Update from Ethiopia Nov 2011

Here is the next update on what is going on in Ethiopia. Once again it has been busy but very rewarding. I have spent time again in Addis Ababa with many organizational meetings etc. but also out at our project sites in Harbu Chulule..

Everyone in the small town is very excited with what is happening with Hopethiopia and the various projects that we are involved in.

  • The foundation of our brick building facility is now completed and we will soon be starting construction of the roof.
  • The newly drilled water well is in good shape and we will be doing testing during the next few days on the water capacity as well as conducting a water analysis.
  • The foundation for our first children’s home is almost finished and the local workers will complete the concrete slab and masonry work tomorrow. That is great timing since the team that will arrive from Canada will be able to start the wall construction next week.
  • The reforestation site at our south side is a very busy place as the workers are preparing for our second season. We are expanding the project so that we will be able to grow a greater number of species of trees. This first season was a great success as we were able to plant about 250,000 trees.
  • I spent some time at the local high school that we are partnered with and they had a great celebration for Hopethiopia. Through a number of efforts with the regional and local governments, as well as providing computers, science equipment, teaching for the teachers, and student leadership we were able to assist in the opening of the “Preparatory school” (grades 11 and 12).  This is a great moment for the local community as the students have mostly had to finish their education at grade 10. To travel the 26 km north to the next school is generally impossible and thus they finish school at that point. The future is now very bright for the students and community and there is a great sense of hope. I spoke some words of encouragement for all and then we hosted everyone for a wonderful celebration lunch prepared by the local women.
  • I was able to work out details with the health centre for the upcoming health care project that we will start next week

The next day I was back in Addis Ababa and spent time with President Girma of Ethiopia as well as the CEO of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia. We are finding these top level leaders to be incredibly supportive of our projects and are very blessed to have their encouragement.

The next significant moment will happen tomorrow morning when the rest of the mission team arrives from Calgary and Rwanda. They are en route and I am sure will be glad to arrive after the long flight. They will hit the ground running!

Days here are always very interesting with a great variety of emotions. At one minute one is full of joy with all the progress that is being made in the various projects and then you are faced with incredible poverty and desperation. The people are very welcoming after relationship has been built and there is a great sense of hope.

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