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Jess' Blog No.8 - Day3: Part 2

By Jessica Wilkes-Reading

Jess' Blog No.8 - Day3: Part 2

Part 2: The Coffee Ceremony

Wesleyan's CR and Charity Coordinator Jessica Wilkes-Reading, and retired dentist and Wesleyan customer Jane Innes-Rees are in Ethiopia visiting various projects to see what support people from the UK are providing - and what more can be done.

In Part 1, Jess spent the day decorating a children's playroom at Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekelle. Here she is invited into the home of an Ethiopian family and takes part in a traditional ritual for friends.

After a day hard at work decorating the children's playroom, tonight we were invited to relax and meet people with some fascinating stories to tell.

Judy is originally from Venezuela and has lived in Ethiopia for four years after leaving behind her life in Spain where she had a private clinic. She now a senior doctor on the burns and intensive care units at Ayder Hospital.

She invited our group into her home for traditional Ethiopian food, which was delicious!

We also met brothers Habtom and Waldai and their mother. Habtom was a shepherd boy, but while out with his flock one day he was hit by a falling electrical cable. The sheep ran off, but he was left badly injured. He was treated on the wards at Ayder for 16 months and is now back at school, all thanks to the amazing work of Judy and her team.

This is yet another example of the incredible people that are here delivering world class treatment, even if they do not always have the best equipment.

We also got to take part in a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. This is an integral part of the social and cultural life in the country, and an invitation is considered to be a mark of friendship and respect.

Habtom's mother performed the ceremony, roasting the beans on an open charcoal fire (inside the house!), burning incense, grinding the beans and making the most delicious coffee I have ever tasted.

In the UK, if we're invite to someone's home for dinner we might take them a bottle of wine or a bunch of flowers. Out here, to show our gratitude, we presented our hosts with enough money to buy two chickens for their farm, which was much more useful to them!

Today was an amazing day and proved to me the decision to come out to Ethiopia to see the projects was the right one.

I'm still trying to process everything we saw and experienced. I saw at firsthand what a difference we can make, but know there's still so much more that can be done.

Next time, Jess and the team head to Elshadai Children's Village to meet orphaned children and their carers.

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