Monday, 22nd October 2012
Monday morning dawned bright and after a glorious night's sleep, the team were refreshed and ready to go for the start of the real business of our visit to this wonderful place. After breakfast it was time to head off to IHA-UDP - Integrated Holistic Approach Urban Development Project - now you know why we say IHA-UDP! They are our truly marvellous hosts who look after us so well whilst we are in Addis Ababa - looking after all the practical matters for us and feed us at lunchtime day by day. To start our first "working" day they gave us an outline of how the project works, the way they work with the communities in which they operate to try to deliver lasting change in the lives of people who, by their description, are the poorest of the poor. The area we work in Addis is truly one of the most disadvantaged in what is in the main a very poor city. Having got a bit of a take on the general picture we were then taken out on the tour of the AHISDO area in which we would be working. The tour was fascinating giving a real in the flesh feel for what living in a truly poor area of the world, shacks of tin, floors of soil and one tap between forty households - all this in a capital city dominated by a massive amount of money from other countries of the world - many of us asked how does this add up? But one of the highlights of the tour was a quick chance to get into the Kindergarten - we were barely through the gates before we were mobbed by a multitude of beautiful smiling faces. The welcome was overwhelming and set us up for the work there the following day. It was great to see that two of the staff there were sporting their orange Higgidy tee-shirts from last year. The other highlight of the morning was a visit to the AHISDO old peoples' centre, where we met a group of lovely elderly people cared for by the work IHA is doing. They spend time daily at the centre and help prepare the lunches for the sponsored children from the local school. So after an eye opening morning it was time for lunch at IHA (see it gets even shorter!)
Lunch was a good refuel and the afternoon was taken up with a visit to the original IHA project in CBISDO. This was originated many years ago and has been under local management for many years, it has also suffered from interference from local government seeing land repossessed and building closed down. But many of the facilities are the same as AHISDO and we also visited their elderly people's centre - what a privilege! A group of dignified and gentle people, who welcomed us so generously and showed us such heart warming love - they simply seemed so pleased that we'd bothered to go in and see them.
The day was concluded with a complete contrast as we went to the Addis Ababa Hilton and enjoyed a quiet chill out in their garden and sampled their delicious ice-cream - a fine way to end a very interesting day - tomorrow the real action starts!
Tuesday, 23rd October 2012
No lie-in today up with the lark - well not actually a lark - more up with the Black Kite - 9 of them perching on the building site in our grounds at the hotel. They looked rather ominous as they stared alertly down into our compound - perhaps looking out for a straggler on the way to breakfast. Their ability to detect their quarry enhanced by the potential scent wafting from the partially unwashed team below due to the patchy water supply - a problem affecting not just our hotel but the wider area around us - strangely the boys didn't seem to be objecting as much as the girls and the adults. Breakfast was eventually negotiated and it was time to pack all the gear into the buses for the short hop to Kindergarten. Excitement mounts as the buses pick their way through the early morning Addis traffic jams - it just seems to be a case of drive and sound your horn and wait for everyone else to get out of your way - the only things they don't! Only one tiny bump as we turned into the street where the Kindergarten is. Soon we were outside the blue-green gates and our work awaited. Inside the children were all assembled singing their morning songs, saying their prayers and then singing the national anthem as the flag was raised. The it was down to action - everyone to the classrooms and very soon there was singing and laughing and excitement all round. Break-time at 10 was a time to really share with the little children - bags of energy and just a real desire to play with their new friends. The facilities in the school playground are sparse but that didn't limit the fun - impromptu games sprung up everywhere and wherever you went at least 2 little ones were hanging onto you hands. The photos below show some of the activities going on and show the fun being had by all. The team were brilliant all morning, all their hard work and planning swung into action and the morning closed with everyone elated - we had certainly hit the ground running - literally in some cases! Then it was back to IHA for lunch.
The afternoon was more of the same - high energy fun all the way. Once again the proof that you don't need XBOX, Playstation or WII to have a great time - all that is needed is a pair of hands and a big pile of shaving foam in them - one clap and off you go! It a good tip though to have a few wet-wipes available to clear up the carnage afterwards.
Having said our first goodbye to the Kindergarten children it was then a short trip down the road to the Youth Centre for the after-school club. This was a much greater challenge. Older children in a far more relaxed and chaotic atmosphere. It was very hard work but once again the activities we delivered were very well received by the youngsters who came - they had fun, which is what we are there for, even if we left feeling a bit frazzled.
We got back to the hotel for a short debrief and then out for dinner at one of Addis's many Italian restaurants. This definitely wasn't Pizza Express, more like Pizza at the speed of the M25 in rush hour. But eventually the 30 pizzas and pastas dishes were delivered and with full stomachs (well most of us) it was back to the Lido for a chat and then bed. Is that the end of Tuesday already?
