Thursday, September 29, 2011
PS: love you Mum - love you Dad xox
This was an experience I will never forget. The paint chipped iron beds were blood stained, rusty and the mattresses were only covered by a dirty looking vinyl cover. No sheets, pillows, water jugs, pads, cots nappies etc to be seen. The ladies were lying in their very soilded clothes they wore in, which was probably their only set of clothes, so were more like rags.
It was such a joy to be able to provide a bundle of new clothes for both mother and baby and some basic necessities ie sheet, soap, baby wrap, paw paw cream, water bottle and some vitamins to help these poor ladies manage their newborns in their simple one room mud huts.
Grace not only paid for the deliveries, items used ie gloves and medicines, but for the transport home- a bajaj (tuk tuk), only hours after delivery. I accompainied one lady home, and it was a very painful expeerience for her bumping over all the pot holes and rocks enroute.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Over and out - back on here again tonight so stay tuned :)
PS: Love you Mum and Dad - Sarah, Pete and the kids xo
Saturday, September 24, 2011
We were able to play heaps of games, cuddle heaps of cute kids and communicate God's love to them in a tangible way. It was...awesome!
We were also able to pay for a big feast for all the children and the Compassion staff - 90 people all up. I couldn't believe the amount of food on each child's plate...they loved it.
While all the team was playing with the kids, I was able to spend some time with Pastor Belachew, Senior Pastor of the Mulu Wongel (Full Gospel) Church at which the Compassion Child Development Project is based. It was a great time of mutual encouragement. They have plenty of needs and I can't wait to get back to Australia and share some of the plans the Church has if funds are made available.
Well, Em also wants to share some thoughts so I'll say Chow for now! Off to Bahir Dar at 4:30am tomorrow morning.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday - Some people on the trip got to visit their Sponsor Child's House
Monday night - the team got to experience a traditional Ethiopian Dinner with Ethiopian Dancing (see the photo for the meal)
Tuesday morning - more visits to sponsor childrens houses (not linked to the Church's partnership)
Tuesday afternoon - visit to the Hamlin Fistula Hospital (with some of the team meeting Dr Catherine Hamlin)
Tuesday night - dinner at the Sheraton to celebrate Emma's birthday.
We've also had power and water issues, but we are surviving.
Will blog again soon!
Monday, September 19, 2011
One story I must tell :)
An absolute miracle!!! We were visiting Josh and Corinne's sponsor child and twin girls along with 10 other children ended up in the little hut with us. The twin girls were trying to tell Murray and I that they are also sponsored by our church. We kinda didn't believe them - so they ran to their home in the pouring rain and came back with their letters and photos of their sponsor. here we were in the middle of no where in the pouring rain in a mud hut and guess what we were looking at... A PHOTO OF THE SAXON FAMILY...!!! there before me was a photo of Belinda Saxon, Luke and the kids!!! WOW!!! what a moment... VERY COOL - so SAXONS we have had a great old chat with your little girl in a mud hut in Africa!!!
Tomorrow we are meeting with more of the sponsor children and after that we are visiting the fistula hospital here in Addis.
Keep you posted
PS: love you Mum and Dad :)
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Undoubtedly, today has been the best day of the trip so far! Today, we made the 43km journey to Addis Alem to the Compassion Church Partnership.
Our day started at 8am. It took about an hour to travel from our accommodation in Addis Ababa. The scenery on the drive was spectacular with rolling green hills and many, many eucalyptus trees. We arrived at the church to find a few children outside the church gates to greet us. We were all very excited, as we were anticipating the opportunity the meet our sponsor children for the first time. As we approached the church grounds, we could hear clapping from the children. As soon as we walked through the gates, we were greeted by 230 children. (See the photo above).
Except for Aaron, everyone on the team got to meet their sponsor child. It was an amazing experience - hard to describe really. It wasn't long until all the children went to Sunday School - there was 4 rooms filled with children. Their singing was so energetic.
We were also privileged to attend the church. The whole church was packed with people worshiping the Lord. We got to sing to them "Ancient of Days". The sermon was presented in two local languages, but we were also provided with a summary in English.
So, overall, today was a day which everyone was looking forward to, and it exceeded all our expectations!
From Shelley W.
Actually, it was Ray who initiated it, and it was a lovely time of connection with the locals. They appreciated the new soccer shirts, and bubble blowers, and Abeba and Matilda had quite a skipping competition with a very friendly girl about their age. People are the same the world over, and communicating with these beautiful people, even without a common language is easy, if you can find a common interest.
Soon though, it was time to go ... off to do some souvenier shopping at Churchill Rd. Back home for lunch (fried rice), and then we fit and healthy ones were off to climb the mountain. Unfortunately Debbie and Andrea weren't feeling up to it, but the rest of us set out with much excitement, and a little trepidation. And I'm pleased to be able to announce that everybody made it!! I was quite sure a couple of times that I would have to stop and wait for them to pick me up on the way down, but with lots of encouragement and a few timely rest stops, I made it. It's unlike any mountain walk you will ever see in Australia. It's very rocky and uneven, with people living on either side of the track behind tin fences, and children playing ... mind boggling, really. The view from the top of the mountain, over Addis Ababa, is glorious, even with a bit of smog about! And the ancient monastery (built in the 400s out of the rock) was amazing.
All of us felt like an early night after that, I think, but as soon as we got back, it was a quick change or shower, and we were off to Yared's for tea (all 16 of us!!). What a delicious traditional meal Shibere put on for us ... we were very glad we went. The Ethiopian people are so generous and hospitable - even though they have so little, they are always willing to share. We love them to bits.
And THEN it was time for bed. We were anticipating a huge day on the morrow, as we headed out to the Compassion project for the first time, so wanted to be well rested for that. It did take a while though, for my mind to process all the day's events, and thank God for everything He had shown and taught us.
Love to you all, Barb
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Keep you posted.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
The team is very excited to be here. It was great to see people reuniting with their long time friend Yared!
Well done to Noel and Shelly for getting everyone here safely!
Team arrives in the morning and we will begin to keep you up to date with the visits out to the 78 sponsor children Catalyst has so stay tuned.
Words cannot explain how amazing it is to see our girls embracing the people here. this is a photo of Bebs and Til with their new friend Selam - I think Selam is still trying to work out 'who' or 'what' Matilda is... Such great memories being created - love it...
Today we went to the markets and purchased some items for the kids in our area who are unable to go to school because they don't have an exercise book - we purchased 12 books for 63 birr which is about $2.50 so that was a bargin :) Team arrives soon - looking forward to that!
Here is a photo of the view we have from the top floor of our home. Joe E - I thought of you when I took this photo - spot the VW in the yard - cool colour.
Talk again soon.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Well I must admit that I had forgotten what it was like to travel across the world with two children!! I still haven't slept since leaving Brisbane but arrived here at the Guest Home and it was all worth it!! What and incredible place and we really do feel like it is a home away from home. For breaky we had strawberry smoothies and scrambled eggs with fresh bread!!! Abeba and Matilda were excited at that but then went nuts when they found out that we aren't allowed in the kitchen and therefore can't do our dishes! They better not get use to that.
Any the team arrives in two days - can't wait!!
All doing well - from Murray, Em, Bebs and Til