Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March 27, 2010

Today is Saturday, and I have been here one week. Alyssa and Linda are not coming until Sunday. I’m really disappointed. I am sleeping fairly well, but when I wake up I am so stiff I can hardly sit up. The beds do not have box springs, so the mattresses just lay on boards set up across the bed frame. There are no pillow top mattresses here, darn it. My pillow was so hard, that I had to undo the seams and pull out some of the stuffing inside. You don’t want to know what was inside. I sewed it back up and now I can sleep better. It was just too stiff and too full. Yesterday on Friday, I cleaned in our house that is being built. We moved our bed and bedroom furniture into the bedroom so Alan and I slept there last night.

A few things I have to write about that are just plain different than at home. One: Picking your nose in public, is OK. These people here pick their noses. You can be talking to someone and they will just start picking their nose. I don’t know if that’s common elsewhere in Ethiopia, or we just have lower standards out here on the farm. Two: Our workers don’t have personal boundaries and don’t think you should have any either. They will come right up to you and stand next too you and sometimes lean on you. OK, I do know some girls at home that love to squeeze up next to me, but these girls love to put their hands on me. They will stand in front of me and the next thing I know, I’m getting groped. This happens a lot. Yesterday, Birka, stood in front of me and started feeling up and down my chest, hips, and waist. She got her hands on my breasts and squeezed me a little, and then squeezed the fat pockets around my hips. Then as she squeezed my fat she said, “Shelley, whot is dees?” It all happened so fast, I couldn’t stop her. I just stood there and then I laughed and said, “Dees is mai Faat, Leev it alone.” Three: They spit, hock, and make other terrible sounds that make me cringe. It is very normal for them. Four: There doesn’t seem to be any sharing. As Clair said, “If you give them something to hold or share, don’t expect to get it back, it’s theirs.” They love to drink out of my water bottle, and I have a big problem with that.” I’m just concerned about health and sanitation. Five: They don’t get our humor. This is not a problem, except for Alan. Alan thinks it’s funny to tease them, and they don’t think he’s funny, they think he’s not very bright. For example: yesterday there was a large group of workers with Alan and Wubishet, a mechanic ,took off toward the outhouse. Alan hollered at him, ”Wubishet, where are you going?” thinking it would embarrass Wubishet. All the workers looked at Alan and said, “He’s going to the toilet! where you think?” Alan still thought it was pretty funny, just because they all thought he was clueless.

Yesterday afternoon, Alan and I looked over the house. The tiling job was, by American standards, a mess. The grout work was bad. We pulled up several tiles and put them in again. We regrouted most of the hallway. I was frustrated at their standard of work. Then I had to remember, most of these people that we have doing these things, have never done these jobs before. They are learning now how to tile and grout and cook American food, and sweep and mop and do laundry. This is all new to them. They are as good as I would be if I had to go and make a stick house with sticks, mud, manure, and water and cook injera three times a day. I don’t think my house would stand up to their inspection and I don’t think they would want to eat my injera. As an American in Ethiopia, I have to learn how to relax and be less judgmental. We are visitors in their land and we’re not going to change their culture. Hopefully, we can teach them some new tricks and introduce some of what’s good about Americans to them. I knew coming into this that I was not going to change the way they eat, clean, and live. It is up to them, if they want to change. I have seen more this week than I would ever have believed, and today I saw more than I did all week, if that makes sense. Alan and I went to Beltu, which is a city about 14 kilometers north of here. It is situated at a higher altitude and honestly a few hundred feet up makes a lot of difference. It was so green up at Beltu. Beltu has about 3,000 people with no electricity and no running water. The well is situated down the road, off the hill and is a little hands pump. Everyone has to walk down the hill to pump their water. I knew Beltu was going to be crazy, because everyone had warned me that the Americans get mobbed when they go there, so I was prepared with my camera to get pics. We went to buy potatoes, eggs, carrots, water, buckets, and soda pop. When we drove into the village, there were many children who started to shout "Forenjees, forenjees!" and they chased us through the city. The city was probably no more than five by five Ashton city blocks, and all those people live there. We drove to the main area of the city which has a bus stop and a restaurant. We had Nahom our translator, Danny a driver from Addis, Birka my maid, Wubishet a mechanic, and one other guy with us. We dropped off Birka, Wubishet, and the other guy, and kept Danny and Nahom with us. By the way, the girls who work for us as maids are from Beltu, and are from a tribe around here. The John Deere tractor drivers are from somewhere else a different tribe and don’t like to associate with the tribes from around here. Nahom and Danny are from Addis and both speak English and they went with us to the restaurant. We were getting mobbed when we got out of the Land Cruiser and went into the restaurant yard. The children were yelling and screaming and they came into the yard, but the owner shooed them away. We sat down outside at a small table and chairs and Nahom ordered for us. We had the Goat Variety plate, which means goat, very spicey beans, potatoes, and rice all served on a large pizza plate of injera. No forks, just tear off the injera and use it to eat all the other stuff. At first,I was a little nervous eating out of the same dish as everyone, but then I thought I can do this, I will do this and prove to these guys that I am not a weenie. The injera was not really very sour, and so it went down easily, the potatoes were great and so was the rice. The beans were a little spicey, but no more than what Mexican food is at home. The goat was pretty tastey, and it was not tibbs, but just a couple of pieces of goat leg. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it. The owner brought us some coca-cola, and I just slurped it down. I I think of it as medicinal. After we ate we had to go buy soda pop and buckets. Everywhere we stopped we were mobbed, not just children, but adults came too to stare at me. I got pinched and got my hair pulled, but it was all out of curiosity. I have to remember, that these people have never had this experience before, and I am like an alien that has suddenly landed in their village. When we left, I drove. It was a little confusing to get back, but now I think I could, if I had to, get to Beltu on my own. Not that I ever would go on my own, but I would, if I had to.

