Ethiopia Community team July 2010

Diary notes for Hopethiopia Community Team July 2010

Sun July 18th

  • Arrival at airport smooth with no hassles, arrives at approx. 7:30 am and checked through security at approx. 8:00am
  • Currency maximum is now $3,000.00 per person, more must be declared
  • All bags arrived, presented bag tags on leaving the arrivals area
  • Bags were checked for extra laptops etc.
  • Rainy weather in Addis, cleared on the way to Wolisso, lots of accidents and some areas of flooding
  • Drivers were Gelabo in minivan and Johnny in Landcruiser
  • Ate lunch at Belay (cost approx 300 birr for 11 people) dinner at Negash (cost approx 800 birr for 11 people)
  • Dropped off laundry at Negash
  • Team has rented 8 rooms so far – Glenda and Ralph sharing, the rest are singles
  • Met for our team meeting in the meeting room next to conference centre. Lots of chairs, tables, power supply and power bars, lighting
  • New conference centre in Belay is big and well developed. Could easily hold a meeting for 100 people.

Mon July 19th

  • Team wake up time 7:15am
  • Sunrise approx 6:30am
  • Woken up by call to prayer at Mosque at 5am and 6am
  • Weather for day? Mixed sun and cloud
  • Breakfast at Belay
  • Buy supplies in Wolisso -  rubber boots
  • Drive to HC
  • Stop on land and organize workers and reforestation project
  • Drive in to town and meet at school. Talk with principal, organized high school camp, asked about book list
  • Checked on the bookshelves – not ready
  • Buy water and toilet paper, start playing ball in the street with youth and kids
  • Go to health centre to use washrooms, interesting reaction from team
  • Go to south side reforestation site, tour area, talk with manager, look at river, make plans for seedling purchase
  • Returned to fenced new nursery site, took the picnic table out and had lunch.
  • Got to work on planting the seedlings, worked with 11 of the local farmers. Made lots of progress and were able to plant the Gravilia (2 rows) all around the perimeter. Made plans for hired help to dig up a 1m area around perimeter to plant Acacia and flowering tree. They agreed to start next day. Salary agreed upon at 30 birr/ day with some haggling
  • Started to rain at 4:30pm and returned to Wolisso.
  • Had dinner at Negash and then came back for a debrief in the new room next to the conference centre at Belay hotel.

Tue July 20th

  • Arrived at High school for the student leadership camp.
  • Weather was mixed with clouds and rain – temp approx. 12 -15C
  • Mersea and Johnny left for Addis to buy paints, order bookshelves, get the CMDA card working, etc.
  • No power outlet to run the LCD projector, they said the it would be hooked up the next day.
  • Opened up with an introduction of the team.
  • Sang “Petunia Hut”
  • Made honorary Canadians by dressing them up in clothes.
  • Talked about the plans for the two days and started the program with “Top 10 Questions”.
  • Lunch arrived and was very good. Islamic students would not eat the meat etc as they were not sure how it was prepared. (Fasting days are Wed and Fri).
  • The program went very well and we were able to do the mind map project etc. Translators were the Principal (Brehanu) and Tekalin.
  • All had a great time and we were able to build some relationships.
  • We laid out plans for the next day,  had fun collecting all the markers etc. gave out everyone Hopethiopia bracelets.
  • Were finished at approx 4:00pm.
  • Went home to Wolisso, had dinner and did a debrief.

Wed July 21st

  • Weather was heavy rains!! Lots of flooding on the trip with very high water flow in rivers etc. Temp was cool – 12 – 14 C.
  • Started the camp with the “Hokey Pokey” song
  • Went into the “Report outs” from the previous day and prizes were given for the best creativity etc (Hopethiopia water bottles).
  • Pictures were taken by the team and printed off in the principals office. Power was not working for a while so we all prayed and the power was restored within an hour. The were able to print off all photo’s
  • Lunch arrived and was fasting food so all were able to eat.
  • During lunch we showed our team personal presentation, then showed the “Over Canada” movie.
  • Went into the “Community Mapping” project which was very well done and provided lots of great info.
  • Then did the craft which was well organized and all enjoyed the project and got to take home a treasure.
  • Finished at approx 4:30pm and returned home. Lots of high water flow and flooding due to the rains all day.
  • Returned to Wolisso for dinner and debrief.

