Carla’s Trip Journal – Installment 5

Day 4 in Addis Ababa

AHope Orphanage:
Day 4 we went to the AHope Orphanage. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Carolyn, Karen, Jean and Sharon went to AHope last year, and delivered quilts to the children there. We were there to deliver some more quilts to some of the newest and smallest children. We started with a tour of the orphanage. Many of the children’s rooms had been painted by volunteers, and it was a very cheerful environment. See the sweet little guy sleeping in the yellow crib? He’s one of the newest residents. We tried to tiptoe so as to not wake him up.

Then the children were brought in from the yard, and we started to give out the quilts. See the cute little guy who’s checking out the quilt given to the first little girl? He got with the program right away, and was SO excited to receive his quilt. It was clearly the high point of his whole day, and his excitement was contagious.

There were also several prospective adoptive parents there. The lady with the white sweater and the dark hair is Gina, who was thrilled to be with her new son, Biruk.

   On our way home we spotted a familiar face on a billboard.   Then we stopped for some magnificent coffee. I’ll be at the Tassimo soon, trying to get mine to look like this! It was so pretty I could hardly bring myself to drink it!

And we stopped to pose for a picture. From left, it’s me, Linda and Brenda. You can tell what a great time we’ve been having in Ethiopia!

Stay tuned!  More to come!




10 Responses to “Carla’s Trip Journal – Installment 5”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Keep the blogs coming, great to see how you are doing. Ann & Cliff

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Loving your journal. I feel like I was there with you. Great job and keep the installments coming

  3. Ollie Gayle Kryszczuk Says:

    Enjoy reading & I loved the pictures of the orphanage & the children,beautiful.

  4. Deb Hoffman Says:

    So glad to put a face to the wonderful Carla! Thanks for all you do.

    • quiltsbeyondborders Says:

      Deb, how nice to hear from you! Your quilts were among the very first ones I ever quilted for QBB. I hope you saw that we took some of yours on this trip — I think they were given at Hanna’s Orphanage. I know the recipients loved them!


  5. quiltsbeyondborders Says:

    Ann & Cliff, Ollie and “Anonymous” — Thanks for following our blog. This trip was such a joy for me, and I’m so happy to share it with you!


  6. Gail Says:

    I’m really enjoying your journal and the pictures. And, I even saw a photo of a boy with a quilt I pieced and quilted. What a thrill for me. I’m sure you ladies were thrilled many times over during the trip. Thanks for sharing with us. Gail

  7. quiltsbeyondborders Says:

    Thanks, Gail! We were thrilled many times over during the trip! It’s wonderful to be able to wrap a child up in a quilt that you made, and even after years of doing this, I still get a charge out of seeing a child in a quilt that I worked on!

    I don’t know for sure which Gail you are, but I bet you’re the one that pieced and quilted that cheerful yellow one with the different colors of dots and circles, right? I was hoping you’d see the picture! Thanks for quilting for us! You can see that quilt will be much loved!


  8. Janet Says:

    Thank you again for sharing the pictures from your trip! The boys smile even when they’re handed something themed for a girl.

    I’m surprised to see so many of the children wearing sweaters. Is the temperature so cool that a sweater is needed?

    I was also surprised and troubled seeing the one wall painting of a white child. I wish the artists had put more thought into what they were doing.

    • quiltsbeyondborders Says:

      Janet, thanks for your comments. You bring up some things that I think should be discussed further.

      The boys in Ethiopia don’t necessarily have the same perceptions about colors and themes as boys in the US might have. For instance, the color pink is not necessarily considered feminine in Ethiopia. And for that matter, some people don’t want to use fabric with poinsettias because that flower is so identified with Christmas in the US. But in many other countries, a poinsettia is just a beautiful flower because it blooms at other times of the year. Those of us who handed out the quilts tended to try to match the quilt from a size, color and theme perspective to the child, based on the child’s age and the colors they wore, and noticing which quilts seemed to light up their eyes when they saw them. Occasionally someone would ask to trade one for another, but it didn’t happen very often. For the most part, the children just really loved having their own quilt.

      As far as the sweaters go, Addis Ababa is 8000 feet above sea level, and while it doesn’t typically snow there, it gets quite cool. Nights are often in the 40’s and 50’s, and the average daytime temperature is about 72 degrees, so sweaters are worn — and quilts are really helpful at night! There isn’t much in the way of central heating in most of the houses I’ve been to in Addis.

      I also noticed the picture of the white child. I believe she was a character from a book, so perhaps that’s why she was chosen. But I agree that it would be nice to see a child of color on the wall. And for that matter, I love it when I see fabrics that have diverse groups of children on the fabric. I really want the children to feel like they can identify with the characters they might see on the quilts. That said, I think there are a lot of little boys who want to be super-heroes and a lot of little girls who want to be princesses, and skin color didn’t seem to make any difference! But I do wish fabric manufacturers made more character fabrics with characters of color, both for our little Ethiopian friends and for children of color in every country.

      Thanks for bringing up your observations!


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