Oct 8, 2011

Ethiopia Trip Recap Day 4 Part 1

One of the things I adore about Ethiopian culture is the dedication to honor and respect. It is reverent and expected to refer to an elder as "Mother" or "Father". We had been in Sisay's mother's home for about ten minutes before it was apparent that both Sisay as well as Yemamu revered the woman they both constantly referenced as "Mother".
I only asked her name once, and although I couldn't pronounce it, I couldn't forget that it's meaning stands for "the sun". She offered to spend her holiday slaughtering and preparing the sheep that we had bought yesterday. I am sure that Yemamu and Sisay learned a lot of their acts of service by watching this woman in their youth.

We arrived at her house early and she demanded that we eat before we began packaging the meals we would be delivering that day. I've had a lot of Ethiopian food, but lamb tips and doro wat fresh out of the open cooking pot were unbelievable. I know now why The Angel always asks me if there will be chicken wings in Heaven. I hope so too!

After we were treated to an amazing meal, we set up an assembly line of preparing the food for delivery. Abbey and Amy folded the injera over a whopping scoop of lamb wat, The Hero placed the food into plastic bags and Tom and I tied the bags. We made well over 75 packages of food.

Yemamu gave us all a taste of what is considered an Ethiopian delicacy which is cooked with peppers and tastes like spicy hamburger meat. I won't tell you what it actually is because you'll never try and you will be missing out!

Our team walked all through Korah, delivering food to people who were sick, injured or who were too poor to have bought food for their families for the holiday. As always, we had a horde of children who followed us everywhere and The Hero and Tom drew a lot of attention with their height, so we often stopped and let the kids get twirled around, picked up and loved on. I cannot tell how precious it was to watch two grown men shower children with hugs and laughs. There's a reason why we all need a father.

Several of the homes we visited were outside of Korah, people who were even too poor to afford the rent inside Korah itself. They were forced to build their homes just outside the trash dump, subject to being attacked by hyenas, thieves or being driven out by the government.

Since it was still the rainy season during our trip, mud abounded and the ground beneath us was subject to constant movement. We went down a hill and through a river.

Back up another steep, slimy hill,

We passed several people who even though it was a holiday, they had gone to the dump to find food, plastics to sell or paper to burn. This was at the top of our last hill looking down. This old woman was carrying a huge bundle of metal on her back to take down and sell.

As we approached the dump, buzzards were everywhere. They were huge, gawking at us as if they were just waiting for one of us to sit still enough to make a meal out of us. Trash, sewer, sludge, water, and bones surrounded us and I wanted to turn around and go back. To go tuck myself in and convince myself that this place didn't exist and that people didn't actually live, work and eat here.

I just kept praying over and over that God would give me strength.

I was definitely going to need it.

1 comment:

Gayla said...

Linz- loving every word of your story!!! Every word. Thank you for sharing.