As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Our Trip to Ethiopia, Day 5.....

Monday, July 15, 2013

Wow. Between the musty/old sweat smell of the mattress and pillow, little bugs crawling around, very strange animal noises outside our screen, and singing/chanting/drums, it was hard to sleep. I finally got up and took some Tylenol PM and got a few hours, but a lot of the night was spent staring up at the ceiling and wishing that morning would come. In the middle of the night, a very loud, very weird noise ("braw-braw-braw-braw-braw) right outside made me sit straight up in bed. "What was that?" I whispered to Shana, who woke up, too. "I think it's the toilet," she replied. "If that's the toilet, we've got some major problems," I thought. Come to find out, it was a male Black and White Colobus guereza monkey that was defending his territory right behind our room. To get an idea of what we heard, click here, then click on "Black and White Colobus Monkey." Then, filter out the jungle noises and make it about 100 decibels louder as the thing was sitting right outside our screen! :-) He proceeded to roar off and on for the rest of the night.

I finally got up at around 6:30 and read the daily Bible verse on my phone: "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever." Psalms 73:25-26. And it seemed very fitting.

A Gambella morning:

For breakfast, I had fetira with eggs and honey. It was so rich and delicious! Basically, it is thin strips of pita bread fried with eggs, and then drizzled with honey. And I had buna, of course. The coffee is so thick here, it's almost like a good! Chris and Brian both asked for big coffees, and the waiter looked at them very strangely. Here, they serve coffee in teeny tiny little cups, and here are these big American men asking for big cups! The rest of the week, the waiter brought them large coffees.

After breakfast, we piled into the van and headed to Brothers and Sisters Care Center - the first orphanage that my boys lived at. Our project today was ripping out the old flooring and replacing it with new vinyl. So after meeting the staff and children, delivering photos and gifts that some other families had sent with us, passing out beanie babies and candy to the children, setting up sports equipment that our donors had purchased, and visiting with Yilma, the director, about other children we knew of who had passed through Brothers and Sisters, we got to work. 

In the meantime, Brian went into town and purchased 2 goats to donate to the orphanage. When the goats arrived, the children immediately began playing with them. After a short while, the staff snuck one of the goats off behind one of the buildings and slit its throat - it was to be our lunch!

Brothers and Sisters:

Some of the men looking at a photo book that Ginny and I made of Brothers and Sisters alumni kiddos:

This teeny tiny baby girl arrived 2 days ago. She is 3 weeks old, and her mother died. She is a preemie, and very malnourished - her little skin just hung off of her, and her leg was the same size around as my thumb. So sad! But I'm confident she'll receive the care here that she needs.

Doing laundry:

Our team's donors also provided the funds to buy a new water tank for BSCC (shown on the left in the photo):

Shana had fun painting the girls' fingernails. They were thrilled!

Some of the rooms at BSCC:

Our boys used to sleep in this one, along the wall with the turtle on it. The mission team that was here in April/May painted this room in an underwater theme.

The back porch and fence area:

Ripping out the old flooring:

Laying the new vinyl proved to be a challenge. First of all, there was no way to get the floor underneath clean. We tried mopping it, but we were using dirty water and filthy mops. Water is a precious commodity here, and you don't just go throwing water on the floor so you can use it to clean. But we were afraid the glue wouldn't stick to the dirt. We basically used the mop to push dirt around from place to place, and then had to wait for the floor to dry so we could lay the vinyl. We also didn't have the right tools we needed. They provided us with a very dull knife to cut the flooring, so we asked for a scissors. The only thing they had was a pair of preschool-type safety scissors. But we finally got the project underway.

Making injera:

Bailey, Ginny, and Kiersten with some of the cute littles from the orphanage:

And while the other goat was getting butchered, this one was getting much love from the kiddos:

They were even taking rides on it!

These women were busy preparing our lunch in the kitchen:

This little guy LOVED Chris:

We ate a late lunch of goat meat with peppers and onions, bread, injera, and Cokes:

Afterward, the staff prepared us a traditional coffee ceremony. They started out with green coffee beans, roasted them over a fire, and then brought the hot pan around so we could smell the beans. When they were satisfied that we approved of the aroma, they used a mortar and pestle to grind the beans. These grounds were then boiled over the fire.

The coffee was very good - so fresh and sweet!

During lunch, Chris and I visited with Ochar, the pastor of a nearby church who is from the Anuak tribe (same tribe as our boys). He answered many questions that we had about the history of the Anuaks, and how things are faring for them today. We also found out that Brothers and Sisters is adding more buildings and opening more branches in the Gambella region, and we met Guta, a social worker who will be running one of the branches.

Our group for the day (minus the babies and some of the women):

We headed back to the hotel around 3:00 to freshen up and get ready for some very special meetings with some very special women. Wass came back shortly to take Brian and Ginny to meet Stone's birth mother, and we stayed back at the hotel to watch some of their kiddos. When they returned, Chris, Shana, and I headed back to Brothers and Sisters where we had the opportunity to meet with the twins' birth mother and my nephew, Sintayehu's, birth mom. Such courageous, beautiful women! It was a wonderful, emotional time, and there were lots of hugs and photos all around. I will keep the details of the meeting private, as it is personal to our boys. We were able to give their mother a photo book and an Amharic Bible, and showed her some videos of the boys that I had on my iPhone. 

Back at the hotel, we had dinner with our group and there was LOTS of laughter. Poor Mathewos laughed so much that he had tears running down his face! The crazy Americans in the group certainly kept the dining room lively!

There was a large lizard in our bathroom when we got back to our room. But it scurried around so much that we finally gave up looking for it. And it was pretty scary when Adrian got a pill stuck in his throat. There is not much medical help around here. We worked quite awhile, and we finally got it out. But he also threw up his malaria medicine....hopefully the mosquitos won't bother him too badly. 

Though it's kind of blurry, Chris was able to snap a picture of one of the varmints that kept us awake last night:

Shana and I get the sound machine tonight - yay! Hopefully it will help to drown out the monkeys' constant roaring. So off to bed we go!

1 comment:

  1. I am LOVING these posts! I am hanging on every word and love seeing all the pictures! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!