Jack and Eoin

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Ethiopia Extracts # 1

Diary Extracts - Eoin Walsh, Ethiopia

I have tried to send this four or five times now. But the connection was not steady or the electricity went. So there are add-on's and bits that probably dont follow on from the train of thought (the wha?) that was followed previously.......... Right so............................

Am in an Internet Cafe near Goba trying to help out with the only Internet Connection in the region. Its run my a Muslim. Nice bloke called Najif. The set-up is a sight. Wires everywhere with cables tied overhead. The only Internet Cafe I've?ever seen with one PC,? no coffee, no bagels and no front door... I love it. But it sometimes works. Its about 1 hour drive from Robe, where we are currently staying. Talk, pictures or even video could never express this place properly. 

Even these words are not enough to paint the sights, smells and the endless emotions seen and felt over the last couple of weeks.

We are in the Bale region of Ethiopia. The four main place names we frequent are: Goba, Robe, Adaba and the ground of the building site, which
I still cant pronounce let alone spell.

Building site: 12k from Adaba. The project is flying. Foundation is complete and most pf our group have moved from the compound in Adaba to the feeding post / orphanage 10K outside of Robe. I have helped in the Orphanage twice. It is a place that I can only describe as pure fiction on
earth. This place should not be allowed to exist but it must. There is nothing else for the people who suffer here. There is no other place to hide or seek help. The Nuns do all they can. Still only three of them in a Compound of 130 men and 140 Women. They are amazing people and their
patients are incredibly understanding.. There is no age range. Babies to the elderly. Rooms for Aids related patients, dying and other areas that can only be hidden deep in the head and left for another time. Enough of that. 

Jasus,I'd murder a pint of Guinness.................A Murphy's and a small one would do.

There are few comforts in the Compound in Robe. Thought the beds are grand and we are now used to the conditions. Giving the Spiders and crawlies names is a good option. Adaba is a little less comfortable. We are well used to the dodgey spiders and other insect life. Best shout is to check
your boot when you wake up. Firstly to make sure they are still there and secondly to ensure there is no spiders...........Make that two Guinness and
a bag of crisps........ Cheers Sham. I'll get me coat.

There is always a lot of laughter around the place. Always something funny happening. Even if its not normally funny, I'll see something that will
have me doubled up. The way the locals talk to their cattle. Tie their young to their backs. Their smile cannot be copied. Air hostess heaven,
without the cringe........ We have bought a horse for 50Euro. We were robbed, beautiful horse tho. I’ve decided to keep me feet on the ground so
I'll just help feed him. Wherever we go, we get covered by locals and children. Closest to being Superstars we'll ever be. Right I've got to
head. I can hear a Barman calling me ... I think..................................

Food is not a problem for us. I thought it would be difficult to eat with so much poverty around. But that’s not the case. We have our very own Chef.
One of the Nurses is the daughter of a Master Chef at home. She does for grub what the A-Team do for a tin can and a biro................Work that

The people are keeping us going at the moment. Their dignity, humanity and obvious care for each other is a lesson in living.

Now a bloke did come at me with a spear.......... But that's a story for another day and even recalling it may require a change of underwear..............The jeep started well that day.......

I have spent 4 days away from the Orphanage. I am Teaching the Teachers in the Catholic Compound in Robe. We have power most mornings and I start at 8am with 7 Laptops teaching Computer Basics. The class started with 12 Teachers. Now 28 are here traveling for hours in the dark each morning. It is pure surreal. I am looking at them now moving through me notes on the blackboard. (kind of Blackboard thing.....) Looks well tho and the reaction from the class is fantastic. The Parish Priest got a call from the Archbishop in Meki to thank me..... There'll be an ordination yet.... Once I finish this class, supposed to be one hour but we work for 3 or until the electricity goes, I will meet back in our compound and get ready for the afternoon with the local children. Football, volleyball etc. Its mental. I hope to leave for the build site this weekend. Half the group are already there. 

Right so. Talk soon. 

Send a reply if you can. And I will try to respond next week in Shashemene. The home of Rasta and the Birthplace of Ja. People say the
Somalians and the Rastafarians are much too happy in Sheshemene........... I wonder why that is ???


Saturday ish................ Am starting back in the Build site on Monday morning. The group have all come together and we have a rake of crates of
dodgey beer to get through....................