Thurs July 22rd

  • Travel to Health centre
  • Belay did our laundry
  • Weather was very nice – lots of sun and slight wind from west. Temp approx. 20C + and everything dried very quickly considering the previous rains.
  • Check out painting surfaces – Oil or latex
  • Sent Mersea and Shiffe back to Addis with Johnny to get right paints
  • Team and students paint the Health Centre – all day
  • Order lunch in HC for Student volunteers
  • Discuss with principal about USA team coming, I had talked with Kelly Putty the previous evening and she said that they had another orphanage commitment at 8:30 am and could not come out to HC until 13:30pm (unlike the 10am start time agreed on before) I informed the principal of the time change so that he could arrange this with the students attending the camp. The USA team never showed up and the students waited for about 3 hours for them.
  • Go to High school to drop off books for storage and discussed with principal about painting the science classroom – he was happy and it will be done next week.
  • Go to check on containers and fenced site
  • Go to HC to find carpenters to complete fence and gate project – able to contract 2 carpenters that will complete job in 3 days
  • Go to south site nursery to find workers to plant seedlings – able to contract 4 nursery workers.
  • Brought lunch to students, had discussion about volunteerism, they only wanted to volunteer for reforestation and wanted payment for painting, agreed on 15 birr pp. A good lesson on making agreements etc.
  • Went to fenced site and organized workers, gave direction, settled on wages – 15 birr for half day work, 25 for full and work and possible bonuses
  • Met with carpenters, gave direction and negotiated on project cost, 1000 birr for 3 days work to complete project (we supply extra materials – 4 sheets galvanized
  • Continued painting the main health care centre building as well as the outhouse.
  • Kathy and Davis played with young onlookers and taught them “Cheech and Chong” and “Live long and prosper”.
  • Painted until 5pm and returned to Wolisso.
  • Andwellum and his sister organized a beautiful cultural dinner that was appreciated by all.

Fri July 23rd

  • Travel out to HC to paint
  • Weather was good, mixed sun and clouds with high approx 20C, thunderstorm in afternoon but no rain in HC, heavier rain elsewhere
  • Spent day painting with student volunteers (only a few students returned) and health centre staff.
  • Staff took pride and ownership and painted their own areas and rooms
  • Painted the lower wall levels with the newly bought blue / grey oil paint. Also painted lots of trim, metal posts, and remaining areas
  • Still have to paint outside facing exterior walls – mostly stucco surfaces on walls, with red trim, and metal white on the window grills
  • Still have to paint the health centre admin buildings as well as the staff buildings
  • All supplies worked well, lots of rollers, extensions, and brushes. Roller extension broke due to weak plastic screw attachment to roller, therefore next time get better screw or metal connector.
  • Checked on carpenter making gate and completing fenced area – great progress. Will pay carpenter and assistant 600 birr to complete the work in 3 days.
  • Checked on reforestation crew of 4 workers – Ephrem is now their manager and was guiding them. They made lots of progress and needed a few more workers to join them to complete planting all the Awassa ERP seedlings. Tomorrow they will get 15 more workers to help for ½ a day. All will be paid 15 birr for ½ days work since they need to be at the market in the afternoon. I paid all 4 workers 15 birr for their ½ day work on Thursday, 25 birr for their full day work on Friday ( I gave each a  5 birr bonus – they were all very happy).
  • Gelabo picked up the lunch for all the volunteers, they were happy.
  • Team painted until approx 4pm
  • We brought out a volleyball, Frisbee, boomerang and played with the students, staff, and local kids – lots of players and onlookers and played for about 1 hour. This was a great success and community builder.
  • Returned home at 5pm and had dinner at Negash.

