The purpose of Ethiopian Child is to aid deaf and orphaned children and youth in Ethiopia. In an effort to better understand LeaMcD Educational Services for the deaf of Ethiopia a school we had begun to support, it was decided that I, founder and president, visit and learn more about it.
Before I departed for Ethiopia in October our daughter Rebecca, mother to the two deaf Ethiopian grandchildren God has allowed us to learn from, gave me the phone number of a lady named Marta, about whom I knew very little.
Marta, I knew, is a lady from Ethiopia who was once a member of parliament and has something to do with orphaned children in Ethiopia. She had met Alisa, from Adoption Guides International, on a plane and was introduced to Daughter Rebecca by Alisa. The meeting on the plane occurred because Alisa wears an easily identifiable necklace from Ethiopia. Marta recognized the necklace and began a conversation with her.
I called the number and talked to Marta.
She informed me she was coming to visit at LeaMcD E.S.D.E. compound and meet me and Rebekah Payne, founder of the school.
Addis Ababa is a city of perhaps five million people, 20,000 taxis, a dozen or so traffic lights, and only a few named streets.
LeaMcD E.S.D.E. is near the historical Djibouti Ethiopia Train Station located behind Golden Lion Park where there is a large statue of a lion, another historical landmark. The only hint of trains now is a few derelict, very ancient rail cars behind a fence. The terminal building is nearly one hundred years old and still stands. It is in use by various offices and a store.
In the area in front a constant throng of people moves about. Big, noisy, smelly red and yellow diesel busses arrive, pause, discharge, reload and depart, spewing a constant stream of smoky exhaust. There is the ever present sound of loud engines and horns as the busses, tiny blue taxis and pedestrians jostle for position, nearly organic, like locusts swarming.
It was decided I would wait there at a pre arranged time to meet Marta and direct her rest of the way to LeaMcD E.S.D. compound.
There is a chained off area in front of the building that prevents the busses from getting too close. There I waited, and waited, and waited, the only “white face” in a sea of native Ethiopian people.
Finally I saw a silver metalic SUV at the far edge and decided to walk over and inquire. It was, indeed, Marta, Demeke her husband, and others in a three car caravan, searching for me.
The delay, it seemed, was because some dignitaries had arrived at Bole airport and the road between the airport and the residence of the Prime Minister was closed for security reaasons………..Welcome to Ethiopia
To be continued………………………..