journal entries part three

Oct. 21st, ’08: the more I see, the harder it becomes to write. Day by day, I see more beauty and more poverty; more joy, and more suffering.
This morning, after a fitful night, I awoke with a dreadful head and stomach ache. After drinking plenty of water, the headache finally went away. I was given the choice of either going to the well drilling or the PTI. In my stupidity, I chose the well drilling. It didn’t take long for that stomach ache to catch up, and for me to get sick. Bad sick. So bad that I felt like I would throw up, and it took me a long time to eat. I took me about an hour to recover, and I had to takes things slow for several hours after that. I eventually made myself as useful as possible, but it was for the most part a waste of time and an embarrassment.
The kids here are awesome! Everywhere, no matter what the sadness, or poverty, or busyness, their smiling faces can be seen. Mr Chuck said that while he was waiting for PTI to start, he was surrounded by a small crowd of kids. (Apparently he has same effect on them here that he has at home!) He said he took a picture of them. He said that within five minutes he was surrounded by a whole neighbourhood, holding his hands, just giddy with excitement. He took another picture, and they just went wild. Apparently they like having their picture taken.
While at the well drilling, Chris and Malachi looked over the to see a couple of kids. “Hi!” one of them exclaimed excitedly. “you give me money.”
“I don’t have any money,” Chris answered. “you give me money.”
A little while later, Malachi looked over the wall again: the kid was holding up a birr, and asking, “Where is he?”
While we were riding home earlier, when we pulled into the road that leads the house, two boys (about four or five) leaped up when they saw us and said, “Hi!” we answered, and then drove on, laughing slightly. When we stopped again, there they were. “Hi!” they said. We drove on. Looking back, we could see them, running after us! When we arrived home, there they were, panting. They tried to enter the gate, but that’s where Joe drew the line. Disappointed, they went outside; I followed, pulling off my backpack. Their faces lit with anticipation as I unzipped and reached in, and then pulled out two tootsies rolls. “Thank you!” they exclaimed adamantly.
On another return from drilling, a kid spotted us in the car and yelled, “Hey China!” Josie explained that the kids see a lot of Chinese in that area, so they assume every white person is from China.
While we were waiting for Mr to emerge from the PTI, we sat in the SUV with the doors open. Josie threatened to administer spankings to a group of pre-adolescent Ethiopian school kids who were apparently mocking Rob, Chris, Zane and Malachi for their dirty appearance. I laughed when he told us what he said, then looked out my door to see a crowd of three to six year olds, gazing into my open door. As soon as they saw that I had noticed them, they joyfully extended their hands. I alighted among them, but as I was shaking the ever increasing number of hands, one of the kids yelled when eh noticed that Mr Chuck had come out. Instantly, my popularity diminished: I was alone, and Mr Chuck was surrounded.
All of these experiences reminded me: “Unless you become like one of these children…” What a blessing little kids are to the world!
Oct 22nd, ‘08: it seems hard to believe that this is our second to last day! I feel like there is still so much more to do (and write)! At the beginning, I felt as though I would never get used to this country. Now it seems strange to think that we could possibly be leaving in the near future.
Today we got to do some exploring. We drove around the city, went to a souvenir shop, and visited the nicest hotel I have ever seen! We got to visit the orphanage, which was a huge blessing. I think I want to adopt from Ethiopia when I grow up. As Hannah put it, I have never seen so many pretty babies in one place. I got to see “before and after” pictures depicting what the children looked like before they came to the orphanage. It almost broke my heart, they were so malnourished; yet I thanked God that he had given these children a home.
We ran into several beggars today. I felt like giving to them, but I didn’t have any birr. Mr Anthony just ignored most of them, to my surprise. He told me he did not always give; he went on to say that there was I difficulty in finding a scriptural balance in dealing with these people. “They don’t want food,” he said. “they want a livelihood.” He even said that there many places were you could buy tickets for meals that you could give to people, but they were usually rejected.
“They say they don’t want to eat any more beans,” Josie said. Makes me think of American “beggars”!
Later we met a girl who was walking the streets selling something (a very common sight). After conversing with her , Josie consented to buy. Mr Anthony asked what kind of profit she made.
“Good,” he said, when Josie had responded. “that’ll be enough to feed her for today.”
To tell you the truth, I think these street sellers are better than some of these beggars. Not all of the beggars are wrong; some of them are really needy folk. The scripture says to If any man ask to him give; but it also says that if any would eat let him work. Mr Anthony is right: it is hard to find a balance!

  1. #1 by maidenoftheroses on November 3, 2008 - 9:23 am

    Thanks for sharing.

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