First of all, amesegënallô (thank you) to all the people who made it possible for this team to make it to Ethiopia this time around. We have a great group of people involved with this trip and everyone really adds something special to the group dynamic. First off, I think everyone has really enjoyed the trip so far, not to mention benefitted from it. We are having a really (besides a few people being sick) all round great time.
Today, we spent our third day at the Korah camp. You can really see the relationships forming between everyone and the kids. On day one it was interesting to see how everyone would react to all the activity and attention but everyone handled it just fine. By now everyone has their own children who all coming running once we arrive in the van.
My group (Kasshun, Deareg, Donies, Fwadu, Abraham, Tesfya, and Mikyas) are my favorite. Every day I arrive to the church, without a doubt, there my little “clan” waits for me. The greeting consists of them waiting in the same spot every day, followed by handle holding and a special handshake we created on the first day. The day follows with a group session in the church continuing into separate group sessions. Today we played hangman and Simon Says (A BIG HIT). We then all feed them Injerra (a pancake like bread) and wot (sauce). After lunch we can do whatever we want with our kids whether that is just sitting and talking or playing soccer. Unfortunately, the rain has kept us at bay with the whole soccer playing so we resorted to playing in a mud pit. So today we sat around and told stories about soccer instead. These kids sure do enjoy soccer.
Today was supposed to be the day where the group was to pick out five goats to be slaughtered and fed to the kids. So after all the activity settled down, we jumped in the van and headed to the local goat market which happened to be on the way back to the guest house. Our guide, more like great friend, Yose jumped out and tried to make a deal for the goats but it turns out that the prices of goats have jumped up to about 60 dollars per goat compared to about 20 due to the Ethiopian holiday of Buhe, a childrens holiday. The plan was to hog tie the goats, strap them to the roof, and slaughter them in the back yard of the school. Talk about a cultural experience. But with the prices so high, that is going to have to wait until next week.
We returned to the guest house to find a gathering of children outside of our gates. Not having enough of activity for the day, we quickly found a soccer ball. By the time I knew it, we had two goals made up of piles of stones. 4v4. Game on. These kids are good. The next hour that followed would turn out to be the highlight of my trip and one of the best experiences I have had in my life. Playing my favorite sport with Ethiopian children under the African sun.
What. A. Day.