Sam’s Story Part II

(…picking up from yesterday’s post….)

When Rehema’s car broke down in the middle of rural Uganda she found herself stranded on the roadside. Not sure what the problem was, she got out of the car to look things over while waiting for help to arrive. Understandably frustrated, she was standing on the side of the road when some of the local farmers who were working in their fields noticed her and came to the car to offer any help that they could provide.

Among the farmers that came to her aid, one in particular stood out to Rehema. He lagged behind the rest a bit and seemed shier than the others. With his head hung, eyes looking up to meet hers, something was different about him. Rehema looked closer and then realized suddenly what was wrong. It was a growth – a massive keloid – that was the problem. The man wasn’t holding his head down out of shyness. Rather, he was being pulled down by the weight of this enormous growth. Rehema, who had herself been treated for minor keloids in Texas, knew what the tumor was. Even still, its size and mass overwhelmed her. Her heart swelled with sympathy for this man who was clearly relegated to constant pain and massive challenges. And yet, despite his very apparent problems he was coming up to help her with her own. Rehema was humbled by his generosity and was overcome with sadness for his situation.

She wanted to help him; she wanted to do whatever she could for him, but stranded on the side of the road, her options were limited. So she went back to the car and grabbed her camera. When Rehema returned to the man she gently asked him his name (he said it was Sam) and if she could please take his picture. He willing obliged and lifted his head, slowly revealing the fullness of the massive keloid hanging from his face. Rehema spoke to him and let him know that she wanted to help. She told him that she wasn’t sure what could be done, but that she would be returning to America and would try to find a way to help him from there. She promised she would do whatever she could.

It was a kind sentiment and one that Sam appreciated. But this is Africa and good intentions do not always translate into great follow through. Life is hard and communication is very difficult.

After Rehema left, Sam returned to his work in the fields and spent the rest of the day thinking about his encounter…wondering if he would ever see the nice woman from the side of the road again…not knowing whether he should even hope for the help that she had promised to try to give.

That evening Sam told his family and his friends about what had happened. They told him to forget it – that he probably would never see or hear from this woman again. Sam was inclined to agree. He had had his photograph taken before and, according to his nephew, it had appeared in a paper without any consent from Sam. Though he wanted to hold on to a sliver of hope that he would, in fact, get some help from this woman, he had to be honest with himself. It was not uncommon for well meaning foreigners to come to places like this and take pictures, promise help, and then not return. But for some reason, he thought that maybe this time it would be different. After all, Rehema was not technically a foreigner. Though she lived in America, she was a Ugandan like him and maybe, just maybe, she really would follow through on her promise.

Time went on and Sam’s condition was just as bad as ever. His work in the fields never ended and with a 10 pound growth hanging from his face, he could barely provide for his family. Sleeping was hard. Speaking was hard. Eating was hard. And again, he prayed that he would just die. This life was too miserable and Sam could not see his own value. His life was that of a sickly farmer in a tiny village in rural Uganda – what difference could it make? He could barely keep his family alive.

But that was all going to change. No life is worthless and God has a bigger plan than any of us can see.

Just when all of his thoughts of getting help had begun to fade, Sam got word that Rehema, the woman from the road, was trying to get in touch with him. According to his nephew (who lived and worked in Kampala), Rehema was trying to get Sam to Lira so that he could fill out some government papers. Sam was going to get a passport and a visa.

Could this even be real? Sam’s family couldn’t believe it. His friends couldn’t believe it. Sam himself could barely grasp what was happening. At first, he thought it was a joke, but as things began to unfold and Sam met with his nephew and they began working on the paperwork, it slowly dawned on him that this was not a joke. This was real. Rehema was following through on her promise, and God was beginning to turn the page on a much bigger story.

Sam, the poor farmer from a tiny village in northern Uganda, was going to America.

Sam’s Story Part I

(I am going to publish this story over a couple of days to make it more manageable for everyone. Check back over the next few days to read more.)

Yesterday, I met a man name Sam. And Sam changed my life.

A year ago Sam was praying for death as he toiled in the fields of rural Uganda. The life of a subsistence farmer is a hard one, made even more difficult when there are no modern farming tools available. This is something that Sam knows all too well. Each day is a desperate battle to get enough food for your family to make it to tomorrow. The day starts before the sun rises and ends when the sun sets. For those living this life, there is no rest for the weary and very little chance to better the situation.

