life as we know it

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No distribution today because it’s a holiday. Monday night the Muslims
read the moon to determine if Tuesday would be a holiday or not. I’m
not sure what they needed to see (or not see) in order for them to
declare it a holiday, but it was. Tom picked us up from RoPac and we
headed to their house closer to the city. Our main objective for the
day was to sort and organize the shoes we needed for the distributions
Wednesday and Thursday. We will be doubling the size of school and
community outreach each day, so the number of shoes gets larger and
larger. We had a pretty efficient system and it took less than a few
hours to sort and pull out another 800 pairs of shoes from the
original delivery. Our school on Wednesday is mainly younger children
again, so we learned the first time around that we will need very few
larger sizes. Thursday’s school, however, goes up to eighth grade
which we learned will include people up to their 20’s.

We headed into the city to pick up a phone and a SIM card. Once we’re
in the city we’ll need a phone to coordinate meetings and times and we
figured it would be beneficial to have it now because as I’ve learned
from my first trip, things are never as easy as you think they’ll be.
We found a phone (used, but a phone) that they were willing to sell me
for 400 birr (my limit on how much I’m willing to spend) and tried to
get our SIM card. They wouldn’t sell it to us without two Ethiopian
picture IDs. We don’t even have one. We though perhaps Tom would be
able to purchase it with his Ethiopian driver’s license, but no dice.
I called Yemamu and asked him to pick us up a phone and SIM card. No
problem, he says. He’ll get it in the merkato and bring it to us on
Saturday. We also stopped by our guest house to see if we could check
in a day early. Also no problem. The guest house is on the street I
lived off of last time. I chose the area because I know how to get
from everything from there and it would be much easier for me. It took
me a few minutes to recognize, though. Things have changed SO much
since I was here only a year and a half ago. The area where the
government was trying to take back their land, where the wood shop
disappeared from our first trip, has been successfully wiped out from
the once-thriving business area. What used to be a big open space is
how surrounded by high corrugated tin walls. A few things were
familiar and I smiled at the memories I have from my first trip. It
was good to be in familiar territory.

We walked to a pizza shop close to Tom and Sally’s and snagged some
pizza for dinner. We just had the marghireta pizza but Ang ordered
French fries. Literally, we watched the woman peel the potatoes and
cut them into fries. Everything was fresh and delicious, particularly
because hadn’t eaten since breakfast which was just multi-grain
Cherrios in soy milk. Meals are kind of funny that way here. You just
are never on a schedule and you eat when you can eat and are pretty
ready for the next meal.

We spent the evening in Sally’s living room talking about all sorts of
things. Ethiopia, adoption, life, climbing. It was fun to connect with
someone who I met just briefly my first time here and whose journey I
have followed throughout the year. We got home late and I was
exhausted, so all plans were out the window and I headed to bed.

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