Lance & Megan's Blog

The sick, the dying, and the destitute

March26

One of our main tasks was working at the Mother Theresa home. This was a huge emotional undertaking. Before we even arrive at Mother Theresa’s home, we had quite the trek. We walked 40 minutes one way to get there every Tuesday and Thursday. We followed a drainage ditch in which everything from water, oil, sewage, and garbage flowed.  Through a forgotten dump that has been filled in with dirt and turned into a soccer field. Up a dirt road, past small houses. Past schools, beggars, businesses and shops, past a beggar that often wore no clothes and slept by the road with a pile of garbage that also served as his belongings. This is all before we arrive at Mother Theresa’s home.

Once there, the facility is divided into different buildings and rooms. There is the men’s side and the women’s side, with in each side they have it divided into rooms of people with TB, AIDS, mental and physical disabilities, the sick, the dying, the hurt, and children.

Those receiving care at Mother Theresa's home

Us girls worked on the women’s side, while the boys worked on the men’s side mostly with disabled children. The boys played with the children, bathed them, brushed their teeth, fed them, and gave massages. The also occasionally helped serve food to the men.

Gena pushing children around

Ruslan having fun

Us girls did a variety of things. We usually started the day by helping serve breakfast which was followed by cleaning. Everyday there was a huge pile of laundry to be done. We helped wash clothes, hang them up to dry on the roof, and then fold the sheets and clothes that were dry. We helped clean rooms, move people, and crunch dried chilies. We also played with the disabled children, who liked to dance and clap their hands. We also brushed their teeth and fed them lunch.

Lunchtime!

Ready for love!

Our first day there, we saw a deceased woman being carried out on a stretcher and at once we knew this would not be an easy job. It was often difficult to see so many people in one place who were in such need of love, care and attention. We saw how the volunteers there were also people who were being treated for one thing or another. Everyone helped everyone, people in wheelchairs helped fold clothes, the lame helped feed the disabled. It went like this in every room. I was amazed to see such love, God’s love is for everyone. We wanted to do the same, our main job became rather simple.

Just love the people.

I want some love!

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Home sweet home in Ethiopia

March26

Ok, so I am finally sitting down to write out a TON of blogs! I know. I said I would do that like two weeks ago. I’m sorry, that’s all I can say. So I don’t want to forget about Ethiopia, but lots of things are going on now. I will work my way through Ethiopia and end with what is going on now, or I will throw in the current stuff while putting up posts on Ethiopia. Who knows how this blog dump will go.

We will start with where I lived in Ethiopia and what we did there. We lived in a small oasis of sorts in the midst of the big capital city, Addis Ababa. It really was like an oasis, we had big walls around our compound and there was a beautiful yard with a Hollywood swing, some other lawn chairs and umbrellas. We built a fire pit while we were there so that pretty much completed the oasis picture.

First breakfast outside

The swing with the smaller one bedroom building behind

The compound is made up of three buildings. There was the main house where the missionaries lived, and where we did a lot of our construction work, there was another building that had three bedrooms and one storage room. The third building simply had one bedroom with a bathroom as well staff showers and a space to dry laundry.

View of main house

Our quaint little kitchen

We did quite a bit of construction work while we lived in this quiet oasis, which certainly was not quiet while we worked! We did several projects. One was to take apart three rooms to replaster and repaint. Before we did any plastering, we had to pound four holes in the walls to make room for some plumbing. This sounds like a one day thing, which maybe it would be in North America, but we were in Ethiopia. The walls that we had to pound holes in were made of solid rock and cement. Again, walls in North America can be made with solid rock and cement, but in North America we have power tools, and again we were in Ethiopia where they do not have such power tools. The walls we pounded holes in were 50-60 cm thick and all we had was one chisel, hammer, and a giant crowbar.  Not any easy task!

Ruslan pounding away at the giant rock

Making a trench for the plumbing in a small dusty room

I will make a long story short and just say that after pounding and pounding, recalculating, pounding some more, recalculating again we discovered that one of the walls was 2 meters thick making the plumbing project impossible! This naturally was only discovered after 2 of the 4 holes had been made. Since the calculation was not our fault we were treated to a burger and pizza joint, making it all worth it.

Mmmm, my first burger in 3 months!

So now our projects turned into filling in the giant holes, before replastering. We replastered and painted three rooms before we left Ethiopia. We also built a nice fire pit, moved a rock pile, cleaned up some areas around the compound and created a wood pile. All of which we were able to enjoy.

One tough team, moving rocks and mountains!

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Turkey. (Said with fond memory)

March5

My last posts were about getting our visas in Turkey and all the adventures we had there. Way too many adventures, so this post will mostly be made up of pictures! Hooray!

In front of the Hagia Sofia

Rise and shine in the Istanbul airport

In Ankara

Spending time with Riza's sister's family

Beautiful Ankara

posted under DTS, team, travel | 2 Comments »

I’M BACK!!!!

March5

Yes I am still alive, contrary to what it may seem according to my blog.

Just to set the record straight about why I am so late in blogging… When you have to pay by the minute and every computer you sit at moves slower than a glacier, and after you have already been at the computer an hour responding to the kind people who spent time to email you (and letting your family know who were still alive) and you have a team of people waiting for you to finish, the blog had to take a back seat. Sorry, that’s life.

Now that I have that off my chest, I can update you on just about everything! I will try to ease you back into my blog, but I have a lot to update you on so take a deep breath. I will put up posts based on topics with a few random things to break it up. This is just the post to give you a head’s up.

And… I leave for Moldova for a week just to relax, so my posts may have to actually wait a week. I know, suspense!! I have to build the excitement! I will try to put one more post up tonight, maybe two if I feel like it. 🙂 There is just so much, where do I begin?!

posted under funny, Megan | No Comments »