The burn baby and the other little girls have not been here for two days. I hope they are al right. I don’t know where they are.

I just read my emails from home and friends. It is so good to hear from all of you. Please keep writing to me, and those of you who haven’t , well, it would be great to hear from you. I just skyped Sara and and Andrew. It is so good to see you and talk to you. Tomorrow is Sunday and I’m looking forward to church, seeing Alyssa and her mom, and cooler temperatures

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I thought the plane was coming on Friday from Addis and I was truly disappointed when I found I was mistaken and it will come on Saturday. I need some female company and not with the maids. I like them and think they are cute, but I need someone who can relate to what I’m going through. We are supposed to be moving into the other house tomorrow. Good thing because this one is too small for all of us. Val said everything would be ready except the bathroom. That means I have to go next door for my bathroom breaks. Hopefully they will get it plumbed soon. I’m a little concerned about the kitchen sink in my house. I don’t see any pipes sticking up out of the floor for draining. Hmmm, I hope this doesn’t mean I don’t get a kitchen sink. Alan and I would like to get a garden area ready at the back of our house. Anyone who knows us knows that gardening is therapy for both of us. It is too dry to plant now. It has only rained once since my arrival. Today Alan is taking me for a ride. I don’t know if we’re going in a tractor or the Land Cruiser, at this point it doesn’t matter to me. At home I used to laugh when Alan wanted me to go for a ride with him in a tractor, now I really want to go in anything. We’re going to see the water point (springs) and something else. I need to also go to the east a little ways and see one of the round houses up close. So far I haven’t dared go too far without company and maybe when Alyssa and her mom come we will be able to venture out together.

Clair Jackson brought over a box of plastic beads and he gave it to me. I got it out this morning. It has several types of alphabet beads and then some colored beads . I decided to make necklaces for the girls who are maids and they were very thrilled. Thank you Donetta! When I gave Birka her necklace she threw her arms around me and said “Hi lof yew Shelley!” When Ysriba saw Birka’s necklace she clapped her hands and jumped up and down and said something I think meant “I want one too.” Anyway, they all got a necklace, and then they had to go show them off. I had one man who came up to me a little later and demanded one for himself. I said “NO, only for pretty girls.” He said “Men are pretty, me pretty.” I laughed and said “No only for girls.” Then Zakir the boy who tends the monkey, wanted one for the monkey. I said only for the girls.” They are love anything that is a beautiful or colorful or just new and exciting. The beaded necklaces were a big hit.

I didn’t get to go on my ride to the water point. The land cruiser came from Addis and is was full of all kinds of things that Alan had to check. There were a few household goods, but mostly food for Mark and farming things. Alan ordered three 20 meter chains with hooks, and instead of getting them he got a three meter chain with no hooks. Communication is so difficult here. He’s getting so frustrated he just might blow.

