Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just back from trip #3

I just returned from my third trip to Ethiopia yesterday afternoon. I am still out of it. I guess I have jet lag. (thought I was immune) It did take me 24 hours to get home this time. Each trip it gets harder to say good by. I have made such wonderful friends. The school director, Muday is such a kind and generous person and I feel such a closeness to her. I also find I am feeling much more comfortable and at home in Addis, despite the vast cultural, social, and political differences from my own country. I really can't put into words the feeling. The people there are so kind and really care for, and respect each other despite the harsh living conditions and extreme poverty. They have shown me that we really don't need very much in this world to prosper. A strong spirit, love for family, the will to survive, and just the basic necessities mean so much more than a big house, nice clothes and an SUV.

More very soon.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Children

Mothers Cooperative

Pictures of the new kitchen

I am blessed

I am truly blessed to live the way I do and to be able to help where I can. I have actually been home for a week. I wish I would have been able to write while on the road but I was unable to access this site. So many emotions pass through me while I am in Ethiopia, I sometimes find it difficult to put them into words. But here goes...........

This trip brought about a whole new wave of feelings. My role has changed from my first volunteer visit. Then I thought it would only be a one time visit. (Although one of my brother in laws told me that I would go again before I had even been the first time.) Now, I am one of the people responsible for the well being of the school, children, and some parents.
The first couple of nights I did not sleep to well because of all the thoughts going through my head. The school needs alot. We need to continue to raise money to feed the children and run the school, but we also really need to build a new school. Many of things in the school are functional but sort of pieced together. The new kitchen has been built and they are using it, but there is no floor (very expensive for cement) so they have been putting down plastic covering to try to keep the mud at bay. It is the rainy season now and it really rains hard!

I sometimes wonder what I am doing. Have I taken on too much? As I am using some less than desirable toilet facilities, I remind myself that I am doing what God wants me to do. I really do know this is my purpose in life. After 43 years things are right where they are supposed to be. I have a wonderful and supportive husband. My family and friends are amazing. And I love the people of Ethiopia. The children are wonderful. The mothers who have their after school craft cooperative are some of the strongest and most powerful women I know. They endure such hardships, and through absolutely no fault of their own, live in extreme poverty. The have been working so hard on their jewelry and finally have, many for the first time ever, an income. Muday, the director, school founder, and resident angel, helped them to all open a bank account with about $5.00 each!
Muday really is a saint. She cares so much for these children and parents. She has no problem taking any one of the family members that may be sick, to the hospital for care. She wants to add a grade level every year so the students don't drop out of the government schools once they leave Fresh and Green Academy. A huge percentage of the students do because the government schools don't have a food program and they don't eat at home, so they are back on the streets begging instead of in school. It is a terrible cycle. She would like to have sleeping facilities in the school for the students who sometimes get left at school by their parents. (Some of them walk over an hour to get to school. And uphill both ways barefoot in the snow isn't too far off! Ok, maybe the snow part.)

I do love Ethiopia and its people and especially the new "family" I have at Fresh and Green Academy. I know I have not taken on an easy task, there is great deal of work that needs to be done, but I also know with much help and prayer I will one day see these young children graduate from the University and live healthy and happy lives.

Thank you for you support!

Monday, September 1, 2008

I was unable to get on the blog again in Ethiopia so I will update over the next few days.
Trying to get through security in Isreal was awful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will never go that way again even if it does save time.
We spent 3 hours there. They questioned both of us seperatly for 30 minutes and went through everything in all our bags. The opened every crayon box! It did not matter that we are employees!
More later!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The airport in TLV with Kristen.

Waiting in Isreal

We made it to Tel Aviv. Great flight. We are now just waiting patiently with our 4, 50lb bags of supplies, for our flight that leaves at 1am. It is now 6pm.
I am extremely excited to see the children and the parents, but also a little worried about how their condition may be. Although we send money weekly to run the school meal program that feeds the children, some of the parents don't eat. I have been told that a couple of the mothers are sick and when they get sick they don't recover as quickly as you and I would, do to malnutrition. Hopefully that wont be the case this time.
We will be arriving in Ethiopia tomorrow morning and will be picked up by the school director and her husband. They are wonderful people and I do look forward to seeing them.
I will update once I am in Addis.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Again, on my way to Ethiopia!

Leaving tomorrow! Check back often.