Saturday, March 1, 2008

Packing for Ethiopia

Heavy. That one word sums up our luggage. We are trying to pack in as many donations as possible and the net result is heavy bags. I had sent out a short list of requested items from one of the orphanages to my colleagues and a few friends and they responded with a host of supplies. The killers were the bottles of hand sanitizers – especially those hefty 64oz jugs. Then there was the 13-pound pediatric medical reference book that the orphanage nurse had requested. HEAVY.

In addition, some people donated some funds to help out with the cause. CrazyMom took the kids to the thrift store on 1/2 price Wednesday and they shopped for the kids at the orphanage. Since F.G. had lived in an orphanage, she was the expert. In addition to the pants and belts that had been requested, F.G. insisted on buying pajamas. She said the kids always wanted to wear pajamas, but they did not have any. At one time CrazyMom was searching for a matching top to some pajamas and F.G. said, “Oh, it does not matter. They wear anything.”

This photos shows what they bought with the $125 donated – 34 pairs of pants, 20 belts, 15 pairs of pajamas, and some miscellaneous items. This was added to the other clothing items that were donated.

Shopping for donations reminded F.G. of a time when an adoptive mom brought a lot of clothes to the orphanage she was at. After the mom left, the workers spread all of the clothes out on the floor and let the kids go through and pick out one outfit. F.G. found an outfit she really liked but then an older girl wanted it. The girl hit her in the mouth and knocked out a tooth. She did not tell any of the workers because she did not want to get the girl in trouble. Later, one of the other kids was walking around holding up their pants. F.G. switched pants with her since her pants were a little smaller.

This photo shows one of the bags filled with donations. We repacked several times last night to get the weight just right (or so we thought).

When we were checking in at the United counter, it turned out that my scale at the house was off a little and several bags were a few pounds overweight. They agent let us know that but said he would only charge us $50 for the one bag that we had packed to be 70 lbs. That was fine with me because I was using $50 that someone had given me to pay for the extra weight luggage. After he had taken our money and given me the change, he started asking us about what we were doing. It turns out that he is from Ethiopia and goes back every summer on mission work with his church. He asked me to give him back the change and when I handed it to him he returned my original bills. Looks like an orphanage in Ethiopia will get the $50 rather than United Airlines.

We are in the airport now waiting to go to Washington DC where we will have to spend the night. More to come later.


Kris Long said...

I will be checking your blog multiple times a day - keep the updates coming! Lifting you up in constant prayer~

Norah said...

Best of luck to you on your journey!

Bethany M said...

Ha! I was so excited to see a post even after you left! Praise God for showing you that He's intimately involved in each step of your journey...