For the past couple days here in Ethiopia I have been battling sickness, it’s been fine, but when we order food, I often can’t eat most of it. I’ve packed it to go. Ethiopia is one of the kindest most beautiful places we have ever been, but there is so much poverty. Children are hungry, moms can’t feed their kids, it’s everywhere and it’s not a trick. I have been able to give my uneaten, wrapped food to skinny little girl’s who’s eyes light up, to mommies. But tonight, since I was able to eat, Andrew and I ordered extra meals to go, hoping to share, which took about 30 seconds down the road.
A mommy, about my age, wrapped in a dusty, faded pink shawl crouched on the hard ground, she has no home, no shelter. I waved at her and two boys, about the age of my two boys popped out of her shawl, they had been huddling together on the ground. That is their home. It is late at night here and cold, they ran the couple feet up to meet, astonishment on their faces as I hand them two pink plastic bags–food. They don’t even know what to do, they look back at their mommy, they look at me, they put their little hands together and thank me, thank me and run back to their mommy. The mom and I wave to each other, two mommies, we each have two little boys, about 3 and 4, both with the same light in their eyes, and hair you just want to put your hand on so they know how good they are. The only shelter she can offer them is her tired, worn shawl where they peep their heads out, nothing more. I think about if it were my boys, and the only food they could get is from a stranger, not me. Of not being able to provide it for them. The tiny boys are back under her shawl, and they are having their meal, most likely the first time that day. I haven’t been able to shake them from my mind, I feel so sad for them. And, I am thankful for my sickness, without it, I wouldn’t have connected to the mommy who is just like me in every way, every single way. She loves her children, and that is what I saw when I saw those little eyes under her shawl.