For Sam, a farmer with a wife and 6 kids to feed, this already impossibly difficult life has been even more challenging. You see, Sam suffers from a very bad case of keloids.Keloids are essentially an overgrowth of scar tissue that cause large, malformed growths – they look like tumors. These overgrown scars, while non cancerous can be very painful and if left untreated, will continue to grow and develop. This is what has happened for Sam. In a developed country (like the United States), they are easily treated and are manageable. But in the fields of rural Uganda with limited access to anything resembling medical care and no money, keloids can turn an otherwise able person into an invalid. They can suck joy from the spirit and years from a life. And they can leave a faithful, devout, and loving man on his knees begging for death.

You see, Sam has spent years suffering from keloids.  He has some small quarter sized ones on his arms and legs and a few larger ones across other parts of his body. But none of these are as big as the massive keloid that developed on his face. Weighing in at more than 10 pounds, Sam’s facial keloid hung down from his left cheek and neck and stretched all the way to his right ear. It caused difficulty speaking, forced his head to hang, made sleeping a challenge, and left Sam unable to do many of the farm chores that he so desperately needed to do in order to keep his family alive. Sam’s facial keloid was shaming and he said that it made him feel like he was nothing – that he was doomed to this life.

But there was nothing to be done.

When you live in rural Uganda, when you can barely feed your family, when your life and the lives of those you love depend on constant work and a few miracles of rain and good harvests, there is no hope. Or so it would seem…and did seem to Sam.

Sam’s nephew related to me how Sam felt during those long days in the field. “He often prayed for death. You see, when you cannot provide for your family, you are shamed. Sam’s condition kept him from being able to work as well as he could have. His life was constant misery. He just prayed that God would take him – that God would kill him. Sam had no reason to hope.”

Until the day he met Rehema.

In what would appear an untimely accident, Sam found himself helping a woman whose car had broken down near his village. Rehema had been visiting her native Uganda near the city of Lira when she had car trouble and ended up on the side of the road. Anyone who has broken down in the rural countryside (especially in a developing country) knows how frustrating it can be. And I’m sure Rehema initially thought the break down was incredibly poor timing. But God’s timing is perfect and there was nothing accidental about Rehema’s car breaking down.

As she sat there, trying to figure out the problem with the car, a few kind hearted farmers emerged from their work in the fields to offer their help. Among them was Sam. Though he didn’t know what service he could provide, he saw Rehema needed help and was moved to offer anything that he could give. Little did he know that this meeting would change his life.

What transpired over the next few months was nothing short of miraculous…and the miracles keep coming.

Tomorrow, I’ll share some of what happened when Rehema met Sam. Until then, here is a picture of Sam with his keloid fully exposed.

Dube Bute 1 year later

It’s December 6th, which means my birthday was 2 days ago. You might remember that birthday since I was bombarding you with emails last December at this time. It’s been one year since I held my 23rd birthday fundraising campaign for Dube Bute and now, at my 24th birthday, I’m back.
No, I’m not asking for money again this year.
It’s even better. I’m going to show you what all of your wonderful gifts from lastyear have done.Last November I asked everyone I could think of to donate $23 for my 23rd birthday. The money would be used to support a development project in Ethiopia. The village of Dube Bute needed new schools, a new health clinic, a new vet post, and above all else – it needed water. I was hoping that with my friends and family I could raise a little of the money that was needed to help. My goal was $5,000 and you all stepped up – you REALLY stepped up. I was blown away by your kindness and generosity. You donated more than $8,000 dollars!!

$5,000 of that went to fund a water project and the rest went into the general Dube Bute fund for other construction costs. Now, I want to show you what has happened since then.

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8 out of the 9 spring protection developments have been completed. The final one is due for completion in the early part of next year.
The molds for the 8 hand dug wells are on site and 4 of the wells are scheduled for completion in January – the other 4 are scheduled for completion in the early spring.

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One school building is receiving its final coat of exterior paint and will open its 4 classrooms any day now. The other school building is in it’s final completion stage, is 80% done, and should provide 4 brand new classrooms by the end of December.

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Interior works are being completed and desks are being installed
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Both the health and the vet posts are complete and are only waiting on staffing and equipment, which should be arriving soon.

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The vet post with the guard house for the health complex
And the bridge, which was so generously funded by the Alexander family, is complete and has allowed for trucks with construction equipment to get to the remote village even during the rains.

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The new bridge with the old bridge in the back ground

It has been quite a year for Dube Bute. A long rainy season and various hold ups in the supply chains slowed work, but the community is now seeing a transformation that is incredible.

