Hello from Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia airport. I left Juba two hours ago and have a three hour layover here in Ethiopia. That is a lot shorter time than the four years Jok and Bol spent in the Panyado refugee camp in Ethiopia from 1987 to 1991. Because of the mix-up of our fight in Bor, we arrived in Juba a day later than expected. Therefore, we had two days of plans that we had to fit into one day. We almost accomplished everything. The best part of today was this morning. We met with a South Sudanese man who has helped secure a $17,000 donation for the clinic. We received it while in Piol, and it enabled Jok and me to put into motion the completion of the staff housing, purchase furniture for the clinic, and make plans for the use of the remainder of the money. A fence around the compound and a source of emergency transportation were two items high on the priority list of the village chiefs and elders, therefore we extensively researched both the fence and the vehicle. We will continue to find out more details, and are thankful for this generous gift. The purpose of our morning meeting was to thank Dr. Majok for his generous donation and to also thank Reverend Bol for arranging the use of one of his cars and driver while we were in Bor and Piol. They are both from the Piol area. When I finished thanking them, they said over and over again that the thanks needs to be to the people of Scioto Ridge United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ohio and the rest of the supporters in the US of the Buckeye Health Clinic in Piol. They told us how important the clinic is to the people in the village. They expressed their gratitude to everyone who reads this blog and are interested supporters of the clinic.
We spent about two hours looking for the business that manufactures the three-wheel motorcycles with a flat bed in the back, similar to the kind we hope to purchase as emergency transportation for the clinic. We were just about to give up when we asked a driver of one of these vehicles where he purchased it. He not only told us, but he took us to the place where they were made. We NEVER would have found it without his help. It is exactly what we were looking for and the price was quite reasonable. I made it back to the hotel just in time to get to the airport.
This has been a fantastic trip. It was difficult for me to say goodbye to Jok today. He and I have been good partners over the last two weeks, exploring and overcoming challenges together. It has all been good and we look forward to telling you all about it during a future event at Scioto Ridge UMC and at Trinity UMC soon after Jok returns in June. I am off to catch the long fight back to Washington DC. See you all soon.