It was another day waking up to an amazing breakfast prepared by Iesha. After talking about the plan for the day’s activities, we headed out the door to Kora. Again, we were greeted by numerous children as we got closer to the church. I saw my buddy, Sisay waiting for me near the office door.
As we are getting closer to Tuesday, I have so many mixed emotions. It’s going to be so hard to leave this place and the people we’ve gotten so close to the last two weeks. Sisay is definitely one of those people. He’s been coming every day to hang out with us and his sweet spirit and big smile have become part of my day…I’m so thankful for the time I’ve had with him.
In the past two weeks, some of the kids have asked us to visit their homes. So, after lunch we stayed later than normal and some of the team went on home visits. While they were off at houses, some of us girls stayed and painted the new boys’ dorm. Walter designed
and drew the new emblem on the door. They have a program here at the church called Man Up. It’s designed to teach the boys how to be leaders and strong men. Some of them stay at the church in a dorm but they needed a new one. It was awesome to be part of making that happen. It was also awesome to be able to hang out with the young boys and watch how proud they were of their new “Man-up-cave”.
We finished painting before the group got back from home Guest House-visits. We had about a half an hour until we were supposed to all meet back up at the office so Sisay asked if I would come meet his mother. I walked with him and his friend, through the muddy streets to his house. He led me back into a fenced area and there was his mother and his little sister. I’m terrible with names, and I wish I could remember theirs, but I’ve forgotten. However, what I won’t forget is how sweet his mother was and how thankful she was that I was in her house. I also won’t forget his sister in a little shirt, no pants, and big brown eyes. I won’t forget the one bed in their small square footage of a house, the dirt floor, the one chair they have that she offered me, or the cat tied up to the coal burner.
I had to refuse coffee because there wasn’t enough time but as I got up to leave she wouldn’t stop saying thank you. Sisay kept thanking me too. I still don’t understand the thankfulness and the love I’ve gotten while being here.
Our group met back up and we started walking towards our lunch destination: Amigo Café. On the way, we encountered a man with open sores all over his body. Aki started talking with him and found out that he needed his prescription filled for the medicine needed for his disease. This became the mission while we walked to lunch. The few pharmacies we stopped at on the way didn’t have any of the medicine he needed. When we finally got to the café, we still had not tracked down the prescription he needed. Aki and Dean
went on a journey to keep looking.
At lunch, I hit a wall. This trip has been so wonderful but it has hit me emotionally in so many different ways. The newness has started to wear off and the realness of the poverty and need has really set in. Almost eight million people in this city and we are only reaching a handful. There is so much to be done here and we are leaving in just a few days. I have to remember that it takes thousands of raindrops to fill a bucket and each raindrop is important, and this raindrop of a trip has been amazing as well as important.
The macchiato helped perk me up a bit and as we were finishing up lunch. Dean and Aki returned successfully being able to find the medication the man needed, and we headed back to the guest house.
On the way back, Aki told me that his wife had fallen and had hurt her leg. He asked if I would come over and look at it and of course I agreed. So after resting a bit at the guest house, Aki, Natalie, Darian and I headed over to his compound. We are here in Ethiopia during Ramadan, so his extended family (which is Muslim) was all having dinner together celebrating the Holiday. When we got to the compound Aki knocked on the gate, after a few moments it was opened slowly, and slowly our eyes traveled down to his two year old son who had managed to open it for us.
His family welcomed us into the house with a warm greeting and immediately my eyes traveled to Aki’s wife, Rihanna, sitting on the couch in pain. It turns out that she slipped and strained her knee pretty bad. After taking care of her leg and setting up a recovery regime for her, we were fed: Bread, chai tea, lasagna…it kept coming, and it was all so yummy. This was probably one of the highlights of my day…getting to meet Aki’s children Abraham and Sarah, and his wife and loving family. We were fed some injara and after lots of hugging, finally made it back to the car.
We drove back to the guest house, and everyone was waiting for us. Tonight, we had planned a bon fire, which is a Christian tradition that they do this time of the year. I didn’t quite understand the Ethiopian tradition but it has something to do with God showing the cross to the Queen through the smoke.
While the fire blazed, the kids danced around and sang traditional songs. The fire was set up in the street right outside of the guesthouse gates and kids from all over the neighborhood joined the festivities. By this time the sun had long ago set and it was getting late.
We still hadn’t eaten dinner, so Colin quickly finished making stir fry and again we were blessed with an amazing homemade meal.
Although it’s starting to near the end and I’m fondly thinking of warm showers, clean sheets, and normal hygiene, I never want these days to end because it means the end of another day and that we’ll be leaving soon. I was more than happy to finally get some sleep though! I think I was so tired I didn’t even worry about bedbugs for the first time, I was so thankful for a bed, a roof over my head, and an awesome group of new friends.