Tuesday, February 16, 2010


From Kayla:


Today was another full and rewarding day. At 5:30 this morning, Getcho drove me, mom, and John Forenz to Soddo. Although it is a five hour drive, I much enjoyed watching the scenery go by. Squiggly, flat-topped trees and gnarled shrubs dotted the savannah. I expected Bagiera the panther to jump from any of the branches. ;) Once, a hyena ran across the road. He was big and ugly. Suddenly, I appreciated the graceful deer that interrupt our driving at home. We passed many mud coated houses and grass thatched huts. They looked just like the pictures. The country villages that we passed were very impoverished, more so than in Addis Ababa where we are staying. Many of the roads were wet and the red soil badly eroded. The people passing on the road looked weary under the burdens they carried on their backs or their heads. I felt especially sorry for them when it started to rain. Getcho dropped us off at the hospital where Harry Bower works as an optometrist. He took us over to his house where his wife Stephane made us the best cups of tea in the world, with two lumps of sugar and heated milk. Stephane is the operator of the orphanage in Soddo. This is where the Forenz family adopted their three daughters last year. John showed recent pictures of the girls to their caretakers there. Stephane gave us a tour of their orphanage. The children, of course, were smiling and adorable. And oh, the babies! Melt my heart till it can be poured from a jug! Unfortunately, we were not permitted to take pictures of the children. So all of you should come, see them for yourselves, and take one or six home with you. We were told that there are at least 200 children on a waiting list to come into the orphanage. We couldn’t stay long because we had a five hour drive home, (although it might have taken less time going 110 km/h.) My poor terrified mother.

For those of you who went to Guatemala, Getcho is much like Manuel. He doesn’t text, but he talks on his phone. There are not 11,000 ft. drops, but there are NO traffic rules. None. Guatemala driving was more structured, if you can imagine.

As for the other groups, well, I don’t know. But reports say they are doing well. Love to all.



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