Sat July 24th

  • Slept in a bit later this day
  • Had a buffet breakfast at Negash Lodge, toured the grounds, saw the Colubus monkeys and cultural homes etc.
  • Travelled out towards Wenchi crater, the road was too wet and in poor condition.
  • Stopped at first village, a World Vision project.
  • Played with kids, volleyball, made balloons etc.
  • Stayed  for about 1hour
  • Returned to Belay hotel and rested .
  • Went into Wolisso to look at market and walk around town
  • Bought some video’s
  • Went to Negash for dinner
  • Returned to Belay to watch a movie, none worked that we had bought so we watched a Columbo movie.

Sun July 25th

  • Travelled early to Addis
  • Had breakfast at Elephant Walk
  • Went to FBI Bole church
  • The team did the service
  • Great time singing the 2 songs, introducing the team, Matt and Glenda sharing testimonies, showing the powerpoint, Uzo shaing aunt Olives message to the youth. Ralph sharing a brief message on Love
  • Went to the Hilton for lunch
  • Left Mersea and Shiffe with Johnny to purchase painting supplies
  • Ephrem returned with team back to Wolisso
  • Had a relaxing evening and prepared for the next day

Mon July 26th

  • Breakfast at Belay
  • Beautiful day with sunshine
  • Dropped off Ephrem to continue the reforestation project at the containers
  • Went to High school to check on children, no kids were present.
  • Talked with principal Birhanu to organize kids. He went with a loudspeaker around town and in ½ hour we had 55 kids. In about 1 hour 115 kids.
  • Set up in a bright new classroom, did songs, action activities, asked questions, had snacks, did sports camp
  • Lunch arrived for the kids
  • Did more songs and “raps”
  • Did the craft session with crowns and other foam crafts
  • Had to split the kids into 2 groups due to crown control
  • Lots of mayhem due to the noise and numbers
  • Ended up being a great success for the kids and Birhanu was very pleased as the kids had a very positive impression of the school environment and will want to go to school.
  • Returned to Wolisso and went to dinner at Negash
  • After dinner prayer in the conference room
  • Accounting team continued entering the records

Tues July 27

  • · Breakfast at Negash, they prepared a bag lunch for us
  • · Weather was raining and cool when we arrived at HC
  • · Organized Ephrem to finish up the reforestation project at the North site and then start on developing the south site /Elementary project
  • · Met with principal at High School and organized the painting day
  • · Went to the local church to meet with the Intercession team, 16 members led by Samuel Hailu, that travelled from Addis to spend 3 days with us.
  • · We met in the galvanized church building.
  • · Did introductions and they prayed for us, got into a big circle for group prayer and praise
  • · Shared the vision of Hopethiopia,
  • · They prayed for us, very impactful
  • · The weather changed as we walked out of church and was beautiful sunshine
  • · Had an amazing time praying for the kids and people outside the church by the van
  • · Went to river to select our “Rocks” for the memorial
  • · Had fun with the kids on the road singing and clapping
  • · Went to health centre to have lunch
  • · Painted the Lab classroom at the high school, lots of volunteers
  • · Checked on the progress by the containers, paid the workers, prayed for the young boy (Mousema) that had been bitten by a snake 1 year ago
  • · Returned to Belay for dinner
  • · After dinner prayer in the conference room
  • · Glenda led some gift crafts to be done for the community of HC
  • · Accounting team continued with entering the records

Wed July 28th

  • · Last day to work onsite at HC
  • · After breakfast at Belay, went to shops at Wolisso to purchase supplies for hampers.
  • · Checked on reforestation project
  • · Prayed over the land at north nursery, planted scripture sticks
  • · Dropped off Hampers at Huruma’s office
  • · Went to visit elementary school s and Orthodox church
  • · Delivered a hamper to a local rural family as team traveled
  • · Returned to Wolisso for dinner at Belay.