We did go and look at the house that is abandoned. We took pictures of us standing by it. I didn’t really want to go in it. They stand up sturdy sticks in the mud in a circle and then weave other sticks in and out till it makes a pretty sturdy wall. Then they mix dirt, dung and water together and plaster it into the wall. The walls are smooth on the outside. The roofs are thatched and then have a cute little wispy thing up on the top. The doors are about four feet high so you have to crouch to get inside. There was even a little basket like thing at the back of the house I don’t know what for.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Today is Wednesday, March 24, 2010 7:30 a.m.

For the first time here I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night. Wow, something must be wrong. I have not been sick yet, and I hope I don’t get there. Bracken says when he starts to feel like he might be getting sick he takes a Sipro and then 12 hours later he takes another one. I think that’s a good idea for me too. Last night Alan was really stressed out. The machinery and items that need to be here are just not getting ordered correctly and he is doing without a lot of things. They have been waiting for an air compressor for weeks now. They finally sent one, but Alan says it is a piece of junk and is already falling apart. It is not the kind he wanted. Also they don’t dare store any fuel in the large underground tanks, because they don’t have any fuel pumps to go on top of them to pump the fuel out. Once they get the fuel in, there is no way of getting it out. If Alan could go to Addis for a few days he might find what he is looking for. Everything gets lost in translation.

It’s evening now and the day has gone pretty well. The baby and her mom came and we opened up her bandage, and it really looked so much better to me. Her palm and her little finger are still very open and bleeding, however, I smelled her hand and arm and couldn’t smell anything bad, I checked her for a fever, and there was very little yellow puss and sloughing skin. Again we watered her, brushed off all the bad skin, Neosporin, antistick bandages applied, gauze and tape. I know that the prayers and fasting in her behalf are helping her to heal. I know it and have felt the power of prayer in her behalf. She is the cutest little thing, I love seeing her come everyday, even though she starts to cry when she sees me. The mother walks about one – 2 miles to get here everyday. They took a picture of the little girl,her mom and me. The other little girl will come tomorrow for us to look at her cut on her back. I hope it is healing. I’ve had a few others come up to the porch and want me to medicate them. I can’t do much.
Today for dinner I had the girls prepare an exotic bird. We took pictures of the maids holding the bird, they were so excited to have me take their picture with it. Then they went out and killed it, and skinned it and brought it to me to fix. These are the toughest old birds and I decided to cook it with barbecue sauce. It didn’t help the toughness but the guys sure sucked the sauce off those tough birdy parts. I’m trying to find some humor in this craziness. And I also made tomatoey rice, which I didn’t like so much, but they all ate it. I saw a group of camels today and went and took some more pictures. It was fun. It was a good day here in Ethiopia, hope yours was good too.

Tuesday, March 23 2010

 Some of the pictures are in a previous post but have been correctly titled because I (Morgan) didn't know what they were of. :)

March 23, 2010

Yesterday started the same as every other day – with the braying of the donkey. We also had a rain shower about 4:30 – 6:00 am. I thought it would shut things down, as it does in Idaho, but this soil is different and the tractor drivers were ready get out in the field the same as usual. The mother with the little burned baby girl came early, at 9:00 and we got her taken care a little more efficiently than the day before. I was relieved that it was all over and went inside the house to wash and have a drink of water when I heard Val calling me back outside. Apparently, news of our doctoring abilities has spread across the area and we were brought another little girl about 8 or 9 to repair. You have to remember that these people never bathe so it’s kind of in my nature to not want to get close to them. They are uber filthy and their clothes appear to be in a state of decay because they have never been off them. The mother of this cute dirty child lifted up her daughter’s dress and of course there was no underwear. I don’t believe people here wear undies. So the little child standing on our porch was exposed to the fifty or so people who work right here close and she didn’t seem to have a problem with it. Val and I were startled, but we soon recovered our composure and we looked to see what was the big deal. The problem was that she had been sliced open across her back just above her buttocks. The wound was gaping open and looked to be about 2” – 3” across and 1” deep. It was dirty and had debris in it. We both just looked at each other and I could tell Val was as upset as I was. Someone had done this on purpose. It wasn’t a stab wound, like she fell on it. It was done to her. Of course, any little disturbance at the house draws a real crowd, and anyone who can comes over to watch the show. We decided that we had to clean it first. Alan’s spray bottle came in handy. I sterilized it and then we sprayed the wound clean. Val stretched the wound open and wiped and I sprayed the dirt and what looked like leaf pieces out. I guess the leaf pieces were chat and they put them in thinking it would help somehow. Wes told us later that this is a common practice. We then flooded the wound with saline solution. I held around her tummy and legs with her mom and Val squirted away. Her little buttocks flexed up tight, but she made it through it and was a valiant little trooper. By this time we had a real crowd and we had to stop and shoo the large crowd away. Then, because neither Val or myself took suturing 101 incollege, we elected to use tape. We put some Neosporin around the edges and I did my own version of four butterfly bandages and taped them across her wound while Val held it shut. We then covered it in gauze and taped it down tight onto her washed clean back. Then we gave her a large blue gum ball as a treat for being good. When we popped it in her mouth she just looked at us with her big teary eyes and didn’t smile or anything. We told her “chew” and she did, but not very happily. I’m sure she thought we were giving her something bad. I wonder if she will have it in her mouth for days on end. So she is supposed to come back to Shelley and Val clinic today, but we have not seen her yet.

