Sunday, February 1, 2009

A New Year

I am really looking forward to a New Year. Things got so bad for so many in 2008 that I believe things can only get better. I do still feel like we are so very lucky for all that we do have. So many people here in New York have lost jobs and that is terrible but I at least we have a right to education and a means to eat. We still have soup kitchens and welfare. I think of the friends I have in Ethiopia who do not have access to any thing like that and have to rely on hand outs daily.

I am so proud of the mothers that have formed a cooperative. They are volunteering at the school, (cooking and cleaning) making jewelry and working in a store that was donated to them to use for a year. They take turns selling items such as sugar, soap, water, and other nnecessities to the neighborhood residents. Their jewelry making is improving all the time and I have been selling it here in the US. I have been able to send over $600.00 back to them. The director of the school, Muday, has had them all (22 mothers) open bank accounts and she pays them in salary form instead of just giving them all the money at once, so they can budget. Most of them have never had a steady income in their lives.
On my last trip we brought about 250 small sets of sheets donated by an airline. What was not used on beds was made into clothing by the moms. I was so impressed!

The children are doing well. My partner Tim is on his way there now and a friend from Rome is there now as well. We got a donation of a mouth model and they will be using it to teach them how to brush their teeth. The traditional way to clean teeth in Ethiopia is with a special stick they have there, but the kids are now drinking powered milk that contains sugar so I am afraid the stick is just not enough any more.

I am planning to go back in April and can't wait. My husband will be going with me and I couldn't be happier. I am so excited for him to meet my new friends there and see what has become such an important part of my life.

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