A Ugandan colleague, Judy Nalube, recently traveled to Ethiopia to install a swing set and climbing tower at an orphanage/school near Addis Ababa. She flew from Kampala, Uganda, to Addis and met up with Jennifer McCullough, who while traveling around the world with her Army Officer husband works on humanitarian projects.
Judy in her own words:
On arrival in Addis Ababa, I was received by Jennifer; she picked me up and took me to the hotel where I had reservations, it was a nice hotel, clean and safe. She picked me up the following morning and drove me to an orphanage in a place called Holetta where I stayed for several days until the swing was done.There was no Internet there but it was a nice place, the people there were nice and welcoming. That day, we went shopping for the swing parts i.e pipe, chain, nuts and bolts, etc. It was about one and a half hours drive to that place, the place was really crowded just like the same places we buy stuff like chain from here in Uganda, we managed to get all we needed and also drilled the holes in the pipes before we headed back.After all was done, we hired a vehicle to transport the material, to the orphanage where I stayed, we got back late that day but the day was a success.The following day, Jen came and we hired a horse (you will see the pics) to carry the materials to the school. The guy that was assigned to work with me was not yet there so we embarked on assembling the pipe with Jen, we had some issues with the holes in the pipe, they were drilled wrongly, but later on when this guy arrived, we had them re-drilled and all was good to go though by the time we finished assembling, it was late and we had to leave the school (the school owners said it was not safe to stay till late hours after closure of the school).The following morning we hired a guy to dig the holes, while he did that, we went and purchased cement and gravel, then the swing was buried in the ground that day, I could not get the kids to swing because they leave school at 12:30 pm and the guy I worked with, always showed up after they had left and I was not supposed to go into the school premises without him, they said it was for security reasons. I had bought smaller pipe for making the tower; it was made but due to power shortage (it was on and off) it delayed the work and I left before it was put in the ground but I took some pictures of it though not yet painted.I bought the paint for both the swing and the tower, the painted swing and tower were painted after I left. I asked Jen to take pictures of the kids using the swing (since I only got a few kids around that day when I took the pictures and since they had just put the concrete, they were not allowed to swing on it) and the tower after it is put at the school.
The day before I left Ethiopia, Jen took me around to look at the town and also went to the national museum, it was fun! I also enjoyed my stay at the orphanage, the kids there are so cute and the people are good. Jen is helping that orphanage, she is a very nice person, she made me feel comfortable and secure while there. Almost everything there is different esp. the food but I enjoyed my stay!