Thursday, July 1, 2010

Update from Ethiopia

My days are flying by here in Ethiopia! Everyday I spend about 6 hours with Easton, it's heavenly! He continues to show his happiness to us and we can't get enough of him. The last 2 days he has been sleeping alot, maybe a growth spurt?
Here are some things that I love about Ethiopia and a couple heartbreaking things!

Things I love about Ethiopia:
#1. Baby Easton!!!!!!!! :o) Being with him everyday makes every sacrifice seem insufficient. He eludes happiness that is contagious. I just can’t wait to share him with friends and family!
#2. Fresh squeezed pineapple juice every morning.
#3. The way men and women embrace each other as they walk down the street. They are either holding hands or have their arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders or waist. This is a sign of endearment but honestly at first I thought, “WOW, Ethiopia has a large gay population!!” hahaha =)
#4. How far a US dollar can go! =) The only thing that is really expensive is the transportation! We are paying $30/day for a driver! Working on finding a cheap, reliable driver right now. I’m not confident enough to try public transportation, yet.
#5. How nice the people are! I have never felt threatened or unsafe. Our driver Alazar loves to say that, “Addis Ababa is the safest city in Africa.” I believe him!
#6. The bumpy road that leads to Easton’s transitional home. It makes baby Preston toss and turn in my belly. I love the feeling now! I need to post a video of the ride, it’s comical!
#7. Everyone is working! Sweeping and window washing is seen on every street corner. Taxi cars are washed and tires pumped with air. Women are selling roasted corn for less than $0.10 each. Boys wait to polish your shoes and sell you a pack of gum. There is a huge desire to work and earn money and you can see that “hard worker” is a characteristic that Ethiopians strive for.

Things that break my heart in Ethiopia:
#1. Children who are walking on the street during school hours. There is no such thing as public education and only children who come families who can afford school have the privilege to go. What is horribly wrong with this is that the same children who come from poverty will not be educated, therefore repeating the cycle of poverty. There is little hope for them to get a good job and be progressive for their own children one day. It’s a vicious cycle.
#2. The crippled and disabled. Any Ethiopian who cannot work is basically left to a life on the streets. Being disabled means you are a burden on your family and you cannot build a sustainable life, therefore you beg.
#3. That the average Ethiopia lives on less that $1.00 USD a day.
#4. The dogs. There are dogs, even puppies, scrounging for food everywhere. Being an animal lover, my heart breaks when I see them. They are covered in scars and flies and their ribs visible through a thin layer of fur. I want so badly to feed them but I am torn. I care more about people than dogs; there are too many people in Addis Ababa who are living the same life as a street dog. Heartbreaking.


Bex said...

So good to hear from you, Ashlie! Been thinking about you a lot. Hope you have a court day VERY soon! So, baby on the way is going to be a Preston!? Love it! Thanks for this informative and insightful update. I am beyond thrilled you get to spend time with your son every day.

Anonymous said...

I love the way you describe the city. I already have been dreaming of going there some day to see the land of my future grandchildren. The way you write makes me feel I am there seeing it. I am so happy you get to be with your baby every day. I can't wait to hear my children call and say they have a referral....

Mom Fulmer said...

Ashlie -- you are learning SO much about the world that many/most people do not have an opportunity to learn. Thank you for sharing with us.

MamaMimi said...

SO good to hear from you and how things are going. Things with Easton seem to be amazing. Thank you for the description of the city, my heart aches for the people of Addis but I can't wait to experience the culture firsthand.

Amy said...

Hi Ashlie - I guess I wasn't very good at tracking with the AWAA yahoo group, and didn't realize that you were actually staying there for a bit and teaching. We leave next week to meet and bring home Kenenisa, who is almost 4. Don't know if he's old enough to be part of your group that you are teaching, but would love to hear how he is. Amy Elder