One of the big projects that Project Hopeful Awassa has been working on in recent months is a home for Wudinesh and her son Sitota (pictured below).
On our second day in country, we traveled 3.5 hours by 4X4 to Bensa for the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the house. Now, I don’t mean 3.5 hours on a nicely paved highway. No, I mean 3.5 hours on what could best be described as driving 70 mph across a washboard with an occasional slip ‘n’ slide thrown in to keep things interesting. Did I mention it was raining, and foggy and our very sweet young driver is a lunatic behind the wheel? A good portion of the drive I kept telling Chrissy “just close your eyes, you don’t even want to know”. Motion sickness meds are our friend.
We were floored to find that there was a HUGE celebration awaiting at the house in Bensa. Hundreds of people, including the vice-president of the region, and a film crew for the national news! Definitely not what we’d expected.
There was a great deal of dancing and singing, both inside and outside the home.
We were served a celebration meal of kocho and a soured milk/yogurt drink. Kocho is the pulp from false banana trees. The pulp is scraped from the tree and ground up, then placed in a hole in the ground for 30 days to ferment. (Sounding pretty tasty right about now, eh?) The soured milk is pretty self explanatory. The bad news is this is prepared for very special guests, it would be rude not to eat. This photo pretty much sums it all up.
The good news is that if you sit your glass of soured milk down, someone else will grab it and drink it…SCORE!
In all seriousness it was such a huge blessing to get to see this young mom and child get a safe home of their own. Project Hopeful (and all of the wonderful donors) also provided all of her housewares needs and food to get started with. Here is a photo of the front of her new house.
Oh, and the next time you complain about having to clean your bathroom, remember this next photo. It’s the new bathroom out behind the new house. See that hole in the floor, near the back wall…aim for the hole my friends.
This was another incredible day.
We now understand what a trek it is when our people in country say they are going to Bensa to check on FIG families. 3.5 hours each way is bad enough, but add in feeling like you’re riding a jack hammer all the way there and back and you see how dedicated Teshome, Askale and Wakiyu truly are.