Our flight over was good. Nothing went wrong, we had a delay of about an hour in Ethiopia but our driver was still waiting for us. We are living in the village, which is surrounded by walls. All four of us are living in Wageni, which means guest in Kiswahili. There are five other people here and we all share the space. One more lady will arrive tomorrow. It is very nice. We eat our breakfast here by ourselves but every other meal is will the kids and momas. They do our laundry three times a week if we want and clean those days as well. They provide us with all the food we want, including the most amazing mangoes I have ever tasted. We run out of the a lot.
Our days are pretty routine. We get up at about 6 or 6:30 and get ready and eat. We then have devotions at 7:15 but for some reason, we never get there on time (or they just start early). The devotions are with the staff members and the village director. We sing and read the Bible. The next three weeks we are having a competition of sorts where we get asked questions about the books they just finished. We of course have no idea what the answers are because we havent read Ezra or 2 Chronicles. After devotions we pray and then prepare for the day. This week and next week we are doing games. It is just in the morning and the kids are in groups and go through different stations. Thankfully the kids all have shirts with their names on them. Otherwise we would be lost. There are about 90 kids and it is hard to know all the names. It is very cool to get to know the students though. We have learned some stories that break our hearts. One little girl Miriam was found in the bottom of a latrine. A latrine is basically a whole in the ground that is used for the bathroom. Two other kids, John and Susan, came to the village because their mom was killed by their dad while they were in the room. All the stories are very sad. It makes me so happy that they have come here and found a better life.
We have been mostly in the village. It is a completely different world that outside the village. We havent had much culture shock (at least speaking for myself- Drea) but we have a visit planned for the slums, which I am excited about. This past weekend we have been to the market and the tea farm. This weekend we are going to the market again and to the Giraffe center/Elephant orphanage. It is nice to see the rest of Africa.
The food has been hard for us. It is hard to adapt. We eat beans at almost every meal. We have had some interesting meals. The other night was a mixture of eggs, rice, and some green veggies(I think spinach). It has been interesting. A lot of the time we give our food to the kids when the momas arent looking. At dinner it is silent. No one talks, it is sometimes very awkward as we as Americans talk when we eat.
The kids are just amazing! I have fallen in love with some of them. They are all very quiet. They call me Auntie Drea. Megan is also auntie. The boys are uncle. Barlcay is trying to establish his own nickname. He has gone from BK to broccoli. The kids are calling him broccoli. It is really funny to watch them. On the weekends we play soccer. The kids are all very good and I get caught up in watching the sunset as the kids play.
We havent seen much wildlife yet. There are lots of birds and lizards. The other day I was wearing my only white shirt and an ibis ( a big bird that makes a lot of annoying noises) pooped on me. All the kids died laughing.
A lot has happened for me since I (Drea) have been here. My boyfriends sister had her baby, and it didnt make it. It has been hard for me to be here and have this all happen at home. I have never prayed more in my entire life. This week has already changed my life. I have learned not only a lot about myself but a lot about God and the way he works. I can't wait to see what else He has for me to learn. I am learning to trust more and more. It has been hard. I am asking for continued prayers as they are dealing with this issue at home. God has a plan and I pray for peace and comfort as I am here.
The team is good, I have a cough but overall we are ok. We are still getting used to the schedule and so we are a little tired. We can feel your prayers and we ask for more. We hope to get on later and update you more on our experiences.