Too cute!  It was really fun and a great experience to get to do that. 

Before we left, we all chipped in 8,400 birr (almost $500) for the big feast we will have there on Saturday. Four goats and lots of vegetables, etc. I kind of hope we get to watch them make it all and slaughter the goats! Not sure I'll eat it after that, but what an experience! Hopefully we dont all get sick from it. So far I've felt great - not even any jet lag!

Random side note:  Check out this little guys' eyelashes! 

The drive back to Addis was interesting.  Everyone has Sunday off, so they all drink honey wine all day apparently! We saw a big truck swerving, then a little car in front of us went off the road and their hub cap flew off ... and we hit it.  THEN we saw a taxi flipped in the ditch! All within about an hour! And then there was one more car swerving off road right at the edge of town. Just a lot of crazies out on Sunday nights I guess!

Back at the guest house, it was another mad dash for the toilets. After such a long drive, everyone is literally about to pee their pants by the time we get back.  Dinner was pizza (and pepto) and it was actually pretty good - minus the olives that I just picked off.  Internet still wasn't working, and  several of us were pretty anxious to send/receive some emails, so we got permission to walk back up to be other guest house to use their wifi. 8 of us ended up going, and I knew that was too many and that we would crash the network if we all tried to get on. But of course no one believed me...and we crashed it, ha. I did my best to explain bandwidth and convinced them to take turns, and an hour and a half later, we had each sent out an email or two! It is SO slow here, but totally worth be wait to get to communicate with people back home!

We got back to our guest house around 9:30, and shortly after that, our wifi started working!! My phone just started getting emails, and then ... I was able to Skype! Holy cow, I've never been so excited to see and talk to anyone in my life! I got a couple of these posts sent out (they were already typed on my phone) and read a couple emails and I was a happy camper! I'm laying in bed now trying to finish this up. It's getting late and I need to get some sleep (but Monica snores)! ;)

Tomorrow is day 1 at Kind Hearts here in Addis. I get to meet Matt's sponsor boy, Yitbarek, and my girl, Bezawit!

Picture from my phone for today: Mita on my lap at church...

Sent from my iPhone

1 comment:

  1. You are keeping up with the updates so well, Ter! LOVE IT!!!! :)