Do you remember those pictures of women collecting dirty water? Their accounts of getting sick from parasites and bacteria because there was no option for safe drinking water? Do you remember the photos of children squished side by side in leaky mud classrooms? The story of how the tiny health facility was falling apart and was not properly staffed and equipped?

All of that has changed. And it’s because of you. Every dollar you gave went to this village and I hope that you enjoy seeing pictures of the transformation as much as I do.

I especially hope you take a moment to look at the photos of the clean, flowing water. That is what WE did together.
On behalf of the families who have clean water, the women who never again have to stand in the mud scooping thick brown water into jerry cans, the children who are laughing and playing in clean running water for the first time in their lives, and on behalf of the entire village of Dube Bute ….thank you.In the coming months, signage will be going up on all of the water points. Once that happens, I will send out another email showing the sign on our water project and you will be able to see the exact water point that we funded. Pretty cool.

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Until then, I hope you all have a happy and safe Christmas season.
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With Love,
Mary Clare

Two Big Moves

So I just signed into this blog for the first time in ages and was shocked to see that even though I haven’t posted in nearly 5 months, people still come to this site everyday. Wow. That’s awesome! I’m a total failure at blogging though. There’s so much catching up that I need to do after 5 months. Actually there’s TOO much catching up to do so I’m just going to give you the highlights.

For various reasons, I decided that when I came home during the rainy season in the summer, I would be coming home for good. It was the right choice for me to make at that time – little did I know it was going to be much harder to leave Ethiopia than I though. I was supposed to have a flight out on June 17th at night. I woke up that morning incredibly sick and it got worse and worse. Within hours I was in the “hospital” for expats. I call it that because it’s a full service medical facility with in patient and out patient facilities for foreigners. (If you are ever sick in Ethiopia, you need to go to the Swedish Clinic!) It’s staffed entirely by European doctors and all of the equipment is imported from Europe and the US. That should have been comforting to me at the time, but it really wasn’t. I literally thought I was going to die. I have never been so sick, scared, and alone in my whole life. It turned out that I had the worst case of giardia that the doctor there had ever seen…and some parasites…and intestinal bacteria and fungus. Gross. I had to take 6 rounds of antibiotics to kill it all and that much medicine just about did me in. That’s an exaggeration of course, but it sure didn’t feel like an exaggeration at the time.

Luckily, when I got sick on Friday my wonderful boyfriend realized how bad it was and was on a Saturday flight to Africa. True story. Pretty awesome. I needed him there. The extra week that I had to stay was the most miserable of my life and I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through on my own. I’ve never wanted to be in America so badly in my whole life, but thanks to a lot of love and support (and Emirates tvs keeping me distracted on the 30 hours of flying) I got home alright and recovered.

So that was the first move….from Addis back to Austin.

Once back in Austin, I was working at Glimmer in the Austin office. However, when an opportunity presented itself to join one of Glimmer’s partner organizations in an exciting new capacity, I felt drawn to the job. With the blessings of my great colleagues at Glimmer, I made the move to Water to Thrive, an Austin based non profit dedicated to raising funds for water projects in Africa. I love this new job and am excited to get to use all of my experiences in a new and productive way.

And that was the second move…from Glimmer to Water to Thrive.

Lots of change! It has taken a lot of readjustment and time to get acclimated to all of this, but I really think I am where I am supposed to be at this point in my life. I am thrilled that I can continue to work for the people of Africa who so desperately need clean water. It is a privilege to have this job and to be able to stay in Austin. This is all very exciting for me and I’m looking forward to seeing how everything continues to unfold.

A lot of people have asked if I am going to go back to Ethiopia again – either to live or on short trips for work. The short answer is: not in the immediate future. I am happy with my life in Austin and I don’t anticipate that I will ever move back to Ethiopia (although, I’ll never say never). I think my life is beginning to unfold here in new and exciting ways and I don’t know if I will ever again be in a position to pick up and move everything over there.

As for short work trips, that could definitely be a possibility in the future, but not any time soon. I am still seeing doctors for lingering symptoms from being so sick this summer. Some stuff I just haven’t been able to shake. It is also going to take a while for me to forget just how scared and alone I felt when I was sick in the hospital. The idea of being stranded over there and not having any idea what the system was to get out of Ethiopia and to get further help if I needed it is, quite simply, terrifying. That memory is going to have to fade MUCH more before I will be willing to get on a plane and make the long trip over there.

