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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

day 5, part 2

Back to day 5 in Dali. So we have darling little Daniel running fast and furiously to keep up as we walked all over Dali to see first hand the work that Glimmer of Hope is doing there. The first stop was to see some new school blocks that were being built. The view from these schools was just gorgeous. The people of the community were so warm. At one point a group from a local church sang for us and they were wearing beautiful red choir robes. They also had a very large drum they were using.......remember the drum?? Back to that in a minute.

All day long we were surrounded by people, beautiful, kind, loving, thankful people. We were presented with lovely flower arrangements by some of the local girls at one point. Just a memorable moment.

We then began to walk to a few of the water points. I didn't know exactly what to expect honestly. We were told to wear hiking boots as it would involve climbing and mud. :) We began to walk down a hill, a steep hill. The kids began to follow, the older men were trying to switch them with sticks to keep them from coming, and out they would pop out of corn fields, faces with huge smiles on them. We got to the first water project and it was amazing. Just a remarkable view all around! It was incredible to think that this was their water source. What was not too long ago, dirty, contaminated water that they shared with the animals, was now crystal clear! Glimmer does natural springs, deep and shallow bore wells. These were natural spring wells. They take an existing spring, cap it uphill, allow gravity to run the water down into a resevoir, then run it through purification into 2 spickets where the water comes out!!(I'm sure they would love my elementary explanation!!) I will never forget the faces of those filling up cans with this new, clear water! The impact is immediate.

We proceeded to walk from water point to water point. At each, the people would come out, singing, dancing, showing unbelievable gratitude for the gift of clean water. It was so powerful. At one project, I just sat up on top of a hill that was above the water point, just so I could soak it all in. Children came and sat with us, one little baby was being carried around by his sister (she was probably only 6) and he looked very sick. Just broke your heart, literally. I saw so many kids, with so much freedom. Little ones, 18 months up, just toddling around.....and I saw Eyasu in ALL of them. As he was relinquished at 2-- this could have been him. I know his uncle loved him dearly, it is just the reality of life there. Life is hard. Women work HARD to get the water, walk to the market, to come home to prepare the meals, etc. and this goes on and on and on. It occurred to me that children, taken from these rural areas, placed up for adoption, eventually into a home, would have issues with boundaries, rules, etc. It is so easy for us to place the feelings that we think they will have----extreme gratitude, thankfulness, security, etc when the reality is they often don't as life is simply so very different. They knew love in Ethiopia yet were had less restrictions............I never saw an adult look for Daniel all day long. It just made the love that I have for Ethiopia, my children from there, the children that I have prayed home, the children that will remain there grow to new heights!

After this one particular water point we started to walk up this particularly steep hill (did I mention we were VERY high up altitude wise???) and I was hurting. It was hot and this hill was not getting shorter. I felt like I was in decent shape but this hill (and the children blowing past us) made me seriously question that!! :) We got about halfway up and realized Kristin was still behind. Eric from Glimmer yelled up that she might be dehydrated. (She was carrying SO much weight in camera gear.) We kicked it up a notch as our water was back up the hill in our vehicle. I got to the car, retreived some water and ran back to where they were only to find an entire village in a circle with Kristin perched in the very center! All eyes were on her. I took her the water and she asked what we could do to divert the crowd. Sweet thing, I felt terrible for her. I think one precious man literally ran to his hut to get the chair that she was sitting on........oh are they hospitable or what???

Finally she felt well enough to move on. We walked towards our car and saw another large circle had formed, this time Julie Neal was in the center. Remember the drum that I have mentioned a few times? Well, Julie asked at one of the water points where she could find a drum like they had as it was just the kind she had seen in Awassa. Much talk went back and forth and she was told that they would find out. Fast forward to the crowd around her now. The pastor of the local Evangelical church in Dali wanted to present her with this beautiful drum. He gave a wonderful speech (via interpreter) about how thankful he was to God for bringing us there, how he prayed for our family back at home, was incredible and we didn't have a dry eye. The drum that she had searched years for, was now being handed to her in this extraordinary way! I don't have pictures as I was so overcome with emotion, but know Julie H took some as did MC.

We were sad to say goodbye to the people of Dali as they each took a piece of our hearts. The drive home we spoke of our experiences, what we saw, what the Lord taught us. He showed us so much of Himself, so much of what breaks His heart, what matters to Him.

We also spoke of how impressed we were with the amazing work that Glimmer was doing in Ethiopia. Most of the projects that we saw were only funded in October. They are serious about being efficient and effective. They have a VERY clear model of what they do and they don't stray from that. They have excellent working relationships with the development associations that they work with and they are changing lives of those living with extreme poverty in Ethiopia. More on Glimmer later......

We were all enjoying the scenery and Julie N. told Asafe to stop the car. We all looked up and saw two boys playing soccer up on a hill with a rag ball. Julie quickly jumped out of the car and we were saying "na" for him to come. He looked scared as he should have been, not often do cars drive by, much less ones full of white women telling him to come! She threw him a brand new soccer ball and his face was one of the most precious I have ever seen. He LIT up. He looked at the ball, then at Julie and seriously as if manna from heaven had just arrived! I wish I had a better picture but we were so in the moment. One of the highlights of the trip for me.

I was so full. The rest of the drive home was slow going as a heavy fog set in and we just prayed we were going in the right direction! We made it safely back to Tercha, ate dinner and hit the sack. I didn't hesitate to take my Ambien and I was out.


Tracy said...

Wow. I love hearing your stories from your trip.

Love the drum story. And love the soccer ball story, too!

Kim said...

Oh Em. What a praiseworthy post. I just love the drum story. And your photos capture the beauty of Ethiopia's people and the land as well as the value of a well!
Love & Blessings,

The Siler Family said...

What a blessed day this was!

HoodMama said...

I LOVE YOUR STORIES!!! Amazing and beautiful and inspiring! Maybe you should write a book.. in all that spare time you have! ;)

HoodMama said...

OOOH. And I love your new look, Sass. Going to go check out Websauce!

Zoe said...

Thank you for sharing your extraordinary trip -- I am so enjoying it and love the pictures, too.

Amy said...

Amazing and beautiful- thank you for sharing your story. The pictures are absolutely breathtaking!! I already miss Ethiopia!!

Cheryl said...

wow. wow. wow. LOVE all the stories! Love the drum story. Love Daniel's story. Love the water story. Love the boy with the soccer ball story. Love the fabulous hotel story. ;) Really Amazing, Emily. So happy that you have been able to experience so much... Praise God! I love you friend!

Shannon said...

Hi. My name is Shannon and we live in Kentucky. Your blog has been such an inspiration to me. We just brought home a 4 year old boy from Ethiopia (he is our 5th child). Thank you for so beautifully telling your families' story. I am very interested in your work with Glimmer of Hope. I have followed them for sometime. What can I do to be a part of the work they are doing in Ethiopia?

missy said...

the beauty of that clean water and the description of the celebration of those receiving it is so moving.

your commentary on the differences with freedoms children have was very insightful.

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"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from becoming polluted by the world." James 1:27
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