Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Africa Week 1

We have been back from Africa for almost a week and we have been running nonstop since our plane landed. We are in Vegas (a drive from...) yet are still in a hotel as we are still waiting one final signature to go through on our home (frustrating) so I decided that I would write a little about our Africa trip. It was such an amazing experience, very humbling...and it made me very grateful for the things that we have in America.

The first week we spent in Ethiopia-we stayed in a little town outside of Addis Abba called Deberezet. We were very lucky and got to stay in a hotel (due to the likely hood that someone would be getting sick they thought it better to get sick there). Every morning we would drive out to a little village (about 30 minutes away) and help. Depending on what you wanted to do, but they had ALOT that needed done- clinic work, fixing their schools, building stoves and potties, and a lot more.

I spent the first two days at different schools, the first school was inside the village itself with three classrooms and 1700 students (no not a typo)! School was only about 3-4 hours long and then they would have a whole new batch of students come in. The first school they were busy testing and the "headmaster" of the school didn't want the students disturbed so we met with the head teachers and offered them gifts to help their classrooms (maps, posters, games, etc). The second day we drove even further into a VERY remote village to visit their school. We met with the head teachers and all the fathers of the village to offer them gifts. Then went and saw all of their classrooms (3)...how humbling to see a classroom with dirt floors, and the walls made out of dung and straw. The students spoke English very well and could even communicate with us. Although at the second school they were very cautious of us...the schools are having problems with "bandits" coming in and stealing the children for marriage or labor purposes, hence the fathers being at the schools with guns to guard the children. (very sad!!)

The third day I helped in the medical clinic...wow. We had three doctors on our trip with us so they needed help diagnosing patients as to whether it was a trauma situation or if it was "normal". I know there is a big thing going on right now how vaccines can cause all sorts of things in our children like ADD etc...after seeing the diseases that those vaccines prevent I would rather prevent those diseases. Normal for the clinic were things like malaria, tuberculosis, aids, leprosy, scabies, and those were the normal things!! I mean, have you seen what TB looks like when it has "fully infected" a child?? There were so many eye infections due to the children being in a nonventilated area while the mother is cooking. And the Aids...the sad thing was that alot of the people-no most of the people just didn't understand, they would tell us that this child with me is not mine. She is an orphan, both of her parents died awhile ago. We automatically knew that she was an aids child and would not live a really long life. It was gut wrenching... I was in there until Thursday when I was helping clean out a donkey bite (gross) and almost lost my lunch so then I headed outside to "play" with the children. Make the wait to see the doctors a little bit more enjoyable.

On Thursday night I got a little sick (not too bad) more than likely just accidentally drank some of the water somehow. But Dustin got REALLY sick. They still aren't sure if he had cholera, typhoid fever, or ecoli. Wonderful right? So we stayed back at the resort on Friday while I tended to him and kept him well hydrated.

Anyway, it was a great week in Ethiopia...we spent the next week in Kenya but I will wait to blog about that when I have those pics (our camera died after Ethiopia so I will have to get pics from my parents.

15 comments:

amesbury said...

Wow, what an amazing trip! I hope you get settled into your house soon.

The Perkes Family said...

Samye!
Africa! WoW i had no idea you were plnning a trip there! blog a little background about how you it happened and how and why you picked the places you went! That is something I have always wanted to do.

Love
Kate

jamietonks said...

I knew that you were going on vacation but not to Africa. What an amazing experience! Where were your kiddos? Can't wait to see more pictures and good luck moving into your new home. I am so jealous.

knjfabela said...

Samye,

I am glad you had an amazing time. What a selfless thing to do! I do have a cute picture of Bennett and Kaiya kissing from church. I will have to post it for you. I will also send it your way if you give me your e-mail address.

Heather said...

You guys made it! Yeah! I can't wait to hear about the meat goat business. :)

Jess & Sara Phillips said...

How exciting. We felt bad for Dustin when we heard that he got sick. Hope you guys will be in your new home soon.

White said...

That sounds like it would have been an amazing experience. I've always wanted to go somewhere and give humanitarian aid. You'll have to let us know how it all came about. Anyway, hope Dustin is feeling better and good luck with the house stuff.

Marissa said...

So cool!! I have so many questions for you!! How did the kiddos do? We need to talk soon!! So glad you're back safe and sound.

Marissa said...

So cool!! I have so many questions for you!! How did the kiddos do? We need to talk soon!! So glad you're back safe and sound.

Anne said...

I'm jealous!!! So fun. Those precious kids look like they just adore you guys.

Juliana said...

WOW...what and experience. Truly amazing. I hope Dustin is feeling better and the house goes through.

Katy and Russ said...

What an incredible experience. Good for you, for doing something like that. I am sure you will remember that forever!

Em said...

Woah..hello! "P.S. we're going to Africa". Ha! I had no idea you were going and what a wonderful and eye-opening experience! I can't even imagine what things are like there. Great pics!

Morgan said...

That is amazing! What a life changing experience!

Tari said...

glad to know you made it to vegas safely. i know the drive was a beast. i cant wait to hear about africa...and hope you get out of a hotel and into your new house. yeah