Today we loaded a lot of empty bags back on to the bus with a final destination to the U.S.! Not much to pack returning home-- thanks so much for ALL of the donations that all of you helped pack for the kids here who have so little! They were all so thankful! We loaded up our last bit of goodies and this morning we took them all back to the kids who live in the trashdump. We, as a group, just couldn't get enough of this place and their beautiful people.
Kelly, our fearless trip leader was asked to come photograph some of the children here with hopes to have them adopted. You see there are no agencies that work here to help these children. This unbelieveably poor village rely on each other to help care for thier children, with very little resources to do so. We weren't sure what to expect, but once we got there women and men began lining up with their children to be photographed in hopes of a new and better life for them. There were just so many.
Remember, most people here have leprosy, or HIV, or have lost their spouse. Many kids have lost both parents, and live with neighbors. I saw the individual school sponsor forms for hundreds of kids and their stories were very similar regarding their background. Many wer living with one parent with leprosy, or living with a grandmother or neighbor. I never saw a child with 2 parents that were healthy. We will have to see what God has planned for these children. I truly believe that we are to act as his hands and feet to help this community. I can't wait to see what God has in store for this forgotten community!!
The church ministry in the dump was holding their summer camp, and we went to help teach in their classrooms!! It was great fun and a great way to see how this ministry is serving the children who live here!!
Melissa, one of my trip mates taught our group the song and movements to "knees, shoulders, heads and toes", "heads and toes!" and it was a riot!!!
Rachel, my roomie, taught them how to play "Heads up, 7up! They just ate all of these American games up! They then sang a bunch of songs for us! Carol, our amazing prayer warrior, was singing and dancing all over the room with them!! I helped with their recognition of English numbers by having them come up one at a time to write the number I asked them to on the chalkboard! They were about to take a test, so I helped them review!
It was aweome and they were all trying so hard! I was so thankful to have 2 teachers in our room! Rachel and Melissa you are awesome and have such an amazing gift to teach!!! After this, we went to help serve lunch for the kids. No goats today, but injeria for all! Injeria is what they ate everywhere we went! It is a kind of spongey bread that they spread a pastey sauce over. We had it a few times while we were on our trip.
I was so sad that I missed one of Robby's most memorable moments of the trip. We were getting ready to leave and Robby, my son, went into the school where all the kids were and he gave his shoes that he was wearing to a boy about 15 years old.
He said the kid's shoes were falling apart and that he needed them more. Now, what happend next was amazing. You see, he gave one pair of shoes, in front of a hundred kids or so, to one boy. The boy who recieved the shoes stood up, questioned Robby that they were really for him, then he got a little choked up. What the rest of the kids did at that moment was atand up and cheer! They were so happy for their friend! They didn't bombard Robby and ask them for another pair. They were gracious and just so happy for the boy who received the shoes!
After he told me what happend, I followed suit and the same ritual happend again as I gave away my tennis shoes. The child was so grateful and my heart was so full! I am so happy that Robby was able to experience this and FEEL the love behind his actions! What a proud mama I was!
We left our beloved trash dump to do a bit of last minute shopping, visit the National Museum, enjoyed an early dinner, then off to the airport! I was so ready to go home to see my family, yet so sad to leave Ethiopia! (I set off the alarms at the airport when we were checking in, beacause I still had 2 "makenas"/matchbox cars shoved in my pockets!! Ha! Ha!) We were ready to get back to see those we loved at home, but we vowed to not forget what we had seen!
I hoped and prayed as we got on the plane, that our family would be returning sooner than later to adopt a child from this country! Hopefully this was just one of our many journeys to this beautiful country and I so can't wait to go back!!!