That said, I miss all of my friends and colleagues over there terribly. When I see the faces of the people that became my family and the thousands that we served all over the country, I feel an emptiness in my heart. I want to continue to help them in anyway that I can, even if I am not physically in the country any more.

So I hope that clears some things up about what happened to this blog and what I have been doing for the past 5 months. I didn’t keep the blog going once I got back because my day to day in Austin is not nearly as noteworthy as my life in Ethiopia. Until there is something substantive going on in my life, I probably will not keep this thing alive.

A year in review…

June 12, 2010. One year ago today. That’s the day I landed in Ethiopia for the very first time. It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since then. So much has happened. The experiences of the past year are hard to even begin to describe. There have been ups and downs, tears and laughter, new friends, incredible joy, extreme frustration, sickness, happiness, fulfillment. In a way that I couldn’t have imagined a year ago, I have experienced human emotion on a level that is more real and more raw than I had ever known.

Many of those experiences have been captured in this blog, but many more have gone untold. I can’t even begin to touch them right now. It would take way too long and those memories could fill a book (hint, hint). But I can list out some of the highlights…

I have attended a Muslim wedding, a Muslim funeral, and participated in an Orthodox baptism

I spent 2 days in a hospital with pneumonia

I learned to “speak” (kind of) a new language – Amharic

I played ping pong in the tree tops with monkeys swinging in the trees around me

I toured ancient churches carved into the rocky ground

I spent dozens of nights in lonely hotel rooms – and have been wakened dozens of mornings by the 4 am call to prayer

I had a birthday campaign that raised more money and awareness for Glimmer than I could have imagined.

I have ridden into villages on horseback

I toured the grandest castle compound in Africa

I hiked through the forests of the south, climbed the rocky mountains of the north, and walked through fields filled with the burgeoning harvests

I traveled to villages that have never seen cars…or white people

I’ve watched the joy of people getting clean water for the first time in their lives

I’ve seen the pain in a mother’s eyes as she recounts the unnecessary death of her child

I’ve danced with villagers celebrating a new hope.

I learned how strong I can be on my own

I’ve become comfortable with African public transportation – a risky business

I have seen the resilience of the human spirit

I’ve found my own strengths; and discovered my weaknesses

And most of all, I’ve seen the beauty and grace of God

In so many ways this year has been the biggest challenge…and the greatest blessing…of my life. It feels like just yesterday I was stepping off the plane for the first time scared, timid, and not at all sure what to expect. Since then, Ethiopia has become like a 2nd home to me. Though I’m still learning about the country, the people, and the culture everyday, I can barely imagine a time when this wasn’t part of my life.

So looking back on the last year, I just want to say thank you to everybody who has supported me and helped me along this crazy rollercoaster ride. It’s been amazing and I am so thankful for all of you and for the blessing that this past year has been. God is good.

My Walk for Water

A couple of people have asked me about the water walk that I alluded to a few weeks ago so I thought I’d do a post about it.

The walk for water is a grueling task that, sadly, is the daily reality for many millions of women and children all over the world. It is something I have witnessed first hand hundreds of times, but have never actually attempted before.

A few weeks ago, I was in the northern part of the country with a couple of members of our Austin team and we were going to visit the potential site of a new water project. In order to really understand the scope of the need , we decided to follow some women from the village on their daily walk for water. We wanted to see how far they had to go, what obstacles they had to pass, and how bad the water they collected was. What we saw was shocking.

As I followed, the women, camera in hand, trying to capture the looks on their faces and the way their trained feet traversed the rocky ground, I was overcome by just how difficult it was for them to gather the water every day. This was one of the most challenging water walks I had ever witnessed. The rocky ground was full of cracks and crevices and it was so uneven, I considered a blessing from God that I managed to get across it without spraining an ankle. The fact that these women did it, barefoot, jerry cans in hand and children on their backs, was a miracle. The walk took nearly 40 minutes, the last 10 of which were spent descending a very rocky and steep gorge. I felt like a little mountain goat, walking along these narrow paths – climbing at some points – as parts of the gorge were actually as steep as the face of a cliff.

It was very, very difficult. And the only thing I had to carry was my camera. How on earth were these women doing it? Unbelievable.

When we got to the bottom, I saw the spring that these women were collecting water from. It was so foul. As I snapped pictures, one of the elderly women – bent double, her knobby knees poking out from under her skirt as she crouched over, scooping the water – called me over. As I approached, she held out a cup of the water that she had just gathered. I leaned over to look in and gasped as I saw what she was trying to show me. A giant leech. Disgusting. She poured the water out and then reached her hand into the spring, bringing out yet another leech. “How could they drink this?” I thought to myself as I tried to overcome my gag reflex.

