Some of you have asked me to post more details of what it’s like living in Addis. I tried doing a ‘Day in the Life’ post, but after reading, it seemed like it would be really boring to anyone besides maybe my mother. So, here’s my best attempt at what life can be like in Addis day-to-day.
Yesterday, Jonathan and I were preparing to teach English at Kechene Pre-School when we noticed one of our star students, Ammon, was missing. Shortly thereafter he showed up with his grandmother. We figured something must be up.
Sure enough, it turned out that Ammon had a serious problem/ infection in his private area. I would have been crying my eyes out, but he seemed exceptionally calm. I quickly called the only American doctor I know, Dr. John (a fellow North Carolinian, might I add) at Mission to the Wolrd (Andy Warren’s project aimed at serving and providing for HIV+ patients). Dr. John took things in stride and, without even questioning how I know this kid or anything else (virtually half the population in this city is probably in need of substantial medical care), told me to bring him over directly. He gave Ammon some antibiotics and told us that if he is not better in two days to bring him back. He wouldn’t allow me to pay him anything, not even for the medication. What a guy, and what a program; doctors have such a direct, immediate impact on peoples’ lives. If anyone is interested in contributing funds to the Mission to the World project, I’ve included relevant contact information at the bottom of this post.
We made it back to Kechene Pre-School by lunch and played with kids outside (thankfully, it wasn’t raining) until about 2:30. A fellow teacher, Azzaret, then asked if we were interested in hiking up into the mountains to see if we could find any baboons (school ends at 3). As you can imagine, we jumped at the opportunity. The hike was steep but gorgeous once we finally broke into the forest. There was a wonderful view of the city from the top, and for once, we had clean air to breathe. Unfortunately, I still cannot claim to have seen baboons in the wild.
On the way back we caught up with (and I tried to scare) fellow volunteers Ashley and Hanna. I immediately felt like a jerk when I discovered Hanna had eaten something bad for lunch and had been losing it (her lunch) all the way home. I felt so sorry for her, but there’s really little you can do other than wait it out. After resting and having a Sprite, she felt better and was out of the house by 7 AM this morning. Unfortunately, Jonathan also ate something bad and was up late last night, losing his dinner. He too, was off to teach again today at Kechene. I love the fact that our volunteers, unless absolutely disabled, are up and out of the house between 7 and 8 AM every morning.
I hope this helps give you all a better feel for what life is like in Addis.
If anyone is interested in donating funds to Mission to the World (they could certainly use it with escalating food prices hammering their budget) you can donate tax deductible funds via Cherokee Gives Back, a non-profit organization. Contact Lyston Peebles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-931-4680 and tell him you are interested in donating to Andy Warren’s Mission to the World Project in Addis.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia