For the last 3 days I have been extremely sick. On Sunday, I went to Seyoum’s party to celebrate St. Aragrawi (sp?). The celebration was very nice but I could tell that I was coming down with something and so my energy level was not the same. I couldn’t eat and I refused to drink any mez (homemade Ethiopian honey wine) or souwa (homemade Ethiopian beer). After several hours I told Seyoum that I had to go home. I was running a fever and feeling very achy.
Seyoum’s family home is on the outside edge of Adigrat. It is 4 miles by the paved road and a little more than a mile on foot up the hillside. Sr. Mary drove us to the point where she could no longer drive us and then we walked to his home. On our way back Sr. Reggie and I tried to call Sr. Mary but the network was busy. I was feeling very bad and very weak. I tripped and ripped the right sole off of my shoe which made walking even harder down the mountain side. Seyoum tried very hard to get a hold of a taxi but couldn’t get a line through. Everyone was worried about me. I felt bad that I made everyone worry and I said “I’m fine, just a little tired.” I was more than that to say the least. I didn’t want to complain or have anyone fuss over me.
As we walked I groaned to myself and worried, can I make this 4 mile trek back to the sister’s house. I have a fever and I felt very dizzy and exhausted. Soloman Twabe ran ahead and got a taxi for me. I thanked God when I saw the taxi in the distance. When Seyoum saw it, he ran to it and told the driver to hurry up and get me. Sr. Reggie said my face expressed everything I was feeling so it didn’t matter if I said I was fine they all new I wasn’t. I was very grateful to get into the cab and be driven back to the sister’s house.
When we arrived I kissed everyone good-bye and proceeded to bed. I couldn’t change into my pjs fast enough. My body ached, my head throbbed, and my throat hurt so badly. I started to cry I was in so much pain. I took some medicine and climbed into bed. The medicine took effect and I fell to sleep. For the next 48 hours I had to take cough medicine, pain reliever, and Tylenol every 4 hours. Otherwise the pain was so intense that I would begin to cry. Sometimes the medicine would wear off before the 4 hour mark and I would have to wait until it was time for me to take the medicine again. I would cry because I would hurt so badly. My fever climbed to 104˚!! The only time I awoke was to take the medicine otherwise I slept the entire time. I have never slept that amount in my life. The sisters said I must have caught the virus from kissing the children. Although the virus may not affect the African children like this, I am an American and my body may not be able to handle the virus and it is going to take a bad effect on me. It has, I was flat on my back sick, very sick. The sisters then said, “STOP KISSING THE CHILDREN CELINE!!!” I think they are right.
The sisters have been wonderful to me. I also have never been assisted as much as I have from them. Being a mother and a wife I’m always in the position of caring for everyone else and not me. So to get this kind of attention was a little foreign for me but I really appreciated it because of how sick I was. They have been very kind and have nursed me back into health. It is Wednesday today, I’m still very weak, physically soar, and continue to run fevers. But the fevers are breaking and I find myself feeling a little better. I have not been able to teach any classes as of yet.
Seyoum has been very concerned with me and how sick I have become. He wanted to cancel the television program we had scheduled for Tuesday. I told him that it might be difficult for Ethiopian Television Network postpone since they have their crew ready for us on Tuesday. I told him that if I am not better and cannot handle the interview then I will ask to postpone but I wanted that to be the last resort.
Tuesday was yesterday. The TV crew came and did a short documentary on the St. Lucy flute school. They recorded several scenes of me conducting the flute class, shots of the students performing, and shots of where the camera was behind the students looking at me from the students’ perspective. The crew interviewed several of my students and had each play. Then they interviewed me and had me perform a little bit. Of all times, guess when my fever decided to break? Right at the time of the interview. I began to sweat like no other time. I was dripping in sweat. It was ridiculous, one might say they turned on the faucet and couldn’t get it to stop. The only benefit from that was that I felt so much better than I have in days. I played well and my interview went extremely well. I wore my traditional Ethiopian dress which made the crew very happy to see me in it. After they asked about me and my background information they went into questions of how I like Ethiopia and the people and food. I talked and talked about how much I love Ethiopia, the clothing, the food and especially the people. The camera crew was in smiles as I spoke I could tell I made them very happy.
When I finished they interviewed Seyoum and Medhanie. It was a very successful event and I am hopeful we can reach to people to get the assistance needed to help not only the St. Lucy’s flute school but also St. Lucy’s school. I have written on several occasions about their needs and I hope I can reach someone out there to help. My mission has grown so strongly for these people and I truly hope to help the school too.
As I walked down the sidewalk of St. Lucy’s the camera crew asked me to back up again and walk down the sidewalk again. They took shots of me as the anchor man talked about me. Then they had me pose in my Ethiopian dress as they took more shots of me. Boy did I feel silly. It was hard to stand there and pose while I had close up shots taken of me. I didn’t know how to react so I simply stood there and smiled.
They finished the program with an interview with director Desta of St. Lucy’s School about the flute program and the classes I run at the school. The film crew was very pleased with the results and said we should be aired in about 2 weeks. I will get a confirmed date and those of you who have satellite can view the documentary-they said it should reach the USA just fine. I hope you can see it. If not, I will ask to get a copy of the tape so I can bring it home and then post it to my blog.
It was an exciting day for all of us. We all felt very happy for what we had accomplished. Now for us to move forward in developing this school even more. I love all of you out there who have helped me. It is because of you too that has made this happen. This is not just me. I made sure I mentioned that too when they interviewed me. I mentioned about all the lovely Americans who have supported me in this mission and have donated either funding or instruments to help make this school a success. As I have said before, these donations go so much farther than you would even fathom. These students are so appreciative of your donations. Thank you, thank you, thank you, but please, read my blogs, they are filled with needs for the school and the children. Please consider helping. I love everyone.
God Bless Everyone.