by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
written on Thursday, Oct 17
Jeff Burns and I arrived in Addis at 6 a.m. yesterday. The whole trip was smooth and uneventful. Jeff and I shared three seats from D.C. to Addis and it was quite comfortable. I had a good itinerary set for the day of arrival so I am glad I got some good naps on the airplane as I needed to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I jest, of course. Even with naps, the change in time zones and sitting for umpteen hours leaves one feeling rumpled and tired, not to mention swollen feet.
I am relaxing in a new hotel in Gimbie before meeting “the guys” for dinner at 6 o’clock. I am amazed that we left Addis this morning and drove all the way to Gimbie in less time than it used to take us to drive just to Nekemte! For those of you reading this who are unfamiliar with the area of Ethiopia called the Wollega, the roads going to the towns we work in have been notoriously awful. When we first opened orphanages in Gimbie and Nekemte, the twisty roads were just bad (very bad). The last 2-3 years they were worse due to construction. But today we zipped here in fairly smooth style!
Jeff and I also reminisced at the upgrade in accommodations when compared to years past when we were subjected to some pretty rustic and sometimes nasty stays. Ahhhh, even in Gimbie the modern world is catching up. Well, kinda. Still no internet. Our white faces still attract wide-eyed stares and shouts from youngsters, “Selam, ferengi!”
And the pleasant evenings on the streets are still thronged with people visiting, shopping, or sharing a cup of buna or chai with friends. This is a warm climate culture, and relationships are of primary importance. The people here in Gimbie and other towns in Ethiopia are not glued to their TV or working on their computer. After a day’s work, it is time to socialize. I like that! Tomorrow we leave early for Dembidollo and that stretch of road will bring back not so fond memories of how the rest of the road used to be.
One of the main reasons for this trip is to launch our IGA (Income Generating Activities) program connected with Adoption Ministry 1:27. I had a lunch meeting with a woman I had received glowing reports about and it was a delight to meet Elainie.
|Elainie, Abonesh and Abebe|
Elainie recently conducted business training for some families in the Kore project area and it was readily apparent she had a heart for these women and their problems. Her degree is in social work and business, and she has lived and worked in the social work field in America for years. Two years ago, the Lord prompted her to quit her job in Los Angeles and move back to Ethiopia to work with at-risk women and children. For the past two years, she has been in high demand as a teacher and preacher and basically has traveled all over Ethiopia encouraging women, helping them start businesses and always coupling everything with the sweet words of Jesus. The more I listened to her heart, the more I felt she might be just the one to give business training and oversee the fledgling entrepreneurs. I believe it was a fortuitous meeting and I am eager to see what the future holds! Later in the afternoon I had several hours with Abebe, our country representative, and Abonesh, our accountant, putting nuts and bolts to our IGA program. It was a productive day!
Stay tuned for more posts from Joy! They are now back to a place where they can find a wireless internet connection, which means I will be getting more photos and blog posts. I know in ‘the old days’ before there was any such thing as the world wide web, you simply waited until your loved ones returned from overseas (often on a ship – can you imagine??) to hear about their adventures. I’m sure thankful for the miracle of the internet!