Monday, October 25, 2010

Endless Smiles

I am still editing photos from the trip.  Photo after photo of these beautiful smiling faces.  My breath catches when I try to imagine the lives these kids lead.  The wanting.  My kids want toys and trips,  so blessed are we.

These kids, I imagine, want warm arms around them, and protection from the bad things that sometimes happen to children. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

One Week Past

People say I should be writing.

I'm trying to figure out what it is that I see now,  and how it's different from what I saw then.

I am not writing here.  But I am thinking.  I'm developing.  I'm planning.  I'm hoping.  I am remembering and I am forgetting.

Some of it makes sense and some doesn't.

That's ok, because I know plenty of people who struggle to answer the question, "What's next?"

Monday, October 11, 2010

a few notes

I haven't written too much about the trip.  One reason is that we have been bizz-ay.  The other reason is because it's all a mess of emotional goo in my brain.  Another reason is because I brought 2 donation computers and am grateful for the times I get to mooch off of my roommate, Kim.

And then there is the big reason.  I don't know what to say.  For the purpose of general information here are some things I have noted:

-Driving is crazy.  Wherever, whenever, the bigger car wins.  There is more horn honking than in any city I've been in.  There are no emmission standards so this is where cars seem to come to die.

-There are goats and donkeys and cows and bulls everywhere-  city country, it makes no matter.  They tie up one leg of the donkey so that it can't wander far.  We saw a small pack of donkeys carrying so many cinderblocks it hurt to watch.

- Eye contact matters.  Asking adults to take photos matters.  and when you show them,  and look at them and tell them they are beautiful...  they know it's true.

-Coming here from the doesn't make someone amazing. Adventurous maybe... not amazing.

-Coming here for 10 days is not enough.  Not to make all of the stops and visits and do the work we want to do.  Its rushed.  I wasn to emerse myself here and learn more of the stories.  But I want to be everywhere and learn everything and that's not possible.

-I like meeting good people and I like laughing and I like smiling at strangers.


Saturday, October 09, 2010

Notes From Ethiopia

I had an entry written and ready to go last night. It described the journey and a bit about our time in London and a bit about a fairly irritating baggage issue. I am not going to recount more than that because, frankly…it doesn’t matter. It didn’t get posted today because I learned that my friend Dereje was leaving for university early and I gave him the computer without bothering to clear off the post.

For that matter it doesn’t mean much that the 3 story guest house that we are staying in is perfect for our needs. The beds are comfy, the place is clean and the young women who help us with everything we need are kind and accommodating. Though I am certain that they think we are odd. Think? Know, thankyouverymuch.

I can’t even go into what does matter in great detail right now. It’s a bit after 1 am on…Sunday morning I suppose. I am sitting in an empty guest room because my roommate is sleeping, as I should be.

I will, for now, tell you that I looked (stared even) into the eyes of countless people today. Babies, men, women… and saw deeper than I ever have before. If I suspected that I new what compassion was before these couple of days, I was mistaken. If I thought that love at first sight was a myth, I was mistaken. Oh these children….these boys and these girls. These babies, these women and these men. The people I have met are so very- so very easy to love.

And I held a sobbing (10 year old?) girl today, saying goodbye and I thought I might break. And she held me, squeezing so tightly around my waist and in a broken voice said, “I love you. I love you and I will pray for you..”

And I knew, in fact,  that I would never be the same person again.

Monday, October 04, 2010


It's the eve of the eve of our departure.  The past few days have brought me from worry to panic to sadness to anger to... here.

I sat in church yesterday and tears washed my face.  I can't tell you why-  not because its a secret,  but because it was everything and nothing at once.

4 bags of hope are packed to the gills.  Hope that the contents will be received by people who need them.  Hope that I've brought the right things and left the right things.  Hope that the connections will matter more than the things.  Hope that I will come home with a clearer mission/goal/understanding.  Hope.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.