TEAM TRIP ETHIOPIA 2013 - POST 1
[Internet access is a bit of a challenge, so bear with us, daily updates probably not realistic!]
[Internet access is a bit of a challenge, so bear with us, daily updates probably not realistic!]
Saturday - 19/10/2013
Sunday - 20/10/2013
Well there were some very bleary eyes when the lights inside the plane flickered back into life and out of the plane window the red rim of sunrise came into view. How much sleep had been caught by the team is uncertain but soon the light was up and Africa was in view below us - it looked like it was going to be a glorious day when we landed. The flight tracker on the plane was counting down, soon the seatbelt sign was on as we began our descent into Addis Ababa airport. With a bump at 6:47 local time we were down and on African soil - let the excitement begin. Well that is probably a bit of a fib! What followed was a couple of hours of immigration (very slow), baggage collection (very slow), customs (very slow) and mini-bus packing (very, very slow). But after all the waiting we were off into the city on our journey of discovery.
The Lido Hotel welcomed us warmly, as normal, and we spent sometime sorting out rooms and unpacking all our personal bit and bobs - for some beds beckoned to catch up on a little sleep. After a quick refresh it was time for some lunch and a chance to have a quick snack to set us up for the afternoon ahead. As the sun beat down upon the hotel courtyard the team split into its working teams and spread out all the resources for the week ahead - our friends and families at home had been so generous - all manner of gear to support the carefully planned programmes was sorted and bagged up ready for the action in Kindergarten and the after school club.
With that job done it was now time to head out into the city to try and catch a glimpse of what this wonderful place is all about - time to take in some of the sights and sounds and smells of somewhere so different to what we are used to. After a bumpy ride through the city we headed up out of the city onto one of the hill tops that surround it. We grabbed a great view down upon the city spread out before us - a stunning view very rarely afforded of a capital city. It was up here on the top of the world, it seemed, that we had our first real encounter with our new Ethiopian friends - an impromptu game of street football halfway up the hill as we waited for a min-bus to catch-up, then at the top some dancing and singing with some local children who just seemed to appear from nowhere when we stopped. One of those wonderful unexpected occurrences that happen in this place.
Then back into the city to an American diner for our evening meal - with everyone suitably satisfied by the meal it was back to the Lido for a good night's rest and sleep so we were ready for the challenge of zzzzzzzzz.
Monday - 21/10/2013
A great night's sleep behind us it was up at 7:30 (Simon being generous gave us half an hour lie in) before breakfast and a day in and around AHISDO to find out what this place is all about. The trusty mini-buses arrived and we took on the early morning Addis traffic. Travel in Addis is always interesting but whilst they're trying to build a railway in city it is doubly interesting. A major roundabout straddles the route of the railway line but this doesn't deter our standard Addis car/ van/ lorry/ bus driver, they just carry on using the roundabout as if it was still there! In the UK it would be carnage but here in Addis, mysteriously it works. Despite the traffic we were soon at the AHISDO head quarters.
The morning was taken up being conducted around by our hosts. They showed us the building projects - ones that have been growing before our eyes over the last 5 years. They showed us the old people's centre. They showed us the youth centre where we will work in the late afternoons. Finally they showed us the Kindergarten and gave the team the chance to meet the children and staff we are going to work with so closely over the coming days - a wonderful taster for what lies ahead. Then it was back to the Urban Workers Institute for a lovely lunch and chance to take the weight off our very hot feet.
The afternoon was somewhat impromptu but proved to be a marvellous opportunity to interact with the elderly people who congregate at the old people's centre. Games of cards, a board game with stones a bit like Mancala, just chatting to some lovely old folks and lots of work helping the centre workers to prepare vegetables and wash up after providing lunch for the local school children. It was a magnificent afternoon - such loving people showing such affection and respect for our young people. This is real community in action. It was then time for goodbye and time to return to the Lido for preparation time for the work ahead, spurred on by all we'd seen during the day.
The Lido then provided us with a tasty evening meal - plenty of pasta or roast chicken and potato wedges. That was followed by a chance for everyone to share their first impressions of what had been going on in the first two days - everyone sharing in a big circle what had touched them so far. Now we're ready bring on the action!
Tuesday's action will follow later in the week.
Great to read about your journey so far and love the pictures.
Really proud of you Mollie.
Hi to Harley and happy birthday to Taylor.
