I finally rembered last night that I brought earplugs with me on this trip! Actually, they're just always in my little travel bag I take when I go anywhere, I just never use them. Well I sure did last night, and I think I only woke up once! Amazing!!
Alarm went off at 7 so I could hop in the shower. Apparently Friday morning is when the partyin starts for the weekend? Either that or today is a holiday or something?? I'll have to ask the translators when they get here, but there is loud whooping and hollering and dancing party music just blasting outside - at 7am!!
I turned in a laundry bag at the front desk this morning. My one pair of jeans and my one sweatshirt are beyond filthy - and smelly. Hopefully they come back clean this evening!
Breakfast was scrambled eggs and bread. I had them last time and was fine, so I ate them again. Lots of girls passed, especially since one is already sick. I'll be okay... Oh, and I'm wearing flip flops today and everyone is freaking out about podoconiosos or whatever that foot disease is here, ha. It's just hot and I'm tired of my feet sweating in my Toms all day! Yea it's dirty and we'll be outside, but I'm pretty sure I'll be just fine!!
We left around 9 to go buy some more goats to give to Kind Hearts to slaughter today for the big feast!! Drove about 10 minutes and pulled over on the side of the road. We sent the 4 Ethiopian men (Hope Chest staff) to find the SHEEP (I've been saying goats) and barter for them. Obviously, if a group of Americans showed up trying to by sheep (or anything else) they would work us over on price. 15 minutes later, they showed up with a couple other guys and 4 sheep. They immediately just threw them down on the ground and tied their feet together so they couldnt go anywhere. They were still trying to move and they were making whatever sound it is they make...ugh. It was kind of sad! They grabbed them by their neck and their feet and threw them on top of our bus!! It was just craziness...seriously. You could hear them moving around on the top... What if they wriggled their way to the edge and off!? I asked Alex that, because they were flopping around pretty good, but he assured me they were tied down good. But then he looked at the other staff and with a sense of urgency, said, "Lets load up and get going " ha! I guess this is just how you do it here... Definitely an experience - driving through Addis with 4 sheep flopping around on top of our big white bus!
Saw a loooong line of women with big yellow jugs gathering their water for the day from a little spicket. I just can't imagine living without electricity or running water. We really do have is SO good on America... We have so much to be thankful for - traveling makes me appreciate it so much more!
We pulled up to Kind Hearts a little after 10am. The kids were so excited and just going nuts for some reason this morning!! We got the sheep down and the kids were playing with them and dragging them around! It was pretty crazy for awhile...
Beza and Yitbarek ran right up to me for a big hug! Yitbarek was wearing his other new shirt today - the long sleeve Cars one. Beza had on a headband and her sunglasses. All the kids look so cute in their new stuff! I got a really cute picture with both of them.
Julie brought a little printer here and she has a fancy camera, so she printed off a couple of the pictures she took - and one of them was of Beza and I. It's a great picture and she just loooooved it. After she showed it off to everyone, she gave it to her brother for safe keeping in his pocket. I really wish I had a pic of Yitbarek and I, but she didn't get one... I'll just have to mail him one!
|Beza and her brother|
YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnF2dxpfd38
|You're next, buddy...|
The kids had seen it so many times they didn't even care it was going on. I watched them skin it for awhile and decided it was more fun with the kids, so I went back to the playground. Pushed Yitbarek on the merry-go-round and walked around with Beza's hand in mine while she pushed other kids away from me, ha! Once in awhile she would let someone else hold the other hand, but she still chose who could and who couldn't!
We eventually got all the kids lined up and broken in to groups for our second day of projects. Julie is my partner and she brought the stuff to make salvation bracelets for our other project (we will do it again tomorrow at Trees of Glory, too). We marked their shoulders with tape and got started. It went pretty well, minus the string fraying. I really think they got the concept, too! I hope so anyways. We reviewed at the end and they seemed to get it. The kids constantly yelled "Teacher! Teacher!" and waved the string in your face. Apparently they think if they stick it close enough to actually touch you, they will get your attention and you will tie a knot for them! It's a good thing I know how to say WAIT in Ahmharic. We got Helena for our translator again. We just love her and she is SO good with the kids. She used to be a teacher before Hope Chest hired her a few months ago. (When the kids weren't listening, she went outside and got a stick and slapped the table and waived it at them! And oh do they listen after that!)
The kids really likes my hair today for some reason. It's down today and the kids just constantly run their fingers through it and toss it around when I'm trying to help hem with the beads. I wonder if there is head lice here?? Don't need a repeat of Nicaragua! ;)
|This little boy was starting fights while waiting in line, so I put him in "time out" with me.|
So lunch... We got to serve the kids the special lunch we paid for. Sheep and carrots and potatoes and onions and POP! Ooooh my, were they excited for that! The littlest ones were first, and they lines up, washed their hands, and sat down on a little blanket and waited for lunch! We brought it to them one plate at a time, but realized an assembly line worked better. They sat there and ate and ate until they were full...and drank their pop, too! They were allllll smiles! It was so awesome to see them so happy and with full bellies!
|Lining up to wash hands|
Once they were all served, we all went to the shade and ate our lunch from the guest house: cabbage and carrots and potatoes and bread...and left over injera that the kids didn't eat. I really wanted to eat the sheep we slaughtered this morning, and I was originally told no - that it wasn't for us. But when I asked Alex later on, he said, "You really want to try it?!" Heck yea I want to eat the sheep we bought off the street a few hours ago, slaughtered, and cooked! Well, it wasn't very good. I had two bites and it tasted funny and it was super chewy.
