Saturday, January 23, 2010

Soccer at 'Where Love Is' Boys Home




This morning Joe drove Joseph and I over to the Where Love Is boys home to finish up Joseph’s eagle project.  He went with Birhanu to go buy soccer balls while I talked with Jason about the project. He explained to me how the boys arrive and how the discipline works.  Several of the last boys to arrive were brought in with serious health issues, infected jaw, broken arm, etc. Once they are in, they can stay, as long as they follow the rules.  I am amazed at how well Jason is able to work with these street boys calmly and patiently. If the boys don’t comply with the rules they have two chances at a lower level of punishment, then on the third level they are expelled from the home. He is kind but firm as he works with the boys.
              
Joseph and Birhanu took the minibus taxis to sports shops and bought a couple of different styles of soccer balls. They were gone a couple of hours trying to find the best balls for the playing conditions. It was a great experience for Joseph to walk the streets of Addis and ride in the minibuses with Birhanu.  While they were gone, the rest of us had lunch at the boys home. The boys take turns cooking on Saturdays, and today they cooked sura wot to eat with injera.  It was actually pretty good.  Jason expects a lot from the boys and they respond well. When Joseph returned, he gave the boys the soccer balls.  They were so excited that they took them right out and started playing with them.  One was used for a game and the others were used to practice juggling.  Joseph gave the rest of the money to Jason to use for whatever needs he had.  He said that he would probably use most of it for food.  

We took a taxi back to the office and spent the rest of the evening recuperating. I have had a bad head cold which has made it difficult to sleep well. Thankfully I have some cold medicine that I brought with me on my last trip. We watched “The Blind Side” and played "Axis and Allies" which is a game similar to Risk but more complex. The game went kind of slow because we kept getting distracted with the movie, but it was a lot of fun to play with Joseph.  Weson cooked us a very nice meal including injera, a couple of wots, and a tomato salad.  

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