BTC Ethiopia: Day 8 – Local team went to Red Cross to give blood to donate to Ibrahim the rest of us fed the elderly homeless
While we waited on news of the blood transfusion, some of us went to the market to get supplies, while others stayed back and talked to the woman who makes scarves and work out logistics of buying from her to sell in the US – buying & selling with a purpose.
We spent the morning engaging with and feeding the elderly homeless. Some of us even sang for them.
The President of the Ministry of Women and Health gave us a certificate for our work, and after giving the small donation for start-up inventory, we walked back to the compound.
We found out the local GHNI team had given blood, because there was none available that matched Ibrahim. It worked, and a few hours later, we were at the hospital, watching him get his blood transfusion and seeing the joy on he and his daughter’s face. He was not out of the woods, but his vitals were improving. We met with the doctor who explained it was going well, but that he had progressive liver disease and other issues from it. He would need to be cared for, for a few more days and continue treatment. We agreed to pay that, and left knowing he was getting a bit better…for now.
If the issues of nutrition and water aren’t addressed, it will be difficult to continue recovery, and it’s a matter of time before the same fate befalls others there. The reality is, Ibrahim isn’t the first nor will he be the last to deal with this. The difference is, most others just lay down and die in the village. Someone dies every 3-5 weeks in this village. It may be a child, or a father, leaving the family with only the children (and often sick mother) to provide, making matters even worse, causing them to drop out of what little school they may have recently had access to, and perpetuating the cycle.
Coming off the emotional roller coaster of the day and the trip as a whole, we had our last dinner together that included a formal debrief of the trip’s logistics, so the GHNI team can continue to improve. We discussed our commitments and plans to help invest in the GHNI team and the progress of the villages we visited, and generally shared our gratitude for each other, the experience, and the opportunities we would have to make a difference going forward.
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