August 7, 2018

Caitlin got a new Ethiopian phone and last Tuesday I was able to ‘top off’ her phone with minutes and I was rewarded with a phone call later that day! It was the first time in weeks that we were able to have an actual conversation and it was incredible to catch up with everything that is going on with her. She sounds excited about her work. She has planted a garden at her house and she has worked with 2 women to plant gardens at their house. She has used seeds she brought with her and they have been successful at getting many different plants started. I guess carrots are very hard to come by and one of the interests of the PC is to increase access to more orange colored vegetables and encouraging planting of sweet potatoes and maybe squash that can provide vitamin A which helps immune resistance. She has also been given a large piece of land that she can plant anyway she wants and she has asked for us to send her seeds as she does not have easy access to seeds…… you can guess what our next box will be.

Caitlin said there is young girl, maybe 10 years old, that talks to her all the time. She said the girl is one of her favorite people in her village. She keeps asking Caitlin to come over to her house but always at times when Cait is going somewhere else and she has to decline the offer. Last week, Caitlin was free when the girl again invited her to her house and when she got there and met the girl’s father, she realized they are one of the families she is assigned to work with. The father has a number of active bee hives as well as many that are empty and which need to be repopulated. During her most recent training, they learned much about bee keeping, including how to make the foundation for the bee hive to allow hive growth. The process requires some equipment she doesn’t have but she was looking forward to working on it.

This first year, the PCV have training about every 12 weeks. I think she said the next training will be on ‘project design’ as she will need to decide what her primary project will be. They will also teach them how to apply for grants to support the project. The volunteer that served in her village before her provided chicken coops and chickens to 6 families and Caitlin said and she has already had a number of families ask if she is going to make chicken coops so she is unsure if she will just continue that project or do something different. I am excited to see what she decides to do.

A couple newsworthy notes – the new Ethiopian Prime Minister visited the US and met with Mike Pence, working to build the US alliance. Caitlin also said that it is pretty big news in Ethiopia that they opened the border in Eretra – which is near the Red Sea and Sudan. I dont understand all the political implications but it is good news.

And I end the post with this picture from Cait’s instagram. This is the road leading to her village and this amazing rainbow was there one day. She said she was like, “wow, do you see the rainbow?” as she found it amazing but I guess they were just passe, like ‘yea its nice” haha – So to the promise of a new day!


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