After all that I needed to get away from everyone so I came into my room and just sat on the bed. Soon, one of my silly maids, Ashareka, came into the bedroom with me. Note: I have to tell the maids that when the door is closed they may not come in. Also, I must tell them to not plastic wrapping down the toilet, as it is not a garbage, as they might think. So the maid went to the window and ran her hand up and down the curtains and looked out the window. Then she turned to me and said, “Is veeery beuuutiiifuuul howse.” Yes, I said, it is very beautiful. Just for a second I wanted to laugh like a hyena. I had a little conversation with her and then I went outside to go for a walk up down and up the airstrip. She asked if I would like her to come with me, but I said she had to stay and take care of Wes. She said, “OOOOKaaaaay.” She’s cute, and silly, and sweet. As I was walking down the airstrip, I looked up and, thank heaven I had thought to bring my camera, for walking toward me was a man with a camel. I was kind of excited, but I didn’t want him to get mad at me for taking a picture, so I acted like I was looking at something else and then I clicked and got the two of them. As I was on my way back up to the other end, along came a whole herd of camels with several camel herders.

I loved it and got several shots. Whenever the local people spy any of the “forenjees” out and about with a camera in hand, they are suddenly posing left and right, trying to get us to take their pictures. On my way back I snapped a few of some local men and boys. I also got one of two of them with their arms around each other.

Funny thing about Ethiopia; the men love to walk and hold hands. Alan has had men come up to him and take him by the hand and want him to go with them He doesn’t think it’s that funny, but one of these days I’m going to catch him holding hands with another man and I’m going to get a picture of it. Sooo funny. It’s very common to see two men/ boys walking hand in hand off through the brush.

Last night we had mashed potatoes and fried spam and onions. I had the maids cook the potatoes and I did the spam and onions. The girls were very curious about the spam, and wanted to watch me cook it. I told them they were not to eat it because it was pork. I think they would have eaten it, but I wouldn’t let them. I had to explain to them that it was not in their religion. I guess I hadn’t mentioned it, but most everyone here except the Americans and one of our interpreters is Muslim. I don’t think they know much about their religion, because I never see anyone praying and the girls don’t seem to have a problem with most things. However, last week , one woman got the rest of them to go on a laundry strike with her. She said Muslim women should not wash men’s underwear or socks. So Wes told her to leave, and the rest of the girls went back to washing men’s socks and underwear. Funny thing about the laundry – they use too much soap so that they can’t ever rinse all of it out. Consequently, we all have a white film on all our clothing. It is driving Alan nuts. Alan has laundry issues. I have laundry issues too, but I can’t go on anymore about the laundry.

Yesterday I saw a new bit of construction that had easily gone up overnight. It was a brush and tarp structure. I asked Alan what it was and he told me it was a new restaurant.

We already have another of these structures at the farm/camp, but apparently one is not enough. The reason is that we have two different tribes working here. Sometimes there are fights between the two sides. If you are a member of one tribe, you cannot eat at a restaurant run by the other side. So, another restaurant had to be built.

