Today was very successful.. We drove to Adama as early as possible in the morning to avoid the traffic. The traffic was still horrible, but we managed to get to Adama in the early morning, even with a breakfast break in Debre Zeit.
We had a simple mission in Adama: meet with the official from Wonji and start our new relationship off on the right foot. We had a very fast and pleasant meeting with S, who works at the HIV clinic as well as at the kebele and woreda levels. We recognized each other from our last visit, but somehow the tone this visit was very different from the professional distance of the first meeting last year. We found him extremely warm, reassuring and welcoming… Such a pleasant person. And we are quite confident in our ability to work together on behalf of the kids in Wonji and Adama.
Sponsors would like to know that we received confirmation that until 2 months ago, the 21 families in Wonji were receiving their monthly stipend. The kids also received the uniforms and drought assistance we sent. This was all confirmed by the government, so it is extra nice to have that reassurance. We were clear that we respect Faya Orphanage’s work so far, but it was simply a matter of reporting that we could not continue. S seemed to understand perfectly. “Reports are the backbone of Ethiopian society!” He exclaimed. We had a good laugh at that.
We discussed formal agreements, but also interim care for the kids. And we also talked about seeing the kids and delivering gifts. Wonderfully, he is coming on his day off and arranging for us to meet them all on Sunday. Yeah! We are so very happy about that! And can’t wait to see our kids and post pictures.
Now off to bed after another exceedingly long day! Bon voyage to our dear friend (and director) Nicole, who was trying to think of every excuse not to fly out tonight. She had a wonderful time… Especially handing out some toys to kids at the bean factory today.