*Note to reader – Today is the second entry of my recent travel journal to Ethiopia – I am sharing a seven day journal of my letters home about the trip. Read more introduction from yesterday’s blog post. Enjoy! *
Day 2, Addis Ababa Ethiopia. October 18, 2015
Here is the recap from my second day here….
I slept SO good after the long travel. The cabin at camp langano is close to the lake, and all we could hear were birds and monkeys, and the occasional hippo grunts. I did not know that hippos were such an aggressive animal, so hearing them so close was a little unsettling ….
We had an amazing breakfast at camp around 8. Oatmeal and fresh bread. In fact every meal I have had so far has been even better than the one prior, so I am sure to gain about 50 pounds this week.
We attended a church service at the small local church this morning and of course it was amazing. The church construction consisted of mud walls with small windows cut out and hard packed dirt floors. The families were packed in on small benches, and they were all the same color as the dirt outside. In fact, southern Ethiopia is experiencing one of their worst droughts in history and there is very little water…so bathing is apparently not a priority. Their clothes were tattered, filthy, and far too big hanging on their small frames. Their feet were so dirty, and shoes were worn out too – if they had shoes on, actually.
Even so, Teff and I looked at each other, each of us wearing pants, and both felt we were underdressed for church. Every woman there had on a skirt and blouse, every man a sport-coat.
The service was spoken in amharic and oromiffaa – the two local languages. The songs were in amharic. We were the only white people there. Nonetheless, the locals were clearly happy to have us there and the children were obsessed with getting close to us and holding our hands. After the service, I started photographing the children, and as you would expect, the camera was a huge hit. The children were fascinated with seeing their pictures on the small screen of the camera, although I am not sure they even saw the picture due to the bright sun, but they seemed thrilled nonetheless.
As we were leaving the camp after lunch, some men came rushing by carrying a mattress atop two carrying logs, supporting a women who was clearly in distress. They were running to the local clinic. Efram, one of the local men I will tell you about more later, tells us that she is riding to the clinic “on the local ambulance.” She is in fact going into labor, to have her third child. Although I wish this was the part of the story when I tell you I delivered a baby, I hate to disappoint you…we could not stay, and she did not need my services. I offered several times to stay, but they all assured me that she was in good hands and would be ok. I just wanted to deliver that baby!
We drove back to Addis. Along the way, we stopped at a resort along Lake Langano and had ice cream and macchiato. Oh the suffering in a developing world….haha.
Oh yeah…about Efram. He is on staff with the SIM organization, which runs the Camp Langano project that I told you about yesterday. He was with us all day today and taught us so much about the Camp, and about SIM, and about the region in general. About halfway through the day, I learned that he is also the man who started the first Young Life group in Ethiopia! Young life is strong in Addis, and he was the first! I got to hear his whole story, and how all that began! It was incredible. God is incredible. His story is moving, and I will share it with you when I return…. I felt like I was in the presence of something amazing today, surrounded by so many of God’s warriors for him, spreading the gospel and bringing so many people to Jesus. I wish you could all be here.
💗💖😘😍 with love, heather