September 11, 2018

It will be 8 months that Caitlin has been serving in the PC as of September 14th. It is hard to believe so much time has passed. I am actually surprised how well I have handled it so far, considering I felt like a basket case as she prepared to leave. There are still moments that are hard though and today was a little more difficult as I have attempted to text Cait multiple times over the past couple weeks but have received no response. It seems like she has been traveling to Metu or other larger cities where she can access wifi at least weekly so it is making me uncomfortable that so much time has gone by without a response.  I even attempted to ‘top off’ her Ethiopian phone with minutes thinking that may help her contact me but when I try to complete the transaction I receive an error message stating, ‘the operator is experiencing issues at the moment….” I have no idea what that means. But I am wondering if there may be something wrong with her phone. She has already had to replace her phone once so maybe something happened to it. All of this equates to leaving us in a communication drought. While Caitlin is experiencing daily rainfalls, we are, in contrast, stuck in our communication drought.  In contrast, Oromia is in the rainy season with daily down pours. The last time I talked to Caitlin she said it is hard to walk around as the ground is so wet and slippery.  The ladies in her village told her she slips so much because she wears sandals. They all wear these plastic shoes. So Caitlin bought herself a pair but she was still slipping and sliding. I think her slipping and sliding is less dependent on the shoes she is wearing but rather her practice at walking in the mud.

In keeping with the focus of this blog, I have been busy sending care packages, but I have seemed to have fallen behind. I had to skim through past posts to see where I am and it seems I have only sent 5 boxes! So I stepped things up and I sent Box #6 a couple weeks ago and we sent Box #7 today.

Box 6:

box 6.jpg

This was our lightest box and fit in a shoe box. This box included seeds that are needed for planting the gardens. Caitlin has already helped multiple families start gardens but she does not have easy access to seeds. We also through in a few extra treats such as honey comb, “save the bees”, socks and other miscellaneous stuff. We sent very little food in this package so we made that up in  box #7 which is full of all sorts of goodies.

Box 7

When shopping for items to send we had to pay attention to what needs to be refrigerated once opened as she does not have any way to keep things cool. The olives need to be refrigerated after opening but I think they will be safe for a few days and plus I have faith that Cait can probably eat them all in a single sitting.

I also included an Alex and Ani necklace with an elephant pendant:

I thought the meaning was perfect for her – an emblem of strength and empathy.

I know all is well with Cait but I am ready to end this communication drought. Until next time.

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