Project Hopeful has a Sisterhood program and today we went to visit the beautiful sisters!!! It was fun to be able to go and visit them and their children. They are all beautiful and amazing. Together their laughter fills the air and it is music to your ears.
We had a very long drive there, through the whole city - it took almost an hour to get there. Along the way there was a mix of markets. There are also a lot of shepards and animals along the way. I love seeing the shepards hearding their animals through the streets. There are donkeys carrying things, and sheep and goats everywhere. I wonder what people in America would do if I started hearding about 8 goats down the street. haha. The traffic here is fun too. The drivers just beep their way around other cars. Not in a bad or mean way, just as a little remider or note of passing. And when Benium (our driver) is talking with us he just pulls over, wherever he is - even on the highway! Another thing about driving in Ethiopia that is different are the fuels that come from cars. Some people say that it is horrible and they can't stand it....honestly it is not that bad here and it is just another reminder of where I am and somthing I love about here, just like the distinct smell.
The sisterhood group site is located in a hilly area and it was beautiful looking down at the city. When we got there we walked up some stairs and I was introduced to my sister right away. She is beautiful. They brought us to a room and we set our things down and waited for the women. My sister, Werke, went to change and while we waited we went to see the babies. There were three baby girls - all 5-6 months old and they were stunning! I picked up 6 month old Selam right away and she was all smiles. Then I handed her off to Aaron and scooped up 5 month old Beimnet, who was also a doll and all giggles. Aaron feed Selam her bottle and played with her, while I watched Beimnet and tickled her. She had the sweetest little giggle. The other Baby was also 6 months old and her name I can't remember, but she was a doll as well.
When we went back to the main room Werke had changed into a traditional Ethiopian outfit and she looked amazing. Werke then held out water so we could wash our hands, somthing that is done to honored guests. She then presented us with bread and Aaron, myself, and Werke all cut it together - here they have the guest or in our case guests of honor cut the bread. When we were done, they presented us with some cooked beef and spices and injera. I am not a huge fan of meat and was afraid I would have to eat it all, but we thankfully didn't have to. We also ate the bread and another spicy paste with it. Meanwhile Werke started a coffee ceremony for us and it was fun to watch her roast the beans in the traditional way. She was SO HAPPY we came. Her face was glowing and she could not stop smiling, it made me light up to have made her day.
While Werke was still roasting the beans the other women and children came into the room. We were able to present the women with gifts that were gathered by their sisters in the states and by friends/family of ours who donated small items. The women absolutely loved them! Each sister received some chapstick, nailpolish, small notebook, lotion, soap, and whatever gifts their sisters sent. We also gave the children some gifts, some shoes, playdough, bubbles, and suckers. It was an honor to be able to give Werke a bracelt I made. When I was finished handing out everything Werke presented a gift for me. She hand made a beautiful black and white coin pouch. It was very nice and special because she spent a lot of time making it for me. She is very skilled.
When we were done handing out gifts to each other Werke presented us with the coffee. It was very good. While we drank the coffee I sat back and watched the women marval at the gifts they recieved. They were so happy with the letters and pictures their sisters sent. They say Thank You to all sisters and wanted me to tell everyone who sponsors them that they LOVE their sisters. These women are very blessed to have each other and it is a program I strongly support.
We were about to leave and the program manager told us that Werke's family was coming to meet us. Her son was there already and was dressed in a suit. He looked very handsome and I could tell Werke was very pleased to be able to present him to us and show him off. Today was a very special day for her, because I came. It was so special for me to meet not only her, but her whole family. Her daughter got out of school to meet me! Her daughter and husband, who is blind, arrived and shook our hands and gave us hugs. It really touched both Aaron and I that they came all the way for us. It took about an hour for them to travel. It was such a blessing to be there. And although our time there was short, it is time I will treasure forever.
Tomorrow we have court! Please continue to pray for our journey here, especially tomorrow. We would love to pass court right away. Sometimes this does not happen but we are praying it will. Thank you for praying with us!