Wednesday 10 July 2013

Day 3. Leonie and Erin

After a long night of rain, that I'm sure England will never have experienced, we gathered for breakfast with two of the team down with illness and needing to stay behind for the day. We enjoyed our traditional hotel Lido breakfast which consists of eggs, eggs, bread, jam and extra eggs if required and got on our way for day two at the school.

We started our day with the issuing of workbooks and feedback of the previous day. We got onto our theme of the day which was 'true colours' which enabled the children to have a greater understanding of the Union Jack flag and other countries flags around the world. It also gave them the opportunity to explain to our staff team about the meaning behind the Ethiopian flag.

After break, we moved from the classroom into the yard where the whole school joined for our group activity which today consisted of shaving foam and fluffy balls (just your standard tuesday game). This gave the opportunity for all staff to work with a variety of ages outside of their classgroups.

Back in the classroom, the young people were tasked to design and create their own flag that expressed their personalities and passions. This was the only task of the day which fell silence upon our classroom, they were fully engaged and engrossed in their creation which led to Helen even checking we were all still in the room.

After our structured day we were given the opportunity to visit one of the homes of the children at the school. This took us into the heart of poverty stricken Ethiopia, where homes were made out of bits of wood, corogated iron and fabric, and those even less fortunate were seen sleeping under carrier bags, in mud, on the side of the road.

We got out the bus and walked down a muddy cobbled street where we were then greeted by a mother of one of the children we have been teaching. She welcomed us into her home which could only be described as a small fabric shed. We were told how she lived here with her daughter; sharing a bed and having no personal space. Considering she had nothing but a bed (that we now know cost 850 birr and took 5 months to save for) she still offered with a warm and genuine smile, freshly made tea and coffee. We had the opportunity to ask questions which she answered honestly leading to tears on multiple occasions which was particularly difficult knowing how strong a woman she was. After, we asked if she had any questions for us which she answered 'I have no questions, but if I dared to ask a question, it would be wether you could provide and care for my daughter if anything happens to me because she has noone but me'. This was really difficult to hear as you could see in her face the pain that she was feeling and yet in our hearts we knew this was an unachievable request that she wanted us to fulfill; this would always be a situation we could never fix.

At the end of this day as we sit here and reflect on the days events, we can now fully appreciate how lucky we are and what we have and have a deeper motivation to make this week the best it can be.

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