One of the ministry sites we visited works to keep families intact (i.e. keeping children from being orphaned) by empowering women and employing Ethiopians. The women are taught how to make jewelry while the men do the sewing.
This here is a loom, made and assembled by a decrepit old man, who is teaching a younger man how to use it.
Seriously! Look at his tiny frail arm. And, he's awesome.
A young woman walked in with a ball of wool in her hands and placed on a few sticks. Just a ball of wool. In the end...voila...fancy scarves. I was impressed.
And below shows the process of how one type of bead is made. Gives the word "handmade" a new perspective.
I shined this little bead till my fingers were bleeding. Okay, not bleeding. Just cramping. One tiny bead. The women crank out about a hundred per day. Wowsie.
These necklaces are sold at retail value (U.S. dollars), and, in turn, the Ethiopians are paid an above average wage. Cha ching! Again, teaching Ethiopians a sustainable trade gives them the means to keep their children, which even in dire conditions is the best situation for everyone involved.
These ornaments went through a similar daunting process.
This is a vew just outside one of the bead-making sites, all of them being churches which are loaned or rented to Mission Ethiopia.
Many of the women at this particular site walk an hour or more to get to work. Yes, I said walk. I want to take them some umbrellas and comfy walking shoes.
Once again we spent the week with some fabulous gals staying in the same guest home as us. Jill, the nurse who looked after Keith's stab wound, was there to bring home her little girl, and her sister Dana was along for the ride.
Hanook, our translator and guide for most of the week, with Jonathan, a college student from our home state. He arrived on the same flight as us, rode the van back to the same guest home where he stayed the week too. Small world.
The four of us had a little night out on the town. Yes, even in Ethiopia there is a good time to be had. Look at how excited we are. Full of energy and gusto.
Hours later, Keith is about to fall asleep and I'm getting snuggled in. Ahh, the mid 30s has take its toll on us.
Although Keith thinks I'm high maintenance, his inquiry about a "fan" put the guest home employees into 3-day hunt all over town. Once they figured out they needed to be looking for a "ventilator," the job was done. The evenings cool off enough to serve as an air conditioner, for most people, if you just leave the window open. However, Keith is not most people. Back in college, he slept with his door open during the winter and woke many mornings to frost or snow covered furniture. I keep telling him he needs to change our thermostat so that he can acclimate himself to a new standard. He tells me I need to start acclimating myself to injera. Our argument stops there.
More about Ethiopia soon. Hopefully.