Finally today, we went and saw the kids in Wonji. It was wonderful to reconnect with the children and their guardians. We met at a school, out in the courtyard, it he hot Ethiopian sun.
We were able to sit and talk to each family that arrived, and to ask the children and guardians questions. For sponsors of these families, there will be a wonderful update in the fall! Thanks to S, the local kebele contact, we not only got to see the majority of the kids, but we also got to give the sponsorship support to all of the Wonji families through our new partner Canadian Humanitarian.
It seems like such slow going in each location, but there are many meetings to have and connections to make. We are basically starting from scratch in each community, depending on the agreements and structure. We have had so many meetings in each community, it was very gratifying to get as far as connecting with the children in at least location! For those of you that sponsor children in other communities, rest assured that your gifts will eventually get to the children. It will just take a few more meetings…!
I think all of us Canadians are learning a lot about doing business in Ethiopia this trip. You can’t get right to the goal or purpose of the meeting. First, you have to build a relationship, then introduce the topic, then answer and ask questions, and eventually get to what you want to do. But this all takes time, tact, and a deft ear for the clues in between the lines. Luckily we’ve had two great Ethiopian culture coaches along the way.
Things seem reasonably on their way in Wonji now… The next week, we will be working on moving everything forward in Guder and Ambo as well. All we need is a little luck and a lot of patience as we navigate due process. Well keep you posted!