Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Another day on the job with the community

Our days are composed of a mesh of sweat equity and community immersion.  One of the reasons why ER’s grassroots work is so effective is because our field team makes it our mission to become a part of the community we work alongside.  It is not easy, and by no means are Ejigu and I experts, but over the course of the last three years we have learned how to let the right walls down while still remaining comfortable in a foreign environment.  Butter salt coffee with village elders, volleyball with the teenagers, learning the local languages with the work crew all are small exercises of assimilation.  During this build I have moved in with an entire family, while Ejigu and Temesgin have moved into an unused building within the school compound.  Since, I have become the eldest son of loving habasha parents, while Ejigu and Temesgin now spend their nights relaxing with the teachers and administrators responsible for educating a majority of the community. 

These choices go along way with the beneficiaries to ER’s work.  By living as the community does, openly participating, and thought fully engaging those that we share space with, we become welcomed into the community. ER’s standing then grows dramatically as direct result of the connections we make, and the lives we live while here.  People begin to associate ER with our own actions, and lifestyles.  And I am confident that when I say that is a wonderful thing. Because even though many other NGO’s have come before us and faltered in KT, when the build is finished in Azedebo, the community will not only be empowered through ER’s development programming, but the community will know that ER sincerely cares on an individual level.  My team and I may be in Washo or Fundamo in a few months, but our actions and attitude will leave legacy that our ER programming will build upon into the future.

The following photos were taken today during the course of the usual work day.   Ill take the time to craft individual blogs to showcase the wonder that is coffee spiced with salt and butter. Of course none of the photos related to this post were able to load.  Expect those tomorrow.  As well as some shots of the freshly ordered timbers.  

Ejigu and Lolo looking over  Agoat and Meleces' work.  

A view from just beyond the bathrooms SW corner 
Loading up one of thousands of barrelas to level the land and gather soil for the cob.

Daniel assisting in clearing the compound of weeds for a an eventual lush grass field for the community

Finishing leveling the land for the framing and foundation of the library space

Temesgin catching up with Sallamnesh over the phone.  She will be with us by the end of the week. She is currently finishing u a construction gig in Addis this week.

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