Loving all the pictures the children look so happy. Great work you are all doing out there well done to all of you.Missing you lots Charlie love you loads mum, dad and all the family xxxxxxx
wow just wow you all look amazing and such big smiles on everyones faces. loving seeing all the pictures and reading the blog keep it up and a big hug and kiss for my "baby" sophie love you loads and miss you more love mum amy and cokey xxx
Hi Sophie hope you are really enjoying your experience in Ethiopia. We know you are going to see some good sights and cant wait to hear all about them. We love and miss you loads and no a day goes by where we dont think about you. Love you loads and loads love Auntie Di and Uncle Bazzer
Looking good Oakmeads!! Hope your having a wonderful time, thinking of you all. Lots of Love to Will, Lucy, Dan, Zey, Leyla, Hannah & Jess. xxxxxxxxx
Wow!!! Sounds absolutely amazing..great blog and such beautiful pictures filled with happiness! :-) You guys are all doing such a fantastic job and making magical memories for those littlies!! Sending sooo much love to Kieran...found some teaspoons...any idea how many?! haha!! Enjoy every minute and spread your cheeky grin, love mum, Sean and Yazzie xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Beautiful, beautiful photos and fantastic to hear about the experience so far, amazing. Love the photo of you Victoria, the one under the parachute!!!, not really,the other lovely one xxxxx I'm already on tenter hooks waiting for the next blog. Lots of love from mum and all the rest of us! And Jamie got a great report at parents evening tonight!
Looks and sounds like everyone is having a great time! :D i love all the photos :) I love the photo of you and the ice-cream hannah ;) I hope you enjoy the rest of your time there :) I'm looking foward to seeing you hannah! :) oh and the others.. ;) Lots of love Lee :) xxx
What great pictures of you all, wish I was there with you. Looks like you're all doing an amazing job and enjoying it. Me, dad and Emma and probably Rio (haha) are all really missing you Hannah, cant wait to see you Monday and hear all about it, and hopefully loads of photos. Take care and look forward to more posts, nice to hear what you're all doing. Love and hugs to Hannah, Lucy and of course William xxx
Looks much, much, much more fun than 3 hours of biology today! did you give my photos to the kids, sorry if the glitter got everywhere! looks like loads of fun, i'll be in H&SC first thing on monday for a huge update :D xxxxxx
Hi my tiger girl, see your having fun. The pictures are fantastic. Look at the smiles you all are putting on those childrens faces. Missing you so very much, we watched the great british bake off, and it wasnt the same without you. Love you so much, take care baby girl. xxxx
WOW,you all know how to liht up those little ones faces. you seem to be doin just what you set out to do.
keep up the good work and Mollie i hope your taking loads of pictures.
Enjoy the rest of the trip and love you loads Mollie, love mum, dad and rebecca xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Looks like you are all having fun! Missing you lots Zeynep! Big hugs to all xxxxxxxx
Wow looks like you've having so much fun. Your all making a big difference in the kids lives, so proud of you all. Love ya so much nas love nas and family x x x
Hi Nas, the pictures look really good. Looks like your all having loads of fun. Keep up the good work. Ni'mat says hello. Take it easy, Phil x
Hi nas, did mubarak son, hope your having fun. Naj and liam can't wait to see the pics when you get back. So proud of you son love mom x x x
Hi Becks, gr8 pics, u all look like ur having a gr8 time!!!! Love Dad xxx
this week was the best week in my life you guys show me love! and i jest want to thank you i love you i will mess you so bad i HOPE i will be with you guys Sunday but i cant i love you all! have a good time bay! AB! IF YOU NEED ME MY NUMBER IS 0931086078!
thank you fore coming to Ethiopia and help this kids i have learn some thing from you guys! it's love you guys show me how to love kids how to teach kids! i will miss you guys so bad i don't know what to do now it's boring with out you guys all i am thinking is you guys the love you show me yesterday we go to HILTON HOTEL and we have fun i love you all! AB! =D
Hi Becks, just a quick message from ur Mum. Her computer is broken n she can't leave any messages here. Ur sister has copied pics 2 show her lol. She sends her love n misses u. It's now sat, how fast has the week gone!!!!! Cya soon love Dad xxx
HI SIMON YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS I LOVE YOU ALL I WILL MISS YOU GUYS! A photo by Simon Wareham.
edit by Abenezer Temesgen
Yes finally we made it!
All the week with the kids it was so cool
All the kids was happy we was happy that’s
Way the team is hire and I am happy cos I work with the
People I like all the week was fun we do some craze stuff
And know I am sad cos they are living but I will see them soon
And I jest want to say I love you all!
Thank you for coming to Ethiopia and spend the week with us
Thank you Simon , Harley , Mollie , William , Mark , Zeynep
Vicky , Emma , Daniel , lucy , Shannon , Amanda , Hannah
Etc! love you all. Hope to see you soon
hope everyone is having a good time out there, everyone looks like there enjoying themselves in the photos:) jade i miss you so much:( can't wait to see you again, meet up when you get back, love you:) Ollie H:)<3<3
Am so so so sooooo proud! Not only of my little sister Jade Williams, but of the whole team. I have read the blog daily, and you have all done and excellent job out there, totally rocked it. You all look so happy in the pictures :) can't wait for all the gossip and stories when you get back. So proud of the whole team for the work you have all done. Jade I can't wait to see you. Miss you loads. Lots of love. Beki xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <3
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