I'm so over the flies here!! They are just everywhere - especially when you eat! They don't even phase some of the kids - just let them crawl all over them...even on their faces! Ugh - they drive me crazy!
Forgot to mention while we were serving the kids, a private car showed up and an older man, younger (beautiful) woman, and a super cute little blonde 5 year old boy got out. They were from Pennsylvania but are here in Ethiopia to meet the 2 year old little girl they are adopting. They have been sponsoring a little girl at kind hearts for a couple years and were there to meet her for the first time. The little guy had on the exact same Ordinary Hero tshirt that I did, so I had to get a picture of that! He was so good with the little kids! I think it's so awesome they are exposing him to this at such an early age! He just jumped right in with them and was so sweet and helpful. They loved him and he loved them. Kids are great - if only we all loved so freely like them!
As soon as we were done eating, we went back to the classrooms for the last couple groups of kids - more salvation bracelets. Yitbarek was in my first group after lunch, and he came right over to sit by me. He sat on my lap and sang songs when he bracelets were finished. I opened up his little backpack and pulled out a folded up piece of paper it was bis math test - basic addition and subtraction - and he got 4 out of 10 right. He was close on almost all of them, and he's only 4! When he was leaving, I think he turned around and smiled at me 5 times in the 10 feet it took to get to the door!
And Beza was in my next group. She had a book with her and read to me - in English!! She's so smart! (Random side note: Ethiopians point with their middle finger most of the time, which can sometimes look like they're flipping you off!)
We spent some more time just playing with the kids before we left...which was more of me chasing around a squealing Yitbarek and more of Beza fighting other kids off me! I got a translator to ask Beza about her family. She has two brothers - one of which I met - and one sister. And I found out her dad is the guard here, so she lives in the little hut with a tin roof on the school grounds! She pointed to her dad and said her mom "wasn't around" - not exactly sure what that meant, but I didn't pry.
|Beza and her dad, the guard at Kind Hearts|
|The house that Beza and another family lives in|
Check out Karens (trip leaders) blog for an awesome post on this event!
The kids were late - it was 4:30 and they usually leave at 3:30! All the moms (or whoever) were lines up outside the gate waiting on their kids for over an hour! I felt bad for keeping them because some of them have to walk a loooong time to get home, and it gets dark early here!
As for saying good bye ... Well, I said I wasn't going to cry. Yea right. I don't think I've ever been hugged and kissed so much in my life! And I was okay until Beza came up to me and just hugged me tight and kept kissing me saying thank you! I lost it then. Good thing I had my sunglasses on. Then I had to run and catch Yitbarek - all I could get out at that point was a meek "bye" as he hugged me. Ugh - it was just awful!! Can't believe I'm such a softy these days! I snuck Beza one of my granola bars before I left, but I was crying too much when I got to Yitbarek to give him one!!
Then all the teachers and directors got us together and prayed over is and kept saying how much they appreciate our help and God bless us and reading bible verses about how we are doing Gods work... It definitely got me teary eyed again! We also talked about future needs and the vision for what they want Kind Hearts to look like. They have big plans if they can get the funding: more classrooms so the school can go up to 6th grade, a church on the grounds there (they have 10 acres and there isn't a church anywhere around there) , a cafeteria (the kids eat on the ground outside under a tree), milk cows, a vegetable garden, a chicken farm... I don't remember what else, but if they get all of that going, that is going to be one cool place!
We left Kind Hearts a little after 5 to head back to the guest house. We were all so tired from the full day yesterday - and late night at the restaurant. We voted to not eat out tonight or tomorrow night so we could just have some more down time to relax...
Just kidding. I typed that as we were leaving, and Karen decided we just had to stop for a macchiato since we're in Ethiopia! We stopped at a place called Kaldi's coffee, which is like the Starbucks of Ethiopia. I didn't have any coffee, but I did get my first ice cream since I've been gone. I ordered strawberry-banana gelato...and I got one scoop of strawberry and one scoop of vanilla, ha! Close enough I guess. It's no Sheridans pumpkin pie concrete, but it was pretty good. Everyone else raved about their caramel macchiatos, so I guess it was worth the stop!
We got back to the guest house around 7:30, and the power was out. Completely dark! They were just starting to light some candles for us and Karen asked them to turn on the generator. It was super loud, but it did give us power for about 15 minutes. (I thought generators were supposed to be more reliable?) Which was just long enough for me to get a quick email out on the slow little computer in the lobby (wifi isn't working). Dinner was ready for us, too. Lasagna. No picture because it was dark and we were just fumbling around trying to eat. It was pretty good, but I really wasn't too hungry after my ice cream!
I got my laundry back and it smells fresh and clean! I kind of wondered if it would or not... but I'm happy to have some clean jeans!
My phone is pretty much dead...which also sucks (no power = no charging). But at the same time, I'm just exhausted, and since I have nothing else to do, I'm putting in my ear plugs and calling it a night...at 8:15!
Tomorrow (Saturday) we are going back out to Trees of Glory for our last day there. More tearful good byes to come, I'm sure...
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