The following post is an excerpt from my journal written while on holiday in Ethiopia last December. We were visiting our daughter who was teaching at Bingham Academy, an international school in Addis Ababa. After leaving Ethiopia we travelled to Morocco and Spain. I’ll write about those countries soon.
Thursday 8th December 2011: Addis Ababa
We were up again at 6am this morning for a walk. During the night I had the best night’s sleep I’d had since arriving. One of the problems we have faced acclimatising to the altitude. We are gradually getting there. After staff devotions this morning we were invited to the senior assembly. The main focus of this assembly was to watch the K – 2 classes perform the Christmas story. This was both charming and delightful; we were privileged to have been invited.
At 10 o’clock our driver for the morning arrived. Rose arranged for her regular driver Alemu to take us to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. The son of the CEO is in Rose’s class and she managed to arrange an appointment for a tour of the facilities. We were made to feel most welcome by one of the office administrators.
Our visit to the fistula hospital was most inspiring, bringing tears to our eyes as we realised the extent of the work and how a simple, inexpensive operation can transform the life of a young woman who has a fistula problem. We came away convinced and convicted that we must help raise awareness of this work. We quickly thought of ways of helping the hospital and the patients in practical ways, not just with donation of money; simple things like encouraging people to make quilts or knitted rugs for the patients. If you’d like to help this wonderful hospital click here for details.
At the end of the tour we spent time talking to our guide Feven. We exchanged email addresses and website URLs. She is in the process of setting up a tourist business. Her clients will have a tour of Ethiopia, including the participants spending up to a week giving hands on volunteer work at the hospital. We are keen to assist in promoting this as well because it would help the hospital, assist local people with jobs and see some profits channelled into the hospital. You can check out her website here.