So many things to report, so many bits and pieces of observation:
Driving the streets and roads here one can form the impression that a major event has just let out -- a parade just ended? A football match? People are streaming in all directions on foot. What's happening? one wonders. Then -- of course, this is how they mostly get from A to B. They walk.
Among other things today, we went to another orphanage, Kidane Mehret (I think is the spelling) to take the departure reports of four children. An entirely different orphanage than Layla House -- perhaps twice as many children, and not nearly as well cared for. We did not have the courage to go into the dorms -- we took the reports outside on the church steps, tracing around the feet of the children who will soon be going to new homes, peeking at their clothing tags to get sizes, trying to ascertain did they like soccer? did they like school. Two of the children interviewed claimed Harry Potter as a favorite movie/book. Even here. Harry is beloved even here.
Other bits of news -- we get little news, we are too busy to watch what might pass for t.v. news, and our internet service is too sporadic to make reading news on-line a reasonable ambition. But we hear Somalia declared war on Ethiopia yesterday or the day before. That's not surprising at all, we could see that coming. There is no evidence of alarm here. Perhaps nobody knows the news. They are so busy trying to survive.
But here is one bit of news, one that we actually got just before we left USA -- we are escorting a baby home. We've met her, and she looks like a miniature Don King with hair sticking straight up. We now have a top secret sealed dossier for her, not to be opened until we reach the immigration officials at JFK -- and then we'll hand her over to her new family.
This morning (and forgive me for the poorly organized report) we took 15 kids on a field trip to a missionary church craft fair -- more white people in one place than I have seen since we got here. The kids we took were from Group 3, about 11 or 12 years old. They behaved themselves so well. We had given them all 15 bir (approximately $1.50) to spend, and they held our hands, and looked, and deliberated on what they wanted to spend their money on. What they really wanted to buy were sunglasses and bubblegum, not Ethiopian native crafts. But there were fresh baked things to buy, and long necklaces of seed beads. Acrylic knitted scarves in the colors of the Ethiopian flag. They didn't blow their money; some of them bought nothing, preferring to save their 15 bir for another field trip.
I finished sorting the books today, putting them into groups by age and ability, and bundled and wrapped the rest of the books for the library. We took other books to Kidane Mehret. The rest of the books we will take tomorrow to AHOPE, the orphanage for HIV orphans. It doesn't matter who gets these books -- they are needed everywhere.
We have just a little time left, and several things left to accomplish, but we've knocked the bulk of items off our to-do lists, and so far none of us has been sick, or lost anything, or any of the other travails of travel. The people of this country are unfailingly gracious.
That's all for now.
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