What a Trip!

Sammy and Nega Prep the Bus

About 80 anxious children from Children’s Home Ethiopia’s SAFE Project and 10 even more anxious staff and volunteers boarded a bus on Saturday.  They were headed to an Addis Ababa park to celebrate the end of the school year.

Most of these children had no idea what to expect - special outings like this are not a normal part of their lives.

When they arrived at the park they excitedly ran off the bus and seemed to bounce with delight down the path to our reserved spot.

It Was a Full Day

It began with introductions of all staff and volunteers and there was not a dull moment the rest of the day. I was blown away by Elias, our preacher, who held the children’s attention with every word he spoke.

"Even Karyn and I were captivated by Elias's presentation of who Jesus is, and we could only understand maybe 1 out of every 10 words."

It was thrilling to see about 10 of the children raise their hands when Elias asked who wanted to know and follow Jesus!

The Feast

Elias telling the story of Jesus

Next came the feast that Abazu, CHE’s cook, cleaner, and house parent, prepared with the help of many volunteers – even Karyn was able to pitch in (usually they refuse us foreigners to do such kind of work, so her acceptance spoke volumes of how we are becoming part of this community).

Every plate was piled high and then we still had enough food for a second meal later in the day. We even managed to feed some of the onlookers and park staff.

Oh Yeah...the Baboons

The kids were more than thrilled to get a look at the baboons that live at the park. I think most of the adults could have gone without seeing them – they’re not the prettiest or friendliest of the monkey family to say the least.

After getting their fill of obscene baboon behavior, the children (okay, and the staff and volunteers) played to their hearts’ content on the park’s playground.

"From the their expressions, I’m almost positive the slide was the first one many of these children had ever seen – PRICELESS!"

The amazing thing about the day was that it did not rain. We are in the midst of Ethiopia’s rainy season, so this was a miracle in itself. Karyn and I are so thankful to have been a part of this wonderful trip and to be representatives of the organization, The Forsaken Children, and it’s donors that provided the funds that made it possible.

Probably the first time on a slide Karyn & Ribika helping with the feast
Me introducing the family Nega and Sammy having some fun with the kids