Thursday, 21 August 2014

Final farewell....

So.. The time has come and our last day has arrived. The trip has flew and I don't think anyone is ready to leave. We had lunch in Debre Zeit then began the journey back into Addis Ababa. As per usual.. The journey was something else - mental traffic, animals strolling around the motorways. We stopped off at a famous coffee shop and most of the team bought some coffee beans to bring home.

We then went to the farewell dinner - were we met Derege and Desere who is the director of Habitat in Ethiopia. Everyone said a few words and we all said our thank you's. Zee gave us all a little bird to signify our time in Ethiopia. When it was time to leave everyone was emotional - Desere made sure we were aware that we have made a difference - and to spread the word about Habitat when we get home.

We went to the airport and started the long journey home - myself Aimee and Eve have stopped over in Istanbul for a few nights - so more will be added to the blog when I get home. The rest of the team have arrived home safely and we are all looking forward to the reunion to fully reflect on our amazing build in Ethiopia. Until then.. Chow.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Travel to Kuriftu lodge

Today we left Hiwot hotel in Debre Berhan and started the long drive to the other side of Addis . The drive took  5 and a half hours in total on our bus.  The journey was definitely an experience. The traffic was crazy and we saw a lot of accidents along the way - there are no road markings or lines so it is really a free for all.  We even saw a goat tied on top of a lorry - just general things you wouldn't see at home!! As per the rest of the trip - Gary and Jim kept the bird watching going - we saw a lot of vultures and eagles.

We eventually made it too Kuriftu lodge around 3. As part of Habitat most teams have a day at the end to reflect and discuss the trip - so we got to enjoy it here for half a day. It is an amazing place - however it was hard to see this compared to the poverty we saw all along the journey and in Debre Berhan. We made the most of our time here and chilled out. After dinner we went to Jim and Gary's room - had a few drinks lit the fire and spent hours talking about our trip - everyone had to think of a pit and a peak for the whole trip. Everyone's was different which was good as all along each night Sharon and Louise instructed us to give a peak and a pit for each day which was always interesting to listen too.  Zee participated in this and we thanked him for being such a great host to us. It was a late night for everyone but tomorrow we weren't leaving until 12 so we got our first lie in woohoo!!...

Photos to follow...

Monday, 18 August 2014

Last day on Debre Berhan site :( - not finished

Today was our final day on the site we have been working on since last week. We all can't believe how quick time as went - and how much we have achieved in such a short space of time. We headed down to the site at our normal time and got to work - we did some wood work before our morning break then started into painting after break. We split into 2 groups to paint two different houses. These houses were completely finished otherwise. 

More to follow.... 

Below are some photos from our last day on site - more videos and pics will be uploaded later. 

Ankober Palace and Church

As today was Sunday - we headed on the bus to go and see a local landmark Ankober palace. 

The bus journey took about 1 and a half hours and was not for the faint hearted. It was a bumpy road and we were constantly going up hill - so we were very close to the edge. The views were fabulous though. The whole way we got an amazing view of the famous Rift Valley. We got out at a few stages to take photographs - however the photos really don't do it justice.

When we arrived at Ankober. We walked up quite a few sets of steps to get to the palace. It was lovely - the roof was weaved by hand with different materials in the Ethiopian colours which would have taken a very very long time. We enjoyed be view for a long time then headed back to Debre Berhan. 

In the evening we went to visit the local Orthodox Church. All of the women had to have their heads covered so we purchased some scarfs for this. It was interesting seeing the church and how dedicated the locals are to their prayer.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Football and the Waterfall


Aoifes local football club kindly donated a team set of kids jerseys - so today we got the opportunity to give these to the kids and have a football match with them. It was great - they were all very excited to get the jerseys no matter if they were slightly too big.

We split into teams and began to play - Jim and Zee had a few slips which gave everyone a few laughs. It was a great game and everyone got really stuck in - especially Jules and Claire. Jules has now been inspired to take up her football career again haha!! Gary also eventually got a picture with a 'Gary' which translates to horse and card in the local language.

After the football we had lunch then returned to the site where we took a walk to a big valley and waterfall we had spotted days earlier. The walk was great and the view was amazing. It was so green - almost like being at home. We all sat and chilled for a while and enjoyed the view.