Field Days, Family and Fame

The annual Field Days have taken place this weekend. There has been a carnival atmosphere as special food has been served, music has been playing and the whole school body has been excited at the prospect of a variety of athletic pursuits. According to a longstanding parent at the school, I’m reliably informed that there is one tortoise who really likes field day and sure enough he made himself part of the proceedings. One child couldn’t resist putting a winners ribbon on his shell. Our Kindergarten team ran in the staff relay and appropriately used a teddy as a baton.

Attending the Field Days having traveled from outside Addis for the purpose, were two little Ethiopian twin sisters. Their adoptive mum told me the story of how these girls have survived against all the odds and gave me permission to share their story. They were born prematurely to a mother suffering from malaria. It is not clear how much she was able to feed them. This birth mother died a few weeks later and they were carried in someone’s jacket and given sips of river water. They had lost a lot of weight and were cared for until they could be returned to the family. Food was sent home with them but culture dictates that adult male family members take precedence over babies and yet again they lost half their weight. At this point they went to hospital and one of the girls was covered in purple spots (probably septicemia). After this they were adopted.

In a recent very serious car accident one of them received injuries on either side of her body but she was otherwise unhurt. Which was truly amazing. They are now in need of a tutor as both have learning difficulties and one has a physical disability. I really hope that the right person may be found. These beautiful girls have been through so much in their short lives.

It is always fascinating to meet by chance those you have befriended in the past and learn what has been happening in their lives. Earlier in the week we met a couple that we had visited eight years ago. I remember clearly that they had an Ethiopian with them that was fascinated by the apples he saw in a bowl on the table, as they were an unfamiliar fruit for him. We shared a meal together and learned that the Ethiopian was a very keen runner. The couple had helped him in many ways not least with a pair of running shoes (He trained barefoot in the countryside regularly). According to a photograph on face book of him holding a trophy aloft, he has now won the Oslo marathon!


After our discussion today, I laughed even harder at the picture of the tortoise!

The backstory to the two Ethiopian twin sisters is heartbreaking. That's too much for anyone to handle...

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