 It just cracks me up that we call them restaurants so readily. They are just tarp and brushey stick things. Bracken and Mark like to frequent the restaurants for the goat tibbs. Clair and I can’t handle the tibbs, but everyone else seems to be OK with them. Sunday night Alan and I walked down to the other restaurant, for the new one was not yet built, and we ordered some goat tibbs for the men in the house. I know it was Sunday. Don’t get on my case. While we waited for our order of goat tibbs and injera for six, they brought out some chairs and made us be seated. We sat and they stood and watched us watch them. They are not uncomfortable with staring. They love to stare. I think they give tribal staring lessons. As we were sitting, suddenly a woman came and asked if she could look into my eyes. At least that’s what I thought she wanted. After a little confusion and pantomiming, we realized she wanted me to look into her eyes. I guess my doctoring skills had spread through the camp like wildfire down to the restaurant. Since I didn’t have my glasses on and it was pitch black, and she was kind of grossing me out with the hovering eye flies, I had to tell her I couldn’t see well in the dark. What a let down! I made an appointment with her for the next day, but she didn’t come. What I could see was that her eye was very red, and I guess she got something in it and couldn’t get it out. These people have no mirrors, so they can’t help themselves that way.

As I’m sitting here writing this, Ashareka, has once again come into the bedroom. Note to me: I really have to talk to the maids about coming into the closed bedrooms. She is now sitting by my side on the bed and has picked up my scriptures and is reading them to me. I think she wants to impress me with her English reading skills. She is reading John 15. I’m sure she doesn’t know what book it is. Oh well, if she wants to read the bible to me, I think it’s OK, but next time I will get her to read the Book of Mormon. I have one in Ahmaric and English.

The mom with the little burn baby girl came at about 12:00 noon and again we cleaned the wound, debriding? Neosporin, nonadhesive bandages cut in strips to go between each little finger, big one on the palm and down the side of her arm, then wrap with gauze and tape at top and bottom. That’s our method. Julie just called from Addis to find out how the baby is. I gave her a detailed report and will send her pictures tomorrow so that she can evaluate the baby’s condition. The baby has not been fevered, a little lethargic, but kicking and screaming, mad when she sees me coming anymore. She knows it’s going to hurt when I show up. She’ll never trust a blonde woman with glasses again.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23, 2010 - Shelley

Just to let you know approximately where I am, if you look on a map of Ethiopia and find the capital of Addis Ababa and go south to the city of Shashamene, then go to the right or east to the town of Robe and keep going east from there to a place called Ginir, then you can't see a road from Ginir, but there is a road and it goes northeast about 90 kilometers and that is approximately where we are. The days are in the 70s and above and the nights are also in the 70s and above. Right now it is 77 and 9:30 p.m. Too warm to sleep. The country that I flew over to get here from Addis is beautiful, but out here not so much. More wht you would think of as "African." Drier, brushy, lots of short stubby trees, and those funny little huts all over. These people are soooo poor. They do know they're poor, but they don't know how poor. Our house is still being built and meanwhile we are living in the first house that was built here. I'm OK with it, however there is no running water, even though I have a sink, shower, toilet, and plumbing. The problem is our well. The well drillers didn't think they needed to go down as far as they do and so they didn't bring the right drill. While drilling with their short drill it got stuck and so they just left. This was about two weeks ago and we haven't seen them since. They left their rig here and are supposed to be coming back to get it out and with a larger drill, but they have such funny attitudes about working here, that it may be a long while before we ever see them again. Meanwhile we are getting our water and goats from a village called Beltu. These people love goat meat, and so do some of the Americans. I wasn't too impressed with my first experience. It was greasy, boney, and gristly. Don't think I'l lbe ordering anymore goat tibbs very soon. I am in charge of anywhere from three to five maids daily. Let me just say that it is like having five Laurels working for me. They are silly, they argue, they sing, and laugh, some are good workers, and one is really lazy. Some are popular and some aren't. I do have two favorites who are sisters named Ashekira and Ysriba. They are both good workers and are fond of me. They like to pet my arms and shoulders and if I let them, they try to get their hands in my hair. I've been having lots of experiences with the people here. Some very good and others very bad and sad. There is an article about Ethiopia in the March 2010 National Geographic. I'm not in that area that it talks about, but I'm seeing things that are not so different.

I miss home and everyone. I miss the US and Idaho. And I really miss good food. The food here is almost nonexistent unless you can stomach goat everyday and injera. I try to make good meals, but it is really difficult. Hope you're all well and safe. We are, but sometimes it is really strange with all the tribal conflict here. Yes, there are tribes and they do not get along. But really, we're fine.

