So before we left we threw a party. Nearly 160 villagers were in attendance and all were very eager to celebrate the completion of the Kololo school.
We began the program with Ijigu, village elders, and even I saying a few words reflecting on our collective experience working and living with one another. Ijigu spoke of the importance of community ownership, and thanked particular members of the community for volunteering their time during the final days of construction. Village elders offered humbling words of appreciation to Ijigu, volunteers Daniel and Xavier, and my self. While I spoke of the sense of family that materialized over the course of our 5 months in Kololo. Numerous others stood and shared thanks as well as words of wisdom in maintaining the schools stunning appearance.
In total, we purchased 130 injera, 100 loaves of bread, 2 lambs, a few vegi dishes, and about 20 gallons of a variety of local non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Over the course of three hours all were happily and hurriedly consumed. Party goers than viewed a short media presentation prepared by Xavier and myself. A variety of videos, pictures, and interviews were projected on the schools wall to everyone's enjoyment. Sadly the solar battery lacked an adequate charge (its not to sunny these days in the Kololo valley) to play the full hour long presentation. But we were able to enjoy nearly 40 minutes of fun shots of life, explorations and work during the schools construction.
The evening ended with reminiscing and storytelling as Ijigu and I rewarded 6 of the most dedicated and hardworking members during the course of the build. Gazan, Andiso, Sallamnesh, Berhanu, Temesken, and Mamush showcased not only amazing work ethic, but exemplary attitudes throughout the build. We were all very thankful to have them a part of the Kololo school construction. These workers were presented some of the extra tools and building materials leftover from the build, as well as a small bonus.
Xavier, Ijigu and I had a few final drinks of Tudge with Andiso and Sallamnesh. Tudge has the great affect of easing one to sleep after just a few glasses. We then packed and readied our self for our drive back to Addis the following morning.
-The next day did not go as any one could have ever expected... a not so comforting blog will be offered in the next couple days of our trip back. In the meantime enjoy a few photos from the closing party.
|Xavier built a BBQ grill from scrap rebar, corrugated and chicken wire. The|
result was delicious.