Keep up the good work everyone
Ps... I will record dance moms for you tonight.
love mum,dad and chicken xxxxxx
hope u are having an amazing time shan , hope to see pics of u soon , everyone misses u xxx
In the short time you have all been there it sounds like you have seen and done so much already! It's amazing to read and see all the photos. What a truly fabulous experience, and wonderful that finally all the resources come to very good use. So proud of you all. Love and miss you so much Nathan, cannot wait for the next update. Absorb every moment! Lots of love Mum, licks from Molly and Lily xxx
Hey Kieran...Glad u arrived safely..Everyone in the Titley~Cox household is missing u muchly...Sox and Shiv have been searching ur bedroom for u ;-) Look forward to more updates!! Love & miaowsXxx
Hi, glad you arrived safely. We are so proud of you Chloe, you will have an amazing experience and one you will never forget. Great to see some photos. Can't wait for next update. Love you and missing you. Xxx
Glad to hear you're having an amazing time & working hard. Love and miss you loads Livvy. Even Dad and Josh are missing u. xxxxxx
Hi Alex, just thought we'd let you know Dad is fine, but we are really missing you babe. Hope you are having an amazing time, glad you arrived safely, looking forward to seeing your pictures. Hope you're enjoying the experience. Love you and missing you loads Mum, Dad and Bradley xxx
Hi Zey - glad all is going well - great to seethe pics! Enjoy the rest of the week - looking forward to more Blogs. Luv you xxxx
Hey Kurtis, glad you are safe, you look like you re having a lot of fun :D god bless and til next time :) love Anna xxxx
Hey Zey! Hope you are having a good time so far. It's thundering and lightening here! Miss your small face. Hope to hear from you all again soon through more blog posts. Love you lots, can't wait to have you home xxxxxx
Hi Alex glad you all arrived safely, enjoyed the piccys that are up already. Have an amazing experience babe you can exchange notes with sophie. Have an amazing time and enjoy the experience of it all.
love angie,amy sophie and cokey
ps don't forget the elephant
pps thanks simon for giving sophie a cuddle on Saturday she was/is gutted she cant be with you all this year.
Hey Will & Dan, sounds like your having a wonderful time, hope your staying healthier than last year Will. Dread to think what your room looks like..... poor Alex. Lots of Love, have a fab time and stay safe. xxxxxxxxxxxx
Paige, glad you have arrived safely and are having a great time again. Its taken me a while to come to terms with putting on a blog. The house is very quiet and tidy without you. Make the most of the experience and enjoy your time with the children. Look forward to the next blog, makes me feel closer to what you are all doing. Love and miss you loads Mum xxxxx
Happy birthday feels really strange you are not here for your birthday, but looks like you are having a great time can't wait to hear all your experiences when you get back everyone is really proud of you xx
Hi Alex hope your having an amazing time.enjoy the experience, were really proud of you all.looking forward to more updates and pictures
lots of love mum dave and jess xxx p.s marley,s really missing you xx
Hello Nathan, lovely to see photos & hear about what you are doing. We hope you are enjoying your amazing adventure & cannot wait to hear more.
So proud of you & we know you will do your best to make a difference in the short time you have. Please say hello to Jake & Kieran. Love & miss you lots, take care, Nanny & Grandad x x x x x
What fantastic photos, that reflect what a great thing you guys are doing.
Missing you loads Little Dady, sat hi to Mollie, Taylor and Reagan and hope you are feeling better and the medicine has kicked in.
Love you loads, Mum, Dad, Klez and Lannie xxxx
Hi Ali! hope you're having an amazing time and obviously missing your amazing big sister loads who can blame you!
Anyway see you Monday :)
Lots of love,
Jess :D xoxoxoxo
Hope you are Ok and all is well.
Cant wait for you to get home I am sick of kicking the dog off my bed!!!!
Hi josh. Hope ur having a amazing time. Can't wait to see all the pictures. me and Ellie are missing you loads. Take care and enjoy every minute. Love mum and Ellie xxxx
Hi pud miss u love ell xxx
Hi Jacquelyn - Looks like your all enjoying been out there - Glad the blog is now up and running. There are going to be a LOT of comments - try to use Ctrl plus F to find Jacquelyn - there can only be ONE Jacquelyn ! Love papa x
Hi Jacquelyn Have just forwarded the link to your Nana and Grandad who are very happy for you. For what ever reason I can't change the google account to my own - H'mmm Love papa xx
Hi Tamara,just to say we are so proud of you,and the photos are great to see,looks like you're really enjoying yourself with the children.I made extra dinner the other night expecting you to walk in like you do and totally forgot.cant wait to see more photos and keep up the great work.Love you lots and Zara says hi sis,the childminding children ask where you are,and some remember,on holiday To Ethiopia,bless them eh.cant wait to see you next week,just make the most of this wonderful experience. Love mum and Zara xxxxxxxx
Tamara ,high again I forgot to say that your dad flew out to Africa,Sierra Leone yesterday at 10 pm.Both in Africa at the same time.Everyone here is asking after you and I've shown them the pictures.Hope all the resources were plenty and I'm sure have gone to very good use.Times going quick and I'm sure it is for you all to.So hard for me not to call you,miss you loads.love and kisses mum and Zars xxxxxxxxx
Hiiii Katiee :) .. Looks like you've been having a great time! all that work has paid off! Hope Paige & Zeynep aren't annoying you too much ;) AND SAVE ME SOME ICE CREAM!! .. Love you a million! see you soooooon xxxxx
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