Sunday, July 22, 2007

Anns Anniversary Update

We spent our anniversary day meandering around the market in town until I tired of the bad smells (goat meat baking in the sun I suspect) and the constant 'Mizungu!' shouts. We ambled back home and went out for beers with our Ethiopian sidekicks. We laughed about our wedding day and would we ever have guessed six years ago that we'd be living in Africa?

Life is good here, no complaints. Our little house is adorable and comfortable. The countryside is so beautiful-I never thought I would love being in the middle of nowhere so much! It is winter here now so that means long pants and a light jacket at night but really the weather is like Seattle on a perfect day-never too hot.

Last week Reed and I went on a escort convoy. 1300 refugees were moved from another camp up here to our camp by busloads.

We went in the afternoon, spent the night in a nice place (by nice I mean the toilet had a seat) and got up at the crack of dawn to go to the refugee camp. It was nuts-people had all their belongings in piles (mainly one bag and a straw sleeping mat) and they were loaded onto buses.

I was bombarded by refugees coming up to me and asking for help-it's terrible to have to turn people away but there are so many thousands of people it is totaly hopeless.

We rode back in the Land Cruiser(4 hours) with an old man who had an infected foot-it was wrapped in a dirty rag and smelled sooo bad it was terrible.

When we got to the camp here I took him to the hospital which is pitiful. There is only one doctor for 50,000 refugees none of whom have ever had medical attention. One sixteen year old girl on the convoy died after we arrived-terrible stuff. It is so hard to understand how such a rich world can let people suffer like this. People here die or get seriously sick of the most basic of things-malaria, measels, mumps, meningtis. Believe me it puts a whole new spin on the anti-vaccine crusade. I almost elected to not get the meningitis vaccination before I left but the nurse talked me into it. Now there is an outbreak in the camp-yikes.

OK enough sad stuff.

Today is Sunday and we are at the camp. I'm going to go visit the old man with the foot. We will try and film the camp so you guys can see. From the moment the car enters- a steady stream of little rugrats start chasing and by the time I get out the car I am surrounded. It's great.

1 comment:

Dannyo said...

Don't know how you do it. I've had a couple experiences lately where the thought ran thru my mind, "can I get off this ride?" even though I already know the answer. No one else can get off so why should I? The better question, the eternal question, "what can I do to help?" You're living it and I thank you for the revelation...again.

We remembered your anniversary and miss you both. Julie & I will probably no longer be in the 'hood when you get back. Looking for a house is trying, but by God I promise we'll be together when it's over thanks to your & Reed's paradigm shifting blogs... and our incredibly strong bond, of course.

Much love,