CRED TEAM TRIP ETHIOPIA 2012
Another beautiful sunrise over Addis - the fateful knock on the door comes at 7am and gradually the bleary eyed emerge from their slumbers. Soon the excitement of getting back to Kindergarten spurs them into action and after a somewhat delayed breakfast the previous day, it is delivered today with the speed and efficiency of that well know chain beneath the golden arches - and that's odd because there isn't one in Addis! Once again we weave our way through the chaos of the Addis rush-hour and again we drive through the gates into the Kindergarten compound. The greeting was all had been the day before, a frenzy of happy little faces. Hands wanting to be pressed into ours, all wanting to say "hello" and let you know they were pleased to see you it is a welcome that just warms your heart every time. Such joy in tiny packages. The photos that follow tell the story so much better than any words so have a look at some of the images from today.
Wednesday, 24th October 2012
After we and said "farewell" at Kindergarten it was a quick drive down to the after school clue at the youth centre. We were all hoping for a slightly less fraught occasion than the previous day. We were not disappointed. The wonderful team at the youth centre had sorted out the entrance situation and to give a bit better crowd control and once the youngsters were inside our brilliant team took charge and with Anni's masterly assistance we were able to herd our new friends where we wanted them for each set of activities. The excitement in the hall was intense, Jimmy and Anni whipping them up into a frenzy of screaming and shouting but all happy and having a great time. The whole session was a huge success - lots of smiling goodbyes and then the team danced in celebration how well it had gone. A brilliant performance from a brilliant team! And here are a few shots to see what we got up to.
Then it was back to the hotel for dinner and a well deserved rest and a good night's snooze.
Thursday, 25th October 2012
Once again the Muslim call to pray rang out over the city and it was soon time to be out from our beds ready for the day. The hotel staff's delivery of breakfast was now a slick and finely tuned operation. Orange juice, omelettes, scrambled egg, tea, coffee, hot milk all flying from the kitchen at high speed. The team fuelled up and ready to go it was off for another day in action at the Kindergarten and later at the youth centre. Last year we had a minor foray into use the use of shaving foam as a tool of play - this year it has been employed as a kind of mini-warfare - the result total fun for the kids and the need for bulk usage of wet-wipes (whoever invented those things deserves an award for services to CRED Trips!). It was wonderful to witness our new tiny friends really wanting to come and help clean up their larger friends - little hands clutching, to them, huge sponges and wiping off every trace of the foam left from the battle. Whatever activity we throw at our little charges they throw themselves into them with enormous enthusiasm. They may not get the instructions very clearly as they are translated from English to Amharic but they adopt their take on them and give it all they've got. The tiniest ones particularly just seem to be happy joining in with anything, even if it is actually for their group!
Today was very special for us as we had lunch hosted by IHA-UDP. They put on a more traditional Ethiopian style lunch and after we had had our fill it was time for a few thank you messages to be shared. Dan and Vicky represented the students from school and did the school proud. We then presented them with a signed picture of the entire team, which is already up in a frame in the office compound. We also presented them with some cash that was left over from the marvellous fund raising effort by the team - money that will make a real difference to the work here in Addis. For those of your who contributed we bring you heartfelt thanks from Africa.
Once again the sessions at Kindergarten (punctuated by the special lunch at IHA) were over, it seemed, all too quickly and it was soon time to be down the road at the youth centre.
This was when we encountered highway engineering Ethiopian style. We took our normal route from Kindergarten only to find our approach road to the youth centre blocked for road repairs. The diversion was affected not by flashing warning signs from several miles away, not with a series of carefully constructed cone lanes guiding us through the diversion - instead we were faced by a couple of blokes and a string of rocks positioned across our path. So we retraced our route and approached from a different direction. Despite our slight delay we were in good time to greet our noisy but oh so enthusiastic group of local youngsters. Another high energy, ear splitting session flew by and once again a great time was had by all. The team giving their all in the name of other people having a good time.
The day ended with the teams packing up their gift boxes for the good-byes tomorrow. The boxes from those nice men with the golden arches - happy meal boxes that were soon to make children, who had never even heard of the company, very happy indeed. And so to bed another day completed and tomorrow last day with the children :-(