Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ethiopia Highlights Part 2

Monday, October 5th
We woke up Monday morning ready to go! Today was our first full day at the Care Point with the kids. We were going to set out the care packages we brought: letters, photos, and NEW SHOES for every child in the program! They also got their name tags with their sponsors’ names on them or “Jesus Loves Me” if they were unsponsored. It was a gorgeous morning, clear and sunny. But I wasn’t feeling so great. The long plane trip and the heavy foods were taking its toll. I didn’t want to miss a thing, so I powered through. Xavier and I were so excited to see Yosefe, our family’s sponsored boy as we drove up that morning. After we set out the care packages, we went to get set up for our craft station. After the kids sat with the translators and Ryan, Britany and Cheri, they would come to Xavier, Vanessa and me to do the finger painting craft. I sat down and wrote the kids’ names on the backs of the canvases as each kid came, then a couple of the church leaders would explain the craft to the kids and they would get started. It was fun to watch this new experience for most of them. I also enjoyed getting to interact one on one with each kid as I wrote their name. The leaders taught me the Amharic word for friend “gwa-den-ya”, so I could tell the kids that their sponsors were my friends. We made it through about half the kids when we had to stop for lunch. Our group went to a restaurant for lunch, and I went back to my room to rest. After that break, I felt much better.
It was a rainy afternoon, so we moved inside to finish our crafts. When school let out for the day, some of the older siblings came to help, and it was fun to interact with them. We also took a few of many selfie ops that week!
That evening, we returned to the resort for dinner, debrief and much needed sleep.
Meeting Yosefe for the first time! He's on the left.

Setting out care packages.

Want to be the most popular boy? Be a blond haired boy with glasses and braces in Africa, and you are instantly the life of the party!

Finger painting canvases (if you sponsor, you get one from your kiddo!).

Ah, selfies! Love these faces so much!

For many, finger painting was a first.

Tuesday, October 6th
Tuesday, I felt so much better! I was excited for the start of the day. We were going to do rotations with groups of kids that day, doing a Bible lesson with Vanessa, a craft with me and Britany and soccer with Ryan and Xavier. Cheri was doing a class with the older girls at the Care Point that morning and one with the mothers that afternoon. We ate breakfast at the resort (we ate it every morning; it was a yummy buffet of donuts, cereal, veggies, and omelettes), then headed to the church for the day. Our craft was photos of the kids from the year before that we had mounted and laminated for the kids to decorate with stickers and markers. It was a fun day. I also got to visit some of the classrooms that day and was very impressed with what the kids are learning. They are being taught English, along with math, science and health education.
Ah, Mr. Popularity! He was never alone.

Checking out the classrooms.

Working hard?

The photo creations! How they loved the foam stickers.

Praying after the Bible lesson. Melt my heart.
Precious boy! Being the life of the party is exhausting.

Wednesday, October 7th
Wednesday, we returned for home visits. As we waited to get going, we caught up with some of the kids that were absent the day before and did their photo crafts with them. I got to interact with Tewedage for the first time and fell in love with his sweet, bright smile. He loved to show off his English for us by pointing and naming body parts. I knew we would have to sponsor him; he was too cute to not choose!
We visited 6 homes that day, 3 grass huts and 3 concrete houses. It was an honor to be invited into the homes, and we were so blessed by the interactions with the families. It was definitely a highlight of the week and a memory I’ll treasure forever.
Thursday would be our last day at the Care Point; the time went by so quickly, and I knew leaving would be hard.
Precious Tewedage.

The first home we visited.

Another home visit.

Visiting Amose and his grandmother.

These sweet boys!

Stay tuned! Part 3 is coming soon!

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