Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 7 – Ethiopian Adventures and the Fistula Hospital

We woke up way too early today, had breakfast and split into two groups. Most of the group went to the bank and shopping at the “post office” (a market for tourists). Kari, Veet, Joe and Carrie , Dee Dee and I went to search for (my BFF Kari’s Daughter) Zoie’s birth mom. It was quite an exciting adventure! We first stopped at the police station where they thought she was dropped off. We found that it was not the right one. Next we went to a clinic where Zoie’s mom had taken her for her vaccinations. We spent several hours trying to research to see if maybe Zoie was born there. We did find her name on the vaccination records, but not on the birth records. The doctors and midwives were so friendly and helpful. After that dead end, we went to the area where the vaccination report listed their address (they don’t have actual addresses in most of Ethiopia, just districts). We found her old neighborhood, and drove around for a while. Eventually we went to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. This is where women in trouble go to find help. We got out of the van to take pictures and were suddenly surrounded by people wondering what the “Ferenge” (white people) were doing in their neighborhood. There were several older boys (probably 20-25 years old) who came over to talk to me. I tried to explain what we were doing, and then showed them the photo album of our family. As we were leaving they asked to have their photo taken. I will post that later. Unfortunately, the church, was a dead end for the search, but Kari loved seeing the neighborhood where Zoie’s birth mom lived. We are still praying that we will find her before we leave. And if not now, maybe when Kari (and I??) return in Feb.
We stopped at a bank to change money, then went to visit the Fistula Hospital. We were able to give each of these ladies a bag with several gifts (candy, a bead cross necklace, fingernail polish and other goodies). They were so excited. When we walked back by at the end, we could see the ladies clutching their precious bags to their chests. If you have not seen the movie “A Walk to Beautiful” you need to watch it. It explains this place better than I could. These women have been rejected by their husbands, their friends and their families after miscarrying babies and developing a fistula which makes them smell bad. These women are treated like yesterday’s garbage. The fact that the people at this hospital can not only heal them physically but make them feel whole again is amazing!!
After fistula hospital, we went to Kaldi’s for coffee. I had a Pepsi instead (I wanted a Carmel Macchiato, but they were out of carmel). It started raining just as we left. We went back to the Guest House for the night, had our showers and crashed.

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