Well praise God we have managed to get our computer systems back up and running, much to everyone's relief. The computer network was down for a total of 3 weeks so everybody was glad when we finally cracked all of our problems. We now have (hopefully) a stronger network because of it and hopefully this sort of thing won't happen again, or at least not as bad.
I think that I mentioned a couple of months back that one of our street boys from Piazza area, Metessinot, had got a job as a bulldozer driver and left Addis to go back to where his parents were from; Dila. He had called Dundee on a number of occasions asking that we go down and see him in his new location. Daniel Toole and Dundee thought this would be a good idea so it was decided that we would pick a weekend and go down to see him. Dundee suggested that we take the motorbikes, as he has a bike also. So this weekend we set off to travel almost 400km to Dila, and then 400km back. I was a bit nervous as we were taking three people on two Chinese motorbikes, so we prayed hard before setting out. Dundee mentioned just before we set off that he hadn't contacted Metessinot to tell him that we were coming, and that he had left the company he had been working for. The company had given Dundee a number of places they thought he might be so Dundee figured that it wouldn't be hard to find him. We left school on Friday at about 4:30pm and travelled to Mojo, about 80 km from Addis. We stayed the night at the house of a family who have kids who go to Bingham. They are starting nursery come school for local children, who will live there permanently until they are 18. It was interesting to see the project that they are starting.
On Saturday morning we continued down the road to Awasa, the last major town before Dila. The road until that point is fairly good. After Awasa, though, the road gets pretty rough with potholes abounding. We were thankful to arrive at Dila, at 4pm on Saturday afternoon. Dundee began to look around the town, asking people if they knew Metessinot. Daniel and I sat at a cafe waiting. Around 5pm, Dundee returned with a guy who said that he was Metessinot's brother. After quite a grilling from Dundee, we decided that he probably was Metessinot's brother. He told us that Metessinot was in the fields nearby working with cattle and that he would return at about 6. We decided to get a room at a hotel. Dundee went to get 3 rooms which they said would be 50 birr each. Upon seeing Daniel and I, the price changed to 50 birr for Dundee and 100 birr for us. Dundee got very annoyed about this and argued with them for about 30 minutes about their obviously extortionate rate. According to him, it is against the law to charge more just for a forengi. Unfortunately, his arguments were all ignored by the guys and all they would do was reduce our rate to 80 birr.
We went to a local restaurant for dinner, unfortunately Metessinot never showed up even though his brother came back to see us again. On Saturday night, I woke up very sick from the dinner that we'd had and endured a very restless night. We left on Sunday morning at 6:30 to travel the whole way back to Addis. We arrived back at about 4pm, absolutely shattered but very thankful for God's protection of us during our weekend. I don't think I'll be travelling that distance again in such a short space of time.
A quick stop to pick up a minor part that had fallen off Dundee's motorcycle; one of only two stops we had to make due to motorcycle problems; both non-major!
Stopping for lunch by Lake Langano on our way back.
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