Ethiopia: Cultural Dinner and Painting

Cultural Dinner Dancing

Well, we are back into another week of service here in Ethiopia after a bit of a restful weekend. Saturday night we went to cultural dinner and had a blast watching several friends from our group get up to dance with the performers. I have to say though that the kids in our group really took the show when they piled on stage with Wass to learn the art of the Ethiopian shoulder shake.  I’m so glad I was able to snap a quick pic to capture the moment. Sunday we had the chance to visit Entoto Mountain and one of the first Orthodox Ethiopian churches in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia has such a rich church history so it was really fun to get to experience a bit of that during our visit.

Today we were back in project action and the crew went to work.  This morning we had quite the adventure buying paint at the Addis Ababa Home Depot (yes it does exist) and then heading to a local state licensed orphanage in the city to do some facility improvements. The big project for the day was a fresh coat of paint and some much needed color in the room where the older kids sleep as well as the stairwell leading up to the bedrooms.  We cleaned all the walls and then added a warm green/blue paint to the older kid’s rooms and a yellow to the stairwell. It definitely brought some warmth into the home where before there were white walls dirty from the wear and tear of so many kids going in and out.  The bedroom especially was a big change with a new coat of colored paint.

aIMG 4004 OPTAs we put the team to work though, the most fun I had was watching our youngest team members getting their hands dirty and jumping in to get things done. The kids helped to clean walls, got a quick painting lesson and then were off, transforming the space. They did a fantastic job and had a great attitude during the whole day, always wanting to jump in to help whether that was cleaning up or putting paint on the walls. When anyone needed a break they’d run down to join the soccer game going on with the kids living at the orphanage and our team mates as well. Needless to say it was a full day, but tons of fun.  I have been so inspired watching the way these little ones serve their peers and hope everyone can find some encouragement in their spirit. It’s such a good reminder that everyone can do their part to help serve the least of these.