Morning prayers at the mosque broadcasted over the loudspeaker at 0500 was my alarm this morning!
More Ethiopia facts…
1. Homosexuality is punishable by prison time, although same sex hand holding is acceptable.
2. Indemina dursh is good morning to a female.
3. Indemina Durk is good morning to a male.
4. Namasaganello means thank you…and I SUCK at remembering it. Seriously. Nearly every time I come up with something different to say as I butcher it.
5. The ditches in the streets are not to keep crocodiles in as moats once did. Seriously. They are for the raw sewage to float down the road. I think that might work better than keeping crocodiles in them to keep people from going in the moat. I practically saved Lee’s life tonight as he nearly died in one of these such Pooh moats. We exited the van in the dark and as I flipped the van seat forward so he could get out, he stepped down and backwards only a mere centimetre from the edge of the moat. He was ready to step back, fall into the moat, snapping his leg with an open compound fracture, and then have to swim for his life in the Pooh canal while tying to keep his mouth closed and hope he was tall enough to not have it go up his nose…. Needless to say, as I saved him from certain doom and infection that would definitely require amputation, I have won best travelling companion award in his books!!!
The morning was spent learning how to teach suturing to the doctors here. Interestingly enough we were taught this in medic school, and I have NEVER used it since. So, we went over the simple stitch, the running stitch, a locking stitch or mattress stitch, the deep mattress stitch and a purse stitch. We had boards, nails, tourniquets and towels to set up our stitching stations. Now you will all be able to trust me again for all your stitching needs!! Pants and shirts not included. Tomorrow we head to the medical centre here to do the teaching to them.
After that we sorted all the donations for the various centres and put them into duffle bags for distribution when we go to them. Once that was done we had lunch and headed out to Kirkos for our home visits and doing the medical and dental procedures for those kids.
On the way to the centre, we stopped at a clay and pottery factory where we had a tour of the women hand making BEAUTIFUL clay items. In Canada we have the rule of you break it, you buy it. Well, Annie in a clay factory has a similar policy…I was looking at come candle holders and didn’t realize there was a apiece that wasn’t attached….SMASH was the next thing I heard, so now I am the proud wonder a beautiful candle handle with a corner missing…..
We left there to go to the centre and set up home visits of some of the kids in the program.
When I said we were doing home visits, I mean home visits. We went right into the slums to see the homes of the kids at these centres and how they live. We were doing site assessments to evaluate them for safety, to see how their child being in the program has helped not only their child, but their family.
The streets here have no names and they are a labyrinth to get through.
The first home we went to had a mom, her husband, her daughter, and her niece. The mom worked selling vegetables that she was cooking on the side of the road to support the family. Her husband had mental health issues and couldn’t work, so she was the sole supporter of the four people living in a 10×12 plastic tent with sticks and tin home. She was worried about the two girls getting taken advantage of the young unemployed men who sit around chewing CHAT, their local hallucinogen drug. It is a green waxy leaf that is quite addicting, but at least is grown naturally, so definitely a healthier choice than meth (right Courtney?!?!).
The second home we went to had a woman who was so absolutely grateful to have her son in the program she was falling over herself to say thank you. The inside of her home was painted PuRpLe!!! Every single surface. Lovely woman.
The third home we went to, had been burned down, along with sixteen others, just the week before. It was government housing, and as such, the government relocated the woman and her two daughters as well as eight other families into a business warehouse until a decision as to what to do next would be reached. There were 22 people living in a tarped building about 15 x 30 in size. The mother was afraid of the other people living in the building that they would rape her two daughters, aged 14 and 12. There was a man there that legit made Alynne and I creeped out. I feel her fears were valid. Hopefully something can get sorted out sooner than later. They took us back to their burned home to see it, and the smell of smoke was still rank. The neighbours were still living there and having a fire department with hoses is not something done here. It was up to the neighbours to keep it from spreading. The reason for the fire is still under investigation … rogue candle or arson by the government so they could evict the people to sell to foreign investors were to two working theories.
In fact, Alynne was called to by some kids as she walked by…”China!!” There is so much Chinese foreign investors here, China is the name they call ALL foreigners now.
We went back to the centre afterwards even more sober than before and did the medical and dental assessments for the kids there and ironically went out for Chinese food for supper. Real cat meat Chinese. I wondered if since it was real, REAL Chinese food if I would be hungry an hour later or not…lol
It was the best sweet and sour dog I have ever eaten. Imagine, I had to travel to Africa to eat delicious, authentic Chinese food. The restaurant was patronized by all the Asian persuasions, including (I am pretty certain) Kim Jong Un. I was sitting with my back to him and his henchmen, as they prepped their fat cigars to smoke right there, with cigar cutters stained with the blood of those unwilling to talk until one or two fingers had been removed as motivation….It was hard to hear everything they were saying as the plumes of smoke pert near sent me into a choking fit as my larynx spasamed from all the smoke, but they were talking about Jayden Alvarez massaging his schedule to accommodate their next drop headed for Canada…. Every time they popped another cork of champagne behind me I jumped out of my seat. We three girls dropped a trail of fortune cookies behind us as we made our way to the bathroom. The restaurant must have used the same city planner to design their layout as I got lost coming back to the table.
Back to bed for us after another long day.