The past few days have been a little rough because I have tried to limit the time I am spending interacting with the house kids even though my instinct is that I should be taking advantage of any time I can have with them. Yesterday was kind of low key for me. I woke up tired, not really wanting to hike, but I went and hiked with the team up to the Orthodox church on the mountain, and I came back down with a few people from the team while the rest of the team kept going up. The descent was very slow and relaxing, which was perfect for my lethargic self that day. Our guide was very patient with us when we even stopped to talk to some local children and students of ours for about 10 or 15 minutes. I could tell our guide wasn't really thrilled about having to escort us down the mountain, so I thanked him sincerely for his patience when we returned to Project Mercy.
When we got back, I wrote a letter to Joe, read in our textbook, and tried to take a nap, which didn't really work. I was planning to go play with the house kids in the afternoon, but after lunch I ended up practicing skits and music for the Show (our team talent show, which was last night), then I found Ashenofi and gave him a music theory lesson until dinner time. Like I said about teaching guitar, being able to give Ashenofi a lesson in music theory was so rewarding and fun for me. Unfortunately, I will not be able to follow up with him and help him develop a deeper understanding of music since I am leaving tomorrow. Also, since I spent all of that time in the afternoon with Ashenofi, I didn't get to have that last hurrah of a day with the other kids on the compound. In some ways that made saying goodbye a lot harder, but in another sense it made it easier.
The Show ended up being really fun, and I was impressed by all the tasteful humor. No one's feeling were hurt, which was the one fear of the girls on the team in regards to the boys, and people were very considerate and light-hearted. I was so glad we were able to tap into that healthy humor. Many jokes on the trip had been taken too far and people had been offended, but we were able to end our time in Yetebon with a bang. Being able to have the show our last night there was really a blessing and a great time for reflection on some of our memories before we left. It provided the needed closure for our team.
The girls performing our Yetebon rap.
Another wonderful time of closure occurred on Friday night when we were able to have a big bonfire with the house kids and our team. We sang and acted out ridiculous songs, played games (Ethiopian musical chairs mixed with Red Light, Green Light), and closed the night with worship songs. We sang Blessed Be Your Name, which is a song that some of the house kids learned to sing with us. Then, the Ethiopians sang some songs to which we could hum along. We ended up praising God with all our joy and dancing around the fire while singing a wonderful Ethiopian worship song.
It was a beautiful time commending our month that we had been able to spend building relationships with each and every one of those kids. Some of the older students are really showing leadership potential and act as the caretakers of the smaller ones. It really is like one great big family, and we got to be a part of that family for one month, even when we didn't speak the same language or sing the same melodies. The Universal Church is an amazing thing.