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World Vision

Chad Dykstra - 2010-10-26
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We had the priviledge of spending today with World Vision in the Boset Area Development Program (ADP). What an amazing day! We were picked up at 8am this morning by Tamiru, the World Vision Ethiopia liason to World Vision U.S. We were then taken east about 2 hours to the Boset ADP headquarters where we met with the child sponsorship coordinator and the ADP project manager. They gave us a presentation on the Boset area and then escorted us to three different projects within the ADP.

Our first stop was a potable (drinking) water project. This was very special for us because of our involvement with Team World Vision raising money for projects just like this one. We were able to see a 390 foot well that was dug and a water tower that was constructed to hold 26,000 gallons of water. From there water is transferred to multiple distribution centers around the village. We were able to see children and talk to a woman who was are beneficiaries of the project. Before the well was installed in 2008, they had to walk 45 minutes to obtain water. Now the entire village is able to walk only 5-10 minutes to obtain clean, safe water. By 2013 they are hoping to expand this project and bring water to even more families in the area.

Our second stop was a secondary (high) school a few kilometers away from the village where the well was installed. We were able to sit down with the principal of the school and hear all about the school and the benefits it brings to the community. There are 2,000 students attending the school. Before it was built in 2001, students needed to travel 45 kilometers to the closest high shool. The families had to rent a place for the students to live while they were away at school. This obviously caused very few students to be able to attain a secondary education. It especially affected girls because of the risk of young girls living away from home. Each year female enrollment at the school is up higher than the year before. Class sizes are very large - in many cases around 75 students per class. The school refuses to turn away students, but they have outgrown the amount of classrooms and teachers that are there. There are also hopes to expand this project in the next couple of years to provide even more classrooms.

After lunch, our final stop was an irrigation project that is currently under construction and set to be completed within the next year. We traveled around 70 kilometers to this project, and much of that was on dirt roads. We got an incredible view of the Ethiopian countryside on the way there and back. We saw countless herds of sheep, goats, cows, and even camels being herded down the roads. there were also farmers harvesting and threshing crops. Many people were carrying water, firewood, and crops back to their villages. The lucky ones had donkeys. Many children were on their way to and from school as well, which was neat to see. Lots of them were waving at us as we drove past in 2 big Land Cruisers.

When we got to the river where the irrigation canal began, there were many people at the river bathing and filling their water jugs to take back to their homes - mostly children. I'd love to say that water is sparkling clean and safe to drink, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. I have pictures of it that I can share later. It was very brown and dirty. This is the reality of life for many in Ethiopia. We hiked down to the start of the project where water will flow in from the river. It will be carried through a canal that is being built approximately 5 kilometers in from the river. Once it reaches the end, that water is going to be used to irrigate fields for a local village. This will allow for an additional harvest for them and greatly increase their income and improve their way of life.

Special thanks need to be given to World Vision for providing us this unique opportunity. We are so blessed to have had the opportunity and look forward to sharing pictures, videos, and more stories and information with whoever is interested. They are doing amazing work and changing thousands upon thousands of lives in Ethiopia. Within the Boset ADP we visited, we saw only a portion of the projects that World Vision has done. We drove past at least a dozen different project signs. Almost every school or water distribution center we drove past had a World Vision sign out front. I can't imagine what life would be like in these communities if not for the involvement of World Vision. Special thanks also to Tamiru for his willingness to take us on this amazing journey. We have learned so much and we can't wait to share it with friends and family. We also are so grateful to have become more familiar with A and Z's country, culture, and people.

Now tomorrow...our court date and then home!!! We have court at 9am tomorrow and if we pass, A and Z will officially and legally be our children. We hope to be able to visit them one more time tomorrow as well, but we'll see if time will allow that. Schedules are challenging with 16 families all needing to be places. Travel in Addis is not always easy or quick.

Please pray for our court appearance. Pray that everything would go well and that we would pass. More importantly, pray for A and Z's oldest sister, who will also have a court date tomorrow where she will legally release the boys to be adopted to us. I can't imagine what will go through her head knowing she will quite possibly never see her two beautiful brothers again. I am the kind of guy that will choke back tears at any cost to avoid looking like a sissy, but I have to confess that I can't choke them back tonight. Just thinking about it makes my heart break for her in a way I can't explain.

Thanks for following along on our journey. You all mean a lot to us and we've been blessed by the emails we've received from many of you. We'll try to update tomorrow as soon as we can to let everyone know if we passed or not. We should be done by about 4am Eastern time.

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