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

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Our Trip to Ethiopia, Day 7

Saturday, May 31, 2014

This morning, we met again for breakfast, after which Mitch led devotions. We then gathered in the parking lot to wait for the 2 vans that would transport us to Samre for sponsorship distribution day.

As we headed out of town, there were people and animals everywhere. The driver explained that today was market day.

A truck loaded down with mattresses:

Animal market:

Veterinary hospital:

The 2 hour drive to Samre was breathtaking. It felt very ancient, like we were driving through Biblical times...there were camel and pack-mule trains, stone buildings, and people in traditional robes everywhere.  

Parts of the drive reminded me of the Grand Canyon.

We saw quite a few Ethiopian Orthodox churches:

Laundry day:

When we arrived in Samre, the townspeople gathered around us and stared. We decided that we now know how animals in the zoo feel!

We walked across the street to the building where the distribution was going to take place. AGCI has an educational sponsorship program for kids in this area. Families from the U.S. sponsor these children, and they are given money for their education quarterly. Some of the children walk for hours to come get their funds, and then have to turn right around and walk hours back home. Our job today was to funnel the kids through 7 different stations, where we would interview them, have them draw pictures, take their photo so we could update their records, provide them with some food, soda, and a t-shirt, give them their school funds, etc. If you are interested in sponsoring a child, go to All God's Children International's here. Let me tell you, it is not very much money per month, and it is WORTH IT!!! The kiddos were so sweet, and I would love to see them all sponsored!

Children and their guardians, if they had one, were lined up on the porch.

 A woman was preparing another coffee ceremony for us inside the building:

Lots of people gathered around to watch what was happening:

 It was my job to take updated photos of the kids. I was able to meet this delightful young man, whom we now sponsor monthly:

This little girl was coloring a picture that told about herself:

 Larisa, sorting paperwork:

Chris interviewed each child, and filled out paperwork. When it came to the question about the status of their parents, most of the kids (Chris thought maybe 90%?) hung their heads, looked at the ground, and said, "Both parents passed." How heartbreaking! And some of the kids had no guardian...they were on their own. Under the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up," kids had written things like, "Doctor," "Engineer," or "Lawyer." I had to wonder how many of their dreams will actually come true.

Richard and Rachael gave each student some bread, a bottle of pop, a bracelet, and a t-shirt:

Ashton collected the empty pop bottles:

Mitch made some new little friends:

Quite a few of the sponsored kids didn't show up, so Kiersten and Yohannes decided to come back to Samre on Tuesday so they could have another distribution day. Then we climbed back into the vans to begin the very bumpy ride back to Mekele. We had not eaten lunch, so we snacked on the way back.

We stopped on the way back so that we could show support for Ohio in the African desert. I'm still not sure that Tadesse had any idea what O-H-I-O meant.

Women paused during their walk along the road, wondering about our crazy antics:

When we arrived back to Mekele, I was tired and dizzy from the long bumpy ride. I realized that I had not had much water all day. I rested and showered, and then we visited the Hannah's Hope here in town. We were able to give Tadesse a tub of donations for HH.

Back at the hotel, we watched these guys working on a building across the street. Ethiopian construction scares me.

 We walked across the street to Habesha 2000 for a cultural dinner. 

Back at the hotel, we called the kids, downloaded photos to the computer, and then Chris, Ashton, Mitch and I had dessert before going to bed.

No comments:

Post a Comment