Monday, July 12, 2010

Prayer chants, Banks and Power Outages

I slept fairly well last night only waking up a few times in the early hours of the morning but I was able to get to sleep again. Jet lag can be a real problem but I have learned some techniques that help me minimize the effects. I even slept longer than I had planned in spite of the loudspeaker blaring the prayer/song/chant.  Erika called so I had prayer with the family before starting my day.  I had ramen noodles for breakfast and decided that I had better go shopping.
The Othodox Christian Church: There are large loud speakers around the compound that blare out the prayer song/chant that can be heard from several blocks away.

I spent the morning going through the new office building and being welcomed by our wonderful Ethiopian staff.  I love to see them and enjoy working so much with them.  At noon I went shopping and bought rice, eggs, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and bananas. It cost about 135 ETB ($10.00), nothing very fancy but it will keep me alive.

I took a short afternoon nap then drove with Diriba to the bank to get my money for the trip. The banking situation is very different here. The banks have armed guards that frisk you before you can go in. I have to have cash because most of the purchasing I do requires cash. After the bank, we drove back to Paul’s house where I picked up my clothing. (I leave my clothing here in a suitcase so that I can fill my suitcases with supplies for the farm and with clothes for the poor villagers). I was getting tired of wearing the same clothes that I had worn on the flight.  I was glad that I had packed an extra pair of underwear in my carryon.

The power went off for much of the day and the internet was down almost all day so I was not able to do a lot of what I wanted to do. When I first started working in Ethiopia last year, the power was almost always off every other day. They have improved their power grid substantially but long blackouts are still common. New hydroelectric projects will give Ethiopia enough power for her needs and some to sell. The blackout helped me to appreciate the constant power that we have in the US. Even if we have bad weather that knocks the power out, it is usually back on within a few hours. The outage also curtailed my conversations with my family.  I was able to send a few texts back and forth with Erika.

I am anxious to meet with my team and push this project on faster.  We have a long way to go and a hard road to traverse but the Lord is pushing us along so we will make it. Ethiopia can feed her people if the people are taught correct principles and allowed the freedom to implement them.

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