People often ask, “Tell us about a typical day in Gambella!” I don’t know if we’ve had a typical day yet! Typical just isn’t part of the rhythm of life here! Morning usually begins with coffee and a psalm. After that – well let’s see. After that, on most days, we have staff devotions. We all have the same liturgy, we don’t all have the same language. This means prayer and worship happens ‘in unity’ in a cacophony of different languages. Then the ‘plan for the day’ happens. This is not usually our plan. Words like, ‘flexible’, ‘nimble’, ‘interruption’, and ‘pain in the neck’ come to mind.
Snapshot of Wendy’s day yesterday, August 6th:
~ Waking up to the sounds of a successful ‘hockey tournament’ played in our attic by the bats who had moved in during our absence in June. (Of note – moth balls do not deter bats, but they seem to have lots of fun sending them skimming over the ‘floor’ of the attic).
~ Cooking breakfast, lunch and supper for eight (I am learning that ‘Company’ is just family – the wider family of a life shared with One who has many brothers and sisters!).
~ Tending neighborhood children as well as the staff and their family members for a variety of interesting things: large oozing tropical ulcers, wounds, infections of various sorts, HIV and malaria.
~ A few precious moments spent planning out the drama that is to accompany my next Mothers’ Union teaching story – this one on prevention and treatment of malaria and scabies; “Helping Each Other when Little Things cause Big Problems”.
~ Spending time with someone dear:
|Cham Ojur Puro
This afternoon I visited with Cham who was at home in mourning, grieving from the sudden loss of her mother to malaria. Her mother was “very very very old – probably 55 or 60”. I felt so privileged to sit with a circle of friends in Cham’s house, the conversation ranging from family to neighbors to bemoaning the electricity (or lack thereof) here in Gambella. Exposed wires, usually tied together with torn plastic bags, had, in Cham’s house, the luxury of electric tape patching them together. Two women in the community were recently electrocuted when the wires running along the roof of their houses were blown down by the wind. As our visit wound to a close, we were honored with a serving of Pepsi – a real treat, although one that I personally tend to find palatably challenging! We ended with a prayers and hugs. I felt very rich.
St Frumentius College Chapel / Multi-purpose Building – under construction!
In our ongoing battle with whatever has decided to move into our attic, I threw a batch of moth balls through the trap door. If the moth balls don’t work, my next offensive will be with incense. Apparently unwanted critters around here – be they mice, bats, or whatever, don’t like incense – must be low church mice, bats, whatever…
The Road to Koat Ngoal
Soon we reach a group of Mothers Union members singing a welcome song. This usually means we’ve arrived. Not today. Today it means, “Here’s where you need to follow us into the elephant grass and maize fields.” A half hour walk in the mud through grass 8-9 feet high finally brings us to the church.
Mothers’ Union meet us on the road
We reach Good Shepherd Anglican Church, Koat Ngoal
~ Please Pray with us ~
One of our ‘typically’ beautiful backyard birds:
FOG on the BLOG
A few months ago a friend in Toronto (the Rev Dean Mercer) emailed with an idea. He wanted a way for Canadians to support our work in Ethiopia and suggested the formation of FOG (Friends Of Grant). Joining is easy – the membership fee is $100 a year sent to DevXchange (their website address is at the bottom of this page). The money can be sent electronically or by cheque. DevXchange will send a charitable receipt. There are not many benefits to being a member (the satisfaction of giving and the receipt being about it…). Some have objected to the name (“What about Wendy?”). Dean’s answer was that lots f stuff rhymes with FOG – we can have a BOG when we’re in town (a Big Old Meeting); we ca talk about FOG on our BLOG (as I am doing right now!); However, for those concerned about this (Wendy says she isn’t concerned), you could chose to call yourself a FOGWART, since Friends Of Grant and Wendy Are Really Terrific. This group is of course welcome to all – but especially those who wish to receive a CANADIAN charitable receipt. Those who aren’t concerned about the Canadian part can still give through DevXchange – or the other organizations which are helping us, like FADE, FACE and SAMS.