Thurs July 29th

  • ·
  • · Early morning meeting with Mersea
  • · Left Wolisso early to get to Addis orphanage by 10:00am
  • · Drove for 3 hours to get there
  • · Arrived and weather was mixed sun and cloud
  • · Kids were having lunch
  • · Started by gathering kids for intro and songs
  • · Played games
  • · Took pictures and did crafts
  • · Left supplies, sporting goods, 1000 birr
  • · Played with kids and said goodbye after approx 4 hours
  • · Stopped at a grocery store and bought jam, peanut butter, and snacks etc.
  • · Returned to Wolisso
  • · Dinner at Negash
  • · Had our team debrief

Fri July 30th

  • Meeting with Mersea
  • Matt and Ralph went for a run
  • Had last breakfast at Belay and said goodbye’s
  • Drove to Addis at approx. 11:00am
  • Accident on road about 10 km from Wolisso, a tandem Coke truck flipped over and totally blocked the road in both directions
  • Were stuck there for about 41/2 hours
  • Finally got moving at about 4pm
  • Stopped for a drink and break
  • Drove to Addis and went souvenir shopping close to Mercato – was open until 7pm. Had good success and had fun – was raining.
  • Went to Yod Abbyssinia for a cultural dinner with music and dance (arranged by Gelabo). All had a great time and stayed until about 10:30pm
  • Drove team to the airport, had a super easy check in
  • Said hi to Brian and Val who were in line to catch a flight to Canada (gone for 2 months)
  • Said goodbyes to Johnny
  • Said goodbye to team and prayed
  • Went to Brian and Vals to sleep

Sat July 31st

  • Davis and Ralph had a great sleep
  • Went exploring and found pharmacy, internet bar, Elephant walk
  • Met with Mersea and Shiffe
  • Had Chinese food at restaurant next to Elephant Walk
  • Drove to Red Terror museum next to Meskel Square, saw lots of displays from the Derge time etc. Presenter has a daughter with diabetes (8 yrs old and would like her seen by medical team in Nov) The museum will be able to do tours for the orphan children on the project as well as school kids of HC
  • Dropped off laundry at Meskel square shop
  • Went to Lion zoo with Shiffe
  • Shopping for souvenir’s  at Piazza, where we took the team, huge storm hit with lots of hail, floods, and split trees
  • Went to Shiffe’s house for coffee ceremony, met family
  • Met with Melaku’s brother at Pizzeria restaurant to discuss plans for Garboo school and orphan homes and septic system
  • Got first chance to do emails at Hilton

Sun Aug 1st

  • Met Mersea at Elephant Walk and went to pastor Yosef’s church where Mersea preached at the service, preached on “The Blood of Jesus”
  • I gave a brief overview of Hopethiopia and the mission team.
  • Pastor Josef’s wife said a prayer for us and the vision of Hopethiopia
  • Two elderly ladies at the church said a blessing for aunt Olive, they said that they would also pray for Hopethiopia, we gave them bracelets.
  • Picked up by Gelabo and travelled to Ziway Town to see the Shega Acacia reforestation project
  • Travelled out to nursery sight and saw the Acacia planting areas
  • Looked at the lake and saw a rainbow
  • Met with David and saw the Shega nursery in Ziway town
  • Travelled back late to Addis and went to Hilton for dinner and internet

Mon Aug 2nd

  • Breakfast at Elephant Walk
  • Davis got the CMDA wireless card working by creating a profile
  • Met at Oromia office, had a short meeting with assistant to Dr. Jemal. He explained some of the details and arranged for a meeting with Dr. Jemal Adem
  • Lunch at Ciao Italian restaurant
  • Met with Dr. Jemal
  • Met with the Land Lease department head. He was quite negative and was doubtful about our application for a large piece of land. Suggested that the best way was to approach president Girma and Abadullah about land arrangements.
  • Went to Oromia education ministry, met with Vice president, talked about our plans and the details behind opening up Preparatory schools. They had not received an application from HC high school for this budget year.
  • VP connected us with 3 individuals with the education projects and planning department. They were all excited about what we were planning. They gave us some direction.
  • Went to Kaldi’s for coffee
  • Went to Hilton for dinner and then worked on Internet for a few hours.
  • Had a sketchy cab ride home.

