Another overwhelming day in Ethiopia. I almost didn't blog tonight because I don't even know where to begin or what to share. We drove about 2 1/2 hours out in the country to the town of Wosilo. This is where the Amanuel Orphanage. There where15 girls and 25 boys ranging from about 1 to 15. This is probably just a naive thought, but I had this concept in my head that because these kids were at an orphanage than they'd be better cared for. They would at least have decent clothing and decent living. Much to my surprise, half of these kids were without shoes, they had flies and bugs crawling around their eyes, and they were dressed in rags. One baby had no diaper, shoes, or pants. My first mission after we had a tour was to get those two babies in a diaper and give them a little wet wipe bath. These were the saddest two babies I'd never seen. But what reason would they have to smile? They were attached to a couple of 13 year old girl's hips. With some reading of books, coloring, and lollipops I finally got "Beruche" to sit on my lap. I did get a small smile, some waves, a "chow", and an "i wuv you" when i was leaving. Makes it worth the hard work of trying to earn a smile :)
I had brought a ball from home with "Love, Wes" written on it to give a little boy I found at one of the orphanages. As I stood there looking at the boys, I saw a young boy about 7 or 8 who seemed very shy and stood back. I pulled out my pictures I had taken of Wes with the ball, and showed him. I asked him is name, and he said "Abel". He was very soft spoken, and seemed very sweet. I had our translator, Busy, tell him that this ball was from my little boy and it was for him. I snapped a few pictures, and look forward to the day when I can show Wes the pictures of the ball we gave a little boy in Africa.
We then decided to go out into the village and make some home visits. We visited with 3 different families with life circumstances that ranged from a widow with 5 kids with no work to mom with 3 kids who shares a room with her husband with low mental capabilities and the grandma. I can't explain to you the following that we got as we walked through the village. Just so many children and adults following along beside us. We saw little girls with babies strapped to their back to kids with no pants or underwear. We had brought bags upon bags filled with clothes and shoes we wanted to give to the community. Complete chaos erupted when we tried to organize a way to get these things to the people. But immediately people wanted what you were giving. There really was no good way for handing these donations out, but eventually we went back to the gated orphanage where we brought kids in dressed them, and sent them back out. People lined the fence reaching their hands, and shouting for anything you were willing to give. Eventually we had to leave the orphanage because the crowd was getting mad, and continued to be pushy. As we conversed over lunch at a nice lodge, we talked about how we leave those situations and feel like we did nothing instead of feeling like we helped someone. There were so many people left without getting help. But I guess that is why they say you can't change the world, but you can change the world for ONE!
On a positive note, and something that brings joy to your heart is a young 13 or 14 year old boy was told at the orphanage today that there is a family who is going to adopt him! Imagine the joy that this boy felt knowing he was going to have a family! I wish I could have seen his reaction when he was told. :)
We are headed to the Korah Dump tomorrow. I can't imagine circumstances being much worse for these children, but I'm sure I'll have, yet again, another rude awakening waiting for me. Pray for these little ones, and pray for the team as we try to reach as many people as possible in an organized way.
Stepping out ...