Shelley's In Ethiopia! March 21, 2010

Shelley's First Journal Entry

March 21, 2010
Today is Sunday and here at the Alyssa farm there is no resting on the Sabbath. Or very little. The people here are mostly Muslim and they have their Sabbath on Saturday, which is also market day for them. Many of them did not come to work yesterday because it is the Sabbath day, but the belief around here at the farm amongst the Americans is that they do not come because it is market day and they all want to walk there and buy goods. The market is anywhere from five to fifteen miles away, depending on who you ask. No one seems to have a very precise answer. Usually the farm workers from the states try to go to the market on Saturday also, but because we were flying in, everyone wanted to stay and welcome us here.
So, today I woke up around 5:30 am because of a braying donkey, or mule, or something. It was very loud and startling and sounded like it was on the other side of the wall. Then I heard someone come knocking at the door, or I thought someone was knocking. Alan explained that it is a type of bird that likes to perch on the window sill and look at its reflection and tap on the window with its beak. Then Wes’s cats and monkey started chirping and squeaking and did not shut up. I felt really bad for Clair Jackson who was sleeping on a mattress in the frontroom because the monkey and cats decided he would make a great overnight pillow.

Everything is so different here, and I expected it to be. Something I learned from going on a mission and I am having a bit of culture shock, but I think I’m dealing with the differences pretty well. Alan was very excited to show us the house and how nice it looked and all that has been done. And I just couldn’t appreciate it because as I said to Alan “It’s all relative.” From his perspective, the houses are almost luxurious. From my perspective the houses are a big step down and away from what we’re all so used to in the states. I almost immediately knew I had hurt his feelings so I tried to be very positive after that and not make too much of a fuss about not having all the comforts of home – like running water. But on the positive side, we do have a large water truck outside which hauls in as much water as we want. We have not struck water on our own well here at the farm, so we don’t have running water. Wes went looking for a nearby village that might let us buy water from them and he found a village with a well, but no propane to run the generator that pumps the well. They said we could have water from their well if we would give them propane to fuel their generator. I think that’s how it’s working.

Anyway, enough about the crazy house situation here. Wait, just one more thing – right now and until next Friday, I’m the only American woman on the farm. Alyssa , her mom, and Everett have gone to Addis to see if they can finally get their orphan children and bring them here to live. Everyone is hoping that it will happen this time. So, I am in this house with Alan, Wes, Alyssa’s dad, Val, and Clair. Bracken and Mark, a son in law of Paul Morrell , come to eat and visit, and joke with our silly maids. I am in charge of the silly maids and I will write more about that later.

Yesterday, after our arrival on the farm I was walking with another lady who flew down with us on the plane just to visit. We were being surrounded by children who were just staring at us. Then they would chatter and laugh. Then an older lady came and scolded them away, but it turned out she wanted us to look at something. We didn’t know what she wanted us to see until she brought from behind her a filthy fly-covered baby who was hanging in a bag slung on her back. The baby, probably between 1 and 2, had a badly burned left hand and was in shock, I thought. They were both filthy. Julie, the woman with me, was a nurse and responded quickly. She hustled the woman and baby over to the house and asked for the first-aid kit. The farm has a huge kit and they got it to us fast. Julie got the burn supplies from the bag and she and I went to work. We had to untangle the baby from the lady and somehow convince the lady that even though we were going to help the baby, it would really hurt. I held the baby’s arm as Julie cleaned the burn. I cannot describe how awful it was. I’ve never seen a burn that bad. A crowd soon gathered and we could see the distressed looks on all their faces . The whole farm was upset. Julie got a package that had a pad with a large amount of ooze in it. She told me that it was to take the deep burn out the baby’s hand. Then we wrapped a lot of gauze around her little hand and arm, and taped it up. The mother just sat their holding the baby without much emotion. However, she must have been desperate to get help because she came to us. Wes says most of the women around here would not have brought a baby to the white people or forenjees. We had to have two translators to understand each other because the woman is from a tribe here in the southern part of Ethiopia and does not speak Ahmaric, or Orommiha, but some tribal language. We had several people running around to finally find someone who could translate into her language. The baby screamed the whole time and tried to get away, but her mother held on tight and we got the job done. We told her to come back everyday, and I was sure she wouldn’t , but lo and behold at about 1:00 this afternoon she arrived with the baby.