Tues Aug 3rd

  • Met at 9am with CBE president
  • Shiffe took us to see Haile Selasi’s trains, saw his office
  • Then went to Melaku and Shgiffe’s home
  • Visited Selasm Children’s village. Met with public relation coordinator. He connected us with Mengestu the Child Care coordinator. Set a meeting for Friday afternoon
  • Met with Shiffe’s engineer friend – does some solar work , min tax is 30% with VAT, Solar very limited, used by some wealthy people due to cost, government has few incentives, talked biofuels – Jatopha.
  • Installed Quickbooks on Mersea’s laptop.
  • Went to Johnny’s home for dinner. He picked us up at Elephant Walk with Hanni (his girlfriend of 6 mo.)
  • Spent night with family, 2 sisters and 4 brothers. Had a great meal and conversations
  • Went to Hilton to do emails

Wed Aug 4th

  • Met at Canadian embassy with Martha Gebre.. Had to walk out of compound connecting door to meet at the CIDA branch of ECCO? She explained about grant applications to the embassy fund who a proposal has to be presented to Meaghan Byers and to herself. She will provide a proposal form
  • Went to the nearby mall to exchange some US funds – a very fast transaction at the CBE (passport required but no hassles)
  • Talked to the store where Shiffe bought the CMDA card from
  • Went to meet with Pastor Samuel Hailu of the intercessory ministry. Paid the team expenses.
  • Went to FBI Mecanesa, spoke at a huge service – many thousands
  • Met with DACA, the government body that provides the approvals for visiting health care teams. He explained the process.
  • Had lunch at the local Ethiopian restaurant on Bole.
  • Bought a 160GB backup drive for Merea. He has lost a number of files recently that had caused much work and concern
  • Went to Selam Vocational college to look at the operations, check out the recent quote for the roof trusses at the new container site, study brick making etc.
  • Spent lots of time with the different brick making processes ranging from Hand pressed cement blocks, mud blocks, to Hydraform blocks made with an electrical press.
  • Went back to Ruttens to meet with Gelabo, the driver
  • Packed up and picked up some spray paints for the container logo.
  • Drove out to Wolisso and had dinner at Negash
  • Reconnected with Andwellum, his sister, and Hafis, They all had missed us and were super excited to see us. They had even posted our team picture at the cash desk at the Belay hotel.
  • Unable to get internet signal due to poor mobile connection.

Thurs Aug 5th

  • Good sleep and went to breakfast at Belay
  • Talked with Andwellum, his sister, and Hafis. They invited us to a special farewell dinner tonight.
  • Packed up all the supplies and set aside things for Hafis
  • Travelled to HC to continue the work
  • Had a game of ping pong with the high school teachers
  • Met with Berhanu at high school. Talked about books, shelves, and supplies for Garbo and HC elementary. Talked about the application for the grade 11 and 12 preparatory grades. We said that we would provide a letter of  support on behalf of Hopethiopia. Gave him the school supply gifts from the mission team and gave him a team photo.
  • Met with Mengestu and saw his room. Said goodbyes
  • Then went to meet with Huruma. and Shimelis (the woreda education director) Discussed:  Application for grades 11 and 12 – shared our information, the health care team that would come in Nov and the support that we would need, reforestation
  • Returned to Wolisso and met with HC health administrator and his assistant. Discussed to possibility of bringing a health care team in November and the process of how to do it.
  • Joined Andwellum and his family at the grand opening celebration of their new conference centre.

Fri Aug 6th

  • Said goodbyes to Affis and all the people at Belay.
  • Travelled to HC for meetings with Huruma and Brihanu
  • Had a meeting with Huruma, the mayor, and the land use administrator. Discussed reforestation lands, guard , roof and grass for the container site,  water source from town, land survey and the assistance for application for the land lease.
  • Took a break for lunch as they had been very busy from early in the day.
  • Went back to walk on the land and check out the actual boundaries. Pointed out what we required but they were unable to guarantee the total amount at present. We negotiated how we could do the different phases but still had some concerns about the west boundary close to the road, especially the main access area to the project lands. They said that the farmers along the road do not have land available that the zone can negotiate as compensation.. We will have to continue the discussion and I will take back the plans for discussion back in Calgary. Other lands could be negotiated as the prject progresses.
  • Went to Mersea’s house for dinner. Had a great time with the family
  • Left HC for Addis, did some shopping, packed up bags etc and left for the airport.
  • Said goodbyes to Shiffe abd Gelabo and checked in. Waited in departure lounge until due to mechanical problems with the plane.

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