Sunday, January 29, 2012

Catch the Vision! (Part 1)

I've discovered that a lot of things that are important to me are never written because I don't want to get them wrong.

At the risk of getting it wrong, I simply must force myself to write this because I fear if I don't, it won't ever be written. And, since it was one of the highlights of my trip, that would be a shame.

I've written before about Almnesh. Well, after many calls and much string pulling (they prefer three months warning and we had three weeks), Brent and I were able to finagle a visit with her while we were in Ethiopia for court.

What an amazing day.

At 7AM, our World Vision hosts picked us up at our guest house for an hour and a half drive southwest out of Addis Ababa. The scenery was so varied.

Yes, those are highline wires.
 What you've got to understand here is how we were in the city for a week at this point, where people were stacked upon people in an unending mass of people. There were concrete houses and tin shacks and dirt roads and people, people, people. But once we drove out of Addis, there were open fields, horse carts, boys walking cattle through fields, children walking miles upon miles to school (you could tell when schools changed based on the uniform color), people harvesting by hand, those incredible flat topped trees, circular mud huts with thatched roofs, lots of people walking and a funeral procession. Among other things. And I was struck by how much the landscape looked like home.
 Minus the mountains.

We drove through lots of small communities and before we knew it, we were at Wollisso where we stopped for breakfast. (Why I have no pictures of this, I do not know. I guess I need a spy camera, because I seem to hesitate to pull out my camera and look like a tourist, as if there was any question in this situation.) We had an wonderful omelet--best I have EVER had--with, of course, delicious Ethiopian coffee. Our hosts had more traditional Ethiopian foods. Tibs. Wot. And something that looked like minced meat. The guy with tibs (Wosson) offered to let us try his food (we did, it was good). So Brent asked to try Kasaun's minced meat. He took some and as he raised it to his mouth, he asked what it was.


Anthony Bordain would be proud of my innard eating honey.

He didn't have a second bite.
Andreas, Kasaun, Wosson

We all shared a laugh over coffee. And then, I think Brent and I had the same thought.

This is our last best chance for a real bathroom today.

So we asked to use it before we left. Wosson took us out the door, around the restaurant, past some sinks and pointed towards some doors. Brent took boys, I took girls.  Shocking, I know.

Oh dear. My first squatty potty. I had a nice tile floor that cupped into cement that ended in a hole. There was a broom (I presume to sweep solids towards the hole) and a bucket of water.


The upside? Soap at the sinks. (Soap was in short supply in all parts of Ethiopia.)

Anyhoo...I'm game. There was a door. And I still didn't know that when I got to the World Vision compound that they would have running water. Frankly, at this point I didn't know I would see the World Vision compound and a hole in the ground behind a door was far preferable to a field of grass and I didn't yet know what wonders the day would hold.

Together we left the hotel/restaurant and turned off the last paved road of our journey. We crossed a bridge where I marveled at the trash strewn down the banks of the river/stream where people were bathing and filling their gas cans with what I can only assume was their daily drinking water.


And then we drove into Wonchi Project.

More soon! And it gets far more interesting! After squatty potties, the stories can only get better.


MotherT said...

I'm waiting for the rest of the story. I've missed so much during the 21 days I was offline.

Aray said...

I am on pins and needles, when do we get to hear the rest?