Wednesday, April 6, 2016

"I think beside food in the dictionary it should say injera." Ethiopia Day 6

We headed back to the same building we were at for Wyld Life training on Wednesday morning. This time we met with YL staff for a time of fasting (they did the fasting) and prayer (we all did the prayer).  Ebe led all of us in singing and then we did intentional prayer together. We had cushions for our knees as we knelt on the ground. Different people took turns praying aloud and often it was in amharic. There is undeniable passion and strength in their prayers that was unlike what we're used to here in the states.

We ate another cultural meal together-- while Rachel and Kayden were still full steam ahead with embracing the local delicacies my stomach was not so into it anymore. Lucky for me, they had some fried potatoes that were a little like french fries (minus the salt and ketchup).

My favorite part of the trip is getting to spend time with the Ethiopian YL staff day after day. They take turns being with us and showing us all over the city. We're really living life together this week. Coming to Addis without these friends would be a completely different experience. In a way, it reminds me of how kids at Tecumseh can become friends with people in the span of just a week. Hanna has already become a friend that I'm so thankful for and know that I will miss when all of this is over.

Much to Kah-tee's urging, we finally made it to a Kaldi's which is the Ethiopian version of Starbucks.

The resemblance is uncanny.

This is so odd. 

KALDI'S HAS ICE-CREAM! We actually made the trip so that Alex could get a milkshake. 

"Alex Craig, Clap, Clap, Clap-Clap-Clap." Kah-tee never passes up an opportunity for some tiramisu.

You never know what you're going to see when you're driving through the city. Chicken coops on the side of the road-- normal.

Dozens of goats waiting to be slaughtered-- normal. (I realize this is also very sad, but it's normal here.)

Bulls just running through traffic-- it's casual. You just never who or what might run in-front of you.

Doesn't Rachel look like she belongs in a travel magazine here? You may have noticed that we're never wearing seat belts in the bus. Sometimes there are seat belts but then they don't have the thing you buckle into.

The driving was freaking wild-- you have to see it to believe it but I'll try to explain. There are no traffic lights, usually there are no lanes. In round-a-bouts you might have 5 lanes of cars when it is only built for 3 lanes. The cars never come to a complete stop, they're just all in constant motion.

Somehow wrecks don't happen very often even though traffic is complete chaos. Most of their cars are very compact and the engine in under the floor between the front two seats rather than being out in the front of the car. That way (at least this is my theory) if they run into someone their engine doesn't get crushed. Most are cars are pretty dented and banged up.

Our next stop was at Ebe's Wyld Life Club. After talking about Wyld Life in training yesterday, it was awesome to get to see Wyld Life in action. We arrived to Destiny Future Academy while the students were still in class. This school has elementary kids up to grade 8. We peaked at them while they were still in class and started to make friends as they came outside into the courtyard.

As a teacher and counselor I loved these signs that were posted all over the school. Sometimes we just need to be taught how to do these simple things because they're really not that simple.

The classroom we were waiting beside was doing a lesson on Trustworthiness. They gave us one of their worksheets to take a look at. "Trustworthiness is also shown when you tell the truth and are honest with both words and actions, even when it may be difficult. By having the courage to do the right thing and by being loyal to your friends, family and community you demonstrate that you are trustworthy."

Find the 3 right answers
Integrity means...
A) to be good in football
B) to do the right thing, even if no one is watching
C) to lie
D) to be honest
E) to treat others with respect
F) to be funny

To be a citizen means...
A) to belong somewhere
B) to have a dog

"Alex Craig. Clap, Clap, Clap-Clap-Clap."

The kids wanted to know us and we wanted to know them. Most of them could speak some English so we quickly started making connections.

Kah-tee is the Queen of jumping right in, making friends and getting to know people. She was made for this.

Usually Wyld Life Club happens outside but because of the rain everyone squeezed into the largest classrooms. Kids were spilling out of the doorways because so many people wanted to be in that room.

Ebe is a freaking rock star. He led Simon Says and you would've thought it was the greatest thing that had ever happened to these kids they were so excited.

Kah-tee and I snuck away with Smoon to talk to the principal of the school. She is a Christian and although you're not allowed to have a blatantly Christian school, but her school does have a Christian culture. She told us that she has created a network of other Christian principals in Addis and there are nearly 80 of them. They work together and share ideas of different Christian clubs and organizations they can introduce to their schools.  It was so encouraging to see a principal that is making stuff happen, taking teachers under her wing, and building the culture of her school.

And of course, it didn't take long before we were all playing basketball together. Sports are a universal language.

Getting to spend just a few hours at Destiny Future Academy was one of the highlights of the trip.

We went shopping at a couple street side markets. We would go into each little tent and look around. barter with the shop keeper if we decided to buy something, politely say "no thank you" to the beggars on the street and go to the next little stop. It's wild how all of the shops have almost identical inventories. I found a mug like the one we used at the YL house, a wooden bowl, some stickers and key chains. Other members of our team bought a buna set, nativity, bags, small paintings and bracelets. Every shop had an overwhelming smell-- a mix of spices and scents.

Back at the YL house we ate dinner together. Watakay made us tacos because it's Alex's favorite. She nibbled on a tortilla and I tried some of the guacamole. We made a trip to the mall and Kah-tee bought a giant piece of chocolate cake in the cafe. Everyone hung out in the living room, shared highs and lows and prepared to head to camp the next morning.

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