Monday, March 24, 2014

Day 4: Tuesday

A relatively uneventful day.

We arrived at the care point, mingled with the kids, and ran through our VBS program.

I'm in the rec group this year. There were supposed to be three of us, but John stayed at the hotel because he was sick, so Patty and I ran the show. Our space is half of an enclosed structure with a dirt floor. In the corner is a pile of rocks and an old ladder with rusty nails sticking out of it.

I want to keep it simple. While there are plenty of translators, you can't always depend on having one nearby. I also wanted to keep it calm since I had heard from last year how dusty it got. We had two games.

First, we created a 3x3 grid on the wall, first with chalk and then with masking tape, and numbered each of
the squares. The kid was blind-folded and told which number to find.

Second, we laid out jump ropes in circles and had the kids toss bags into the circles. There was a large circle and two small circles. After the kids got bored, I formed the jump rope in a circle and held it aloft for the kids to throw the bags through. Over time, I made the hole smaller and smaller.

The kids had a great time, and it was great to see Patty enjoying herself too.

It was interesting to see the low standards at least one of the translators had for these kids. The smaller circle I had formed out of the jump ropes were about eight inches wide. The translator told me the circle was too small and took it upon himself to make it bigger. As soon as he left, I made them smaller again. While the kids couldn't hit them at first, after time many of them were nailing it. I can't help but wonder whether there are low expectations for these kids.

After 90 minutes, the kids gather in the sanctuary for bananas and bread. There were supposed to be oranges, but none could be found in Kombolcha. After our good-byes, we went to the back office to debrief, eat our lunch, and rest. Jen, our resident nurse, brought chocolate peanut butter. It was delicious!

Michael had been outside during the morning session and had gotten overheated. Jen gave him an electrolyte packet to add to his water. He proclaimed it was gross, but we made him drink it. Riana tried to make it easier for him by giving him a nutribar to eat between drinks. That didn't help much. Joy gave him a squirt of her liquid water enhancer. Michael liked it then and was able to finish it off.

Allison's station is crafts. She's been a great help to Bre, who is running that station.

We returned to the hotel. Michael, Allison, and I took a short walk. We tend to stick out in Ethiopia so were the subject of many stares.

After our walk we headed back to the care point to do the VBS for the second group of kids. To our surprise, many of the kids had returned. Apparently, many of them had received permission to miss school so they could come to the drop in center all day.

It was pretty hectic, but we managed. I spent time with Seada, Noredin, and Abebaw as well as the ever present Karina and Kalkidan.

Back to the hotel, another long dinner, and down for the night.

Allison and Michael went down for sugar cane with Fikre and the others. Michael loved it, while Allison didn't care for it.
Still no sign of Beserete. I will ask if I don't see him tomorrow.

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