Saturday, October 24, 2009

Challenges in Addis

I didn’t sleep very well again last night. The Orthodox Christian church had their singing/chanting going on all night long. Usually it only happens a few times at night but last night it was solid all night long. It made for a hard day. Fortunately I got a little nap in the middle of the day so I was able to make it through the day.

This morning after breakfast Evan and I went to the bank to get money for our trip. It was kind of unnerving to carry around that much money. We then drove to a couple of furniture stores to buy some filing cabinets. It is interesting that both shops looked very small and run down on the outside but were spacious, well organized and very beautiful on the inside.

In the afternoon we drove to the “Mercado”, the largest open-air market in all of Africa. It was swarming with people. There were shops of all kinds and merchants clamoring for our business. We purchased a few items but mainly just walked around and looked.

This evening Evan took us to an authentic Chinese restaurant. The food was very good somewhat different than the Americanized Chinese restaurants in the US. On our way to and from the restaurant we walked past many people lying or sitting on the sidewalk. Some of them begged for us to give them money. I desperately want to help these people, but I am still trying to figure out the best way to really help them.

Some of the other men that I am traveling with carry around a lot of one-birr bills and hand them out along the way. I occasionally had some out, but I struggle with encouraging the begging lifestyle. I prefer to give money to those whom I see working hard who deserve a little reward.

The other problem with handing out money, is that sometimes it causes problems for those that I give to. Today Wally gave a shaking old man five birr and a few minutes later to men came up to him and walked him across the street. We wondered if they were just getting him out of the way so that they could rob him.

I know the if work that we are doing is successful, it will eventually help many people. I just wish that there were more effective ways to help more people sooner.
Well, I am very tired, so I am headed to bed. I love my family and I am so grateful for them.

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