Good morning everyone,
I’ve been in Gola since Tuesday. I have had a beautiful time in Gola. I love that I am so welcomed by Srs. Mary and Nigisti. It is wonderful to be around people that really appreciate who you are. Even though they have heard the rumors they know they are stupid and have said so many Ethiopians can get really jealous. Sr. Mary commented that she too had to go through gossip about her. She said it comes with the fact that you are an American and you are trying to bring something different into their culture.
Yesterday morning I called my former husband and talked about this with him. He was encouraging to me to not give up and reminded me what is more important and to move forward for these children. He is correct. I am doing just that. So what!! So people get jealous. This is not my problem. The only problem I have is if I allow these people to get to me. For me I’m here for the children and to help expand their minds. I pray that I can do this. This is my calling and my dream. I pray all will succeed.
On the other hand, I have some things I wanted to share with you. I joined Sr. Mary and her caring project. These students are from child-headed households that have been put into cooking school, have graduated, and are starting up a restaurant. I have already sent you a note about this. The last two days I have been working with these children to make different items to put on their menu. In the past 2 days they have learned to make hand-cut French fries, potato chips, herb crusted pizza with homemade tomato/basil sauce, Boboli herbed bread, garlic toast with dipping sauces, croutons with garlic oil and berber (red hot pepper powder that is indigenous in Ethiopia). We tossed the salad with these croutons and we made a homemade (from scratch yogurt) dressing, tossed fruit salad with mango dressing, zucchini quiche, and miracle cake with caramelized bananas and pineapple. These students loved everything I taught them and agreed no one else in Adigrat will serve such a menu. They felt encouraged to go forward with their restaurant and introduce these foods to the people of Adigrat. I’m also helping them decorate the restaurant and manage it. Its lots of fun doing this kind of stuff and cooking is the most therapeutic thing I do when I’m upset. Timing couldn’t have been better to do this.
After two days of hard work the students left exhausted. It was a blast for me to cook so much and work with these children. I loved it. I also went to the Gola primary school. I taught grades K/G through four new American songs. Like the children at St. Lucy’s they loved it. I was once again allowed to be swarmed by children and it really calmed my heart to be able to be with these children and be able to teach them something.
Gola is gorgeous. I can’t remember if I have spoken about it but the sisters’ house rests on the edge of the mountain that over looks Adigrat. At night I go on the roof top and look at Adigrat all light up. Gola is super quiet; there is literally nothing except small hut homes, the sister’s house, and the Silesians priests who have their seminary right below the sister’s house. The sky is almost purple blue and there are roses and other flowers everywhere. (I will take pictures for you to see). This is the place that has the 400+ year old peach tree that Safia and I took pictures on our first trip.
The chapel is gorgeous and I love it here. Sr. Mary and Sr. Nigisti have invited me to stay with them for the rest of my stay and I’m strongly considering it. I will have to walk about an hour both ways to get to Adigrat to teach flute, but I’m so welcomed here and treated so nicely I’m considering it.
I’ve had a hard start, but life is like that. It can’t always be perfect and this is part of adjusting to the culture here in Ethiopia. I have learned to be a little more careful about what I say around the teachers and other Ethiopians so I don’t make anyone jealous. I don’t want anymore harm to happen to any of the innocent teachers that have been damaged by all of this.
I also wanted to share about some news that happened with the elections. Last Wednesday Sr. Kahsa shared that the nuns couldn’t drive to Zalambasa because the soldiers won’t let them in. Zalambasa is on the border of Eritrea. This is one of the most unrested areas in Tigray. Sr. Kahsa said that the soldiers told her to turn around or they would open fire on them. So they turned around. Some others were not so fortunate. They went forward and Sr. Kahsa said that the soldiers pulled out their oozies and opened fire, killing everyone in the car and around them. Although the news says were at peace, this peace is an emotional one and can easily turn into a riot at any moment. Please keep me and everyone here in Ethiopia in your prayers.
I need to go. I’ve made a cake for Sr. Antonia and I need to get to Adigrat so I can deliver it to her. I hope she enjoys it.
I love everyone. I will bring more news about the flute school next week. All students will return from their break and we will get busy again. I will try to figure out how to record them playing on my camera so I can post that to the blog too. You will be so surprised at how well they are playing. I’m very, very pleased with this.
Please call or email me. I miss everyone and it would comfort me a lot to hear from all of you.
Love and God bless,
011 251 9 14 18 00 71 (Adigrat mobile)