So I'm sitting in a tin metal shack in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The rain is thundering down on the roof, and I'm taking a few minutes to catch up on email. Africa has been amazing so far. I will post plenty of stories and pictures when I get back to Kuwait...but in the meantime, here are a few experiences from the past week:
* The grand battle for the villa: 16 girls, 1 villa, and an african population of bugs (cockroaches, mosquitoes, and spiders). The battle waged on for several days, but I'm proud to report that the humans were victorious. Although we still see a few bugs here and there, the bugs has suffered a massive decline in population. Yay!
* Kids, kids, and more kids!! We had the opportunity to visit several orphanages and play with the kids. Lots of singing, jumping, soccer, and showing the kids pictures of themselves on our digital cameras. We also had the privilege of participating in a feeding program for OVC (orphans and vulnerabe children). In a country where the majority of the population makes less than $90 per year, it's really amazing to be part of the many organizations who work tirelessly to provide relief and assistance.
* Hiking & visits: today I participated in home visits to bring bags of wheat to HIV positive women. Many of these women are very poor, and because of that they live far up the side of a mountain (the higher up the mountain, the cheaper the housing). We hiked and hiked...and we're already at a very high altitude...so it was a great workout. We were able to sit with several women and hear their stories. I am still processing the experience...heartbreaking on so many levels.
In other news, the students on our trip are doing great. The 16 girls in my house have managed to come up with a showering schedule (one shower!) and yesterday we spent some time cleaning...which makes the housing experience a bit more pleasant. We're just starting a full week of work out in the community, so I'll be heading back to one of the orphanages and doing who knows what else!
Until next time...