Val and I undertook the nursing job and we cut off the bandage and had to clean her burn. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Julie told me that the skin would start to peel off and to get it all off if it was dead. Her skin was really peeling off, in fact it was so black crisp kind of like a baked potato skin. I was too tender, and soon Val took over. Then the medic of the farm (local Ethiopian) showed up and he was ruthless. He grabbed that baby’s hand and pulled the dead tissue off and underneath was all pink and tender and lots of bleeding. Julie had thought the burn was a second degree burn, but I’m sure that the palm of her hand was third degree. I could see the different layers of skin. This time the baby was out of her mind screaming and kicking. The medic pulled the skin off the tips of her fingers and I was afraid her little nails were going to come off too, but they stayed on. The medic wanted to pour alcohol onto the wound, but Val and I put up a fuss and Alan took the bottle away from him and wouldn’t give it back. Then he wanted to put Neosporin on it, and Val and I wouldn’t let him, because Julie told us it would be too soon. Later, in a few days she said. So we put on some dressing that was anti-sticking and we bandaged up her little hand again. Again we told the mother to bring her back tomorrow, and I hope she will. Everyone was thinking I was going to get sick and lose it, but I didn’t. I was just so nervous, that I kept dropping important things that were supposed to stay clean, like scissors, bandages, and wipes, etc. I was a wreck when she left and I needed to run into my bedroom and have a big cry. I wanted Alan to give the baby a blessing, but he couldn’t do it because they are Muslim. He did get one hand on the baby’s head for about 20 seconds but I didn’t know if he was praying or not, because it was so brief. The little baby needs to have a priesthood blessing, which would do her more good than anything else. I have been praying for the baby since yesterday, and am going to fast tomorrow and I would appreciate someone in Idaho or Utah putting her on the temple rolls. Just “little Ethiopian baby girl” would be enough, I think for the temple.
Today the maids did laundry and cooked us some scrambled eggs for breakfast and spaghetti noodles for lunch. Bierka, our head maid, will not do laundry, but she tries to supervise. The problem is that these girls don’t have the same standards that we do. I should say they don’t have the same standards as I do, because some of these American men here are just fine with the cooking and laundering. Bierka was cracking eggs and then putting the filthy eggshells into the nice clean frying pan instead of the garbage which was right next to her. I had to point to the garbage and insist she use it. None of these girls had seen a stove and oven before so they don’t like to use it. They’re scared of it because fire comes out of it. They prefer the kerosene burner which, may I point out, also has fire coming out of it and makes everything taste of kerosene, which no one around here likes. Funny how they can handle the fire from the kerosene burner, but not from the gas stove. It’s hard for them to change their ways, but I have to insist some times. I made Bierka cook the eggs on the stovetop for breakfast and then for lunch I let her cook the spaghetti noodles on the kerosene burner. We have to compromise. She did volunteer to cook the strange fowl that we’re having for dinner tonight on the stove top. One minute there was a guinea hen crouched in a pen on my porch, and the next thing I know, the bird parts are in the pot. Wow, those girls are so fast at some things.

Other things take them hours and hours. Yesterday, I swear it took one of the maids a whole hour to clean one pot. They sit and talk and talk and then do a little swipe here and there. The same thing with the laundry. Hours and hours, in the dirt. They squat in the dirt and wash all our clothes in a very shallow container. It’s more like a disc. I have many, many complaints about the laundry process. I bought some clothes pins for here, and they did not know how to make them work for they had never seen anything like them before. They were amused by the squeeziness of the clothes pins. They used them on everything except the socks. And then the wind came up and blew all our somewhat clean socks into the dirt. So, tomorrow we will do laundry again.

I insisted on having the sacrament today, but everytime I suggested it, they would say later, later. Finally when they were about ready to turn in and go to bed, Alan, Clair, Val and I decided it was time for the sacrament. Clair Jackson had brought over a kit and they broke up a little bread we had been given by Julie and then we sang a sacrament song. Bracken didn’t sing because he claimed he didn’t know the words or the tune. Then they blessed the bread and water and we partook. I felt a lot better about the day, but I really think next week we should do it earlier.

Our monkey taking a bath.
Camel and herder
If you can believe it-this one and the next are restaurants or competing tribal restaurants! Crazy!

The one above is a welding shop.
Herd of camels

Locals wanting their pictures taken
Land being cleared
Bush being burned
Alan with an AK-47. (yes he is growing a beard) Just think, a month ago he was the first councelor in the bishopric.... now he has a beard and a gun.

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