Sunday, December 2, 2012

visiting schools in ethiopia

I have been back in Ethiopia now for five days, and it feels like weeks. After a few days in Addis Ababa visiting new sites, our Country Director and I headed south towards Nazareth and Awassa. We're in the process of conducting a country-wide needs assessment to see if we should continue working in Addis, or if we should expand to other cities in Ethiopia where we will have a greater impact on kids by bringing them safe, clean water.

It was really nice to get out of Addis and see some of the country, though it's the dry season now, and heading south, it's dusty and hot! Especially when we're sharing the road with all the semis bringing goods from D'jbouti.

We visited a KG and preschool. There was a nation-wide competition, so most of the students were gone, but there were a handful of preschoolers waiting for their parents who were more than happy to stand up and sing for us. Clapping along and reminding me of being a kid.

While in Addis, we stopped at a government school that we are installing a water system and building a hand washing station. You show up at any primary school and hundreds of kids start following you around like the Pied Piper. I jumped in a soccer game and kicked the ball around for a few minutes (it ends up being me against them all!), then we visited their existing water station. I was happy to see kids using soap, and when I asked them what they were doing and why, they told me they were washing their hands with soap to get rid of germs. Good job!

Kids are always happy to pose for pictures, and it usually ends up a mob trying to get to the front. Sometimes I feel bad, kids trampling over each other. Just be careful not to show the big group the photo - grabbing the camera, grabbing each other for a look. At smaller schools (or with younger kids), they are always happy to see and show their friends. But a bunch of 11 year-olds? Keep the camera high over your head!

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