Busy day! We distributed 400 pairs of shoes at a school with a lot of
older children (grades 5-8, which can actually include children into
their 20’s) and then took a tour of their school. They have a library
with no books and a science building with no equipment. We were told
we were the first white people to have ever visited that school.
Although I know we’re in a more rural area it just seems hard to
believe. It’s so hard here because we are able to provide some
assistance in a specific way but because everyone needs so much, they
ask us for books and supplies and computers and desks. Of course we
would love to provide all these things for everyone but it just never
feels like it’s enough to make an impact. We just keep reminding
ourselves that we are giving everything we can while we are here and
that we are doing some good.
During the distribution, an Ethiopian told me I sounded like I have
lived here and have spoken the language for 5 years. Yessss. Too bad I
am now proficient only at Amharic words that involve something
surrounding shoe fittings. Ha.
We are getting pretty efficient between the five of us during the
distributions so we finished pretty early. Hallelujah, one of Sally
and Tom’s Ethiopian friends, took us into the city on public minibus,
our first of the trip. We almost drove over a cliff and it broke down
with smoke streaming from an outside vent. I suppose we were broken
into Ethiopian public minibuses quickly! We walked to the next stop
and made into town to lunch. We were near my old neighborhood/stomping
grounds again, although everything still looks so different. Yemamu
met us at lunch and it was so good to finally see him again! It was
like he and Nick had already known each other because I’ve talked
about them so much. He looks the same but it sounds like a lot has
changed in his world.
We were close to Gladney’s office so we stopped into the Kechene girls
shop first. Ang and I are hoping to have them knit a few laptop covers
while we’re here so we can take them back to the States and send them
to a few companies who may carry them. Our end goal is to have the
Kechene girls making a few things that are REALLY marketable and
modern that appeal to Americans that can be carried by a company. This
takes out the requirement of us having to do all the marketing and
selling back in the states ourselves and creates a continued business
relationship for them. We’ll see if it all works out.
We walked around a bit and caught up with Yemamu and headed back by
contract taxi to Tafo. We made it back here by dark which is always a
plus. I’m still feeling pretty sick and keeping Nick up at night while
I’m blowing my nose but I’m making it through.