Day 14 – Working at Shimbet – Frank and Charlotte
This morning there was no need for an alarm clock, as we were awoken by the 6.30 call to prayer(didridoo playing). Having stumbled down to breakfast, we sat eating our french toast, omelettes and marmalade, engrossed in the beautiful view of lake tarna, as well as McGrah’s enthusiastic commentry of every species of bird within a mile radius.
After grabbing our bags, we lined up along the roadside and piled in to bajajs, navigating our way to Shimbet School in our already muddy clothes from the previous day’s cleaning. On arrival, we had a tinnish sibsaber (small meeting) to craft a plan for the day – our priority’s were painting, desk fixing, and window smashing (many windows were broken and we needed to make them less dangerous).
Steph and Fiona, our art decor specialists, decided that we should paint three walls of each room in white, with the fourth as a brightly coloured feature wall, so Katie and Semachew lead a team to the market to barter for some paint whilst the rest of the group continued mopping and cleaning up more rooms. With the paint bought,the team assembled into a fantastic troupe of painting enthusiasts, ready to unleash their inner artistic genius.The walls were lavished with blue and a custard cream – replacing the proposed white as the classrooms started to take shape.
Meanwhile, the drilling team were having a relatively unsuccesful time fixing desks. With the fixable desks lined up ready for rejuvenation, drill bits started to fail and burn out. Come the end of the desperate attempts only five desks were moved to the area designated to fixed desks.
With the sun still beating down we finished working for the day and headed back to the Ghion to clean up, ready for a communal meal out. Griff announced to the group that we would be going to Desset Lodge, a beautiful restauant that overlooks Lake Tana and a place buzzing with local people. After tucking into some local cuisine, we headed to our next destination, for a “saturday night boogie” at the local ‘club’. This was certainly an experience everyone enjoyed, because it was something we had never experienced before. As we walked in, we found ourselves in a large wooden building, packed full of local people, all clapping and mesmirized by the show on stage. On the stage there was a small band, consisting of a keyboard player accompanied by several other traditional stringed instruments. We were treated to performances from a local legend and several other charasmatic singers and dancers. The group clapped and danced along enthusiastically, embracing the exotic shoulder movements, finding ourselves transformed by the Ethiopian harmonies. It was a fantastic night and will be remembered for the rest of our lives.
sending love to everyone at home.