Then I looked around me. Just a little ways upstream, children were washing their clothes in the dirty water. They were kneading the cloth of their worn and tattered dresses and trousers against the rocks of the stream, trying to avoid the places were the moss and fungus were thickest. As I took in the scene, I saw others cupping water into their hands and splashing it on their faces, their legs, their arms – trying to bathe themselves with the only water they had available to them.

It was a scene I had observed before; it is one that is so appallingly common it takes your breath away…and not in a good way.

I stood there, taking it all in, and then decided “I’m going to do this. I need to know what it is like – I need to really know what it is like.” So without thinking about it, I yelled over to my friend Eric (Glimmer’s director of development) that I wanted to do the water walk back to the village after the women had filled their jerry cans. He looked at me with surprise for about half a second before breaking into a smile and saying that would be great…he’d take the pictures!

And so we waited. That’s part of the experience. Not only do these women walk these long distances, but they also wait for long periods of time because the spring eye where the water is relatively clean (although still crawling with leeches) is very small and it takes a long time for each person to fill their jerry cans.

I had decided to help one of them women that I had been following on the trek down. She had a baby strapped to her back and I honestly had NO idea how she intended to get the water back to her hut. She definitely needed the help the most. So we sat with her until her jerry can was finally full. Then came the fun part….

With the jerry can full, we lifted it just across the stream and up this rocky incline before tying it to my back. Traditionally, the women tie the jerry cans onto their backs with scarves. It has always been a wonder to me that these scarves are able to hold 50 pounds of water in place. It was time for me to find out just how difficult that was.

I leaned over double as the water was lifted onto my back. Wow. It was heavy, but more than that it was incredibly painful and uncomfortable. A big, heavy, plastic jerry can is not the easiest way to carry something on your back. This is where I made a crucial mistake. I let men tie this jerry can on to my back. What was I thinking? The women are the ones who have to carry it, they’re the ones who know what they are doing. Alas. As I stood up, trying to balance this heavy weight on my back, I stumbled forward. It was very, very difficult to manage this jerry can as it was tied to my back with one scarf around the jerry can, and one scarf around my waist as support. Trying to get leverage, I situated it so the bottom corner rested on my waist. The bruises I discovered later were a testament to just how hard this was. The jerry can dug into my back, 50 pounds of water digging into me along the edge of the hard plastic.

Then I got to the steepest part of the gorge. This is where the climb was literally up a small cliff. I was daunted. People were reaching out to help me, but this was just knocking me off balance, making me aggravated. To be honest, I think the aggravation was coming from the very real fear that if this jerry can slipped, it could easily unbalance me and I’d tumble down the rock face. However, there were times when I needed a hand to get up the particularly steep parts. Without it, I would not have made it. I do not have any idea how the women make it up this rock without assistance.

As I got to the top, the jerry can slipped, and I had to bend double to keep it in place. The men rushed over to retie it, but I had learned my lesson. I wanted a woman to tie this thing onto my back. That would be the only way it would stay secure – sorry guys, but you aren’t the ones that carry these things every day. What a wise move. The woman who had the baby on her back, the one for whom I was carrying the water, came over. She helped me get the jerry can onto the ground before untying the scarf around my waist. She took it off and tied a big knot into it. The knot would provide a shelf, of sorts, on which the jerry can could rest. Genius. She then retied it to my back, higher up than the men had tied it. What a brilliant move. As she and another woman lifted the water back onto my back, I could tell the difference right away. She used the other scarf to secure the jerry can tightly to my back, tying it just below my shoulders across my chest.

The water was still incredibly heavy, but now it was much easier to manage. I could focus on my footing, on bearing the weight, and on not slipping rather than on the constant worry of the jerry can sliding off of my back completely.

Then we set off. With the rock face having been “conquered” (read: barely managed), we had about a 30 minute walk across rocky field, uneven paths, and a gently upward sloping terrain. It was an extreme lesson in humility – and one of the most difficult things I’ve done. I could feel the sweat dripping down my face and my neck. Hiking across the rocky ground, I could feel the water sloshing back and forth, sometimes coming over the top and spilling onto my back. As you might imagine, that weight only seemed to get heavier as we continued the walk.

There were about 6 of us in all, walking steadily in a single file line back to the compound of huts. I was leaning over, my hands behind my back, holding the water in place. At times, it would slip and I could feel the woman, baby still on her back, reach over and move my hands into places where I could better grip the jerry can.

At one point, I turned around to thank her. But I didn’t really have the words. But she just smiled knowingly and nodded me forward. I turned around and kept trudging along. My back was beginning to ache, the scarf around my waist was digging in and my wrists were sore from the awkward position they were in as they tried to hold the water in place behind my back.

The huts came into view, and we crossed another rocky field. Walking through the mud, out of breath from the effort, I couldn’t think of anything except just how incredible it was that this woman was going to do this – going to make this same walk that I was making for her – except she was going to do it with a baby on her back. It is what she did yesterday. And the day before. It is what she would do tomorrow. But for right now, I had her load, and in that moment I felt much more than just the burden of the water she must carry every day. The burden of her life is so much more than that, so much more than I can even begin to imagine. And I realized that we MUST work here. We have to find a way to help these people. Because to think that this woman will continue to do this walk every day for the rest of her life without any help…that’s a hopeless thought. And, after all, our mission is to bring hope to these people. To help them lift themselves out of poverty.

When we got back in the car, I could smell the stench of the dirty water that had sloshed onto my tshirt during the walk. I could feel the ache in my back. The bruises just above my waist were beginning to form. And I understood, perhaps more than I ever have, just how vital our work is. Because no woman should ever have to endure that kind of burden just to bring water – dirty water – to her family.

Technology Challenges…and word vomit

You don’t really have to read this…I won’t blame you if you don’t. Brandino likes to tell me I “word vomit” sometimes because I just say whatever comes to mind even if it isn’t making sense. Kinda like I’m doing right now. That’s what this whole post is going to be. Prepare yourself.

I’m sitting in a restaurant called Lime Tree right now. It’s a popular expat hang out because the food is good, Western, and they have free internet….which is actually why I’m here.

I haven’t been able to get my internet to work at the office all week and I need to upload some videos. So that’s what I’m doing. Errr trying to do.

I got dropped off here at 8:50. I have uploaded exactly one half a video. It is now 2:22. You do the math. Nearly 6 hours and almost nothing to show for it.

The problem with the internet is that no matter where you are, it takes hours to upload a video. Then, if the internet goes out mid-upload guess what…you get to start over. Ugh. No bueno!

So that’s what happened to me. I have 2 videos that need to be uploaded today and I am sitting here watching the third upload attempt of video #1. The little upload bar is trudging slowly along. I am currently at 39.11 MBs of an 82.77 MB video. The remaining upload time: 1 hour and 4 minutes.

Hmmm half an hour ago I had a remaining upload time of 1 hour and 11 minutes. Something’s not adding up.

focusing very hard on that upload bar...please work, please work, please work

Look! Photo booth just got some use. That’s how bored I am. I am using photo booth for the first time ever.

I had a cup of tea and a liter of water when I first got here.

I also ate a “chicken caesar salad”. I still can’t figure out what made it caesar. It was lettuce with some pieces of chicken sprinkled on top. That’s all. Very simple. The menu should have just read “chicken and lettuce”. I would have laughed at that. Keep it honest, guys, come on.

And yes, if you’re wondering I DID in fact eat a salad for breakfast. Not my norm, but I was hungry and there aren’t a lot of trustworthy salad places in Addis. I wish it was Saturday. This place has beignets for breakfast on Saturdays.

Then I started working on some other video projects before I realized that my video program slows my upload. I don’t really know why. The video program doesn’t even use the internet. Weird.

Then I drank a glass of ginger-lime tea…then 2 more.

Then the video failed and I had to start my upload again.

Frustrating. But, like any good girl I solved my frustration by eating. I got a really good bean soup. Mmmm veggies. Nice change up from my regular carb loaded Ethio meal. And I followed that up with 2 more glasses of ginger lime tea. They’re unlimited. That’s dangerous….for my bladder. I have made lots of bathroom trips today.

I got back to work on my video program because I just decided that if the upload is going to be slow anyway I might as well be productive.

(Ten minutes later and we’re now at 44.5 MBs uploaded. Great progress.)

I answered emails too. That was productive. I wish I would’ve thought to bring some of my notebooks with me, I could’ve done more work-work.

Alright, back to this video business.

I hope you appreciated my overshare of my current life. Thanks for keeping me occupied. Much appreciated.

don't worry, I already know how attractive this is