Breakfast (well, in between orders of firfir) with the new NGO's...
2 developments today. One, the breakfast for all my new NGO's went off without a hitch. Met up with the contact person for "the project", Nezro (sp?). I thought I was treating 4 or 6 kids but eight showed up. Ordered up 3 huge mountainous platters of firfir at a local eatery (a place I'd never find on my own). Predictably, the kids scarfed it down pretty fast. Everyone appeared to have a good time.
Nezro informed me that the kid's need shoes and he wants me to finance the deal. He also wants me to buy them breakfast again tomorrow! Look, I really don't see myself as chintzy but I felt like a walking sack of money, again. I sense very little appreciation when I do this kind of stuff. I don't want these kids to depend on me for handouts but the need for the very basics is so overwhelming.
As my Polish friend said, Ethiopians must look after their own at some point.
In contrast, Nezro said, at the medical clinic where we took one of the kids after breakfast, "only the Westerners care [about the poor]. Rich Ethiopians really don't give a damn."
Well, maybe they, the rich Ethiopians should stop raping and pillaging the place and give back to the community. Suffice to say, I'm kind of torn, as an outsider, as to what to do for these kids... All I know is this lil' project seemed to have fallen on my increasingly reluctant lap...
Nezro's taking off tomorrow to visit his wife. Maybe I should take the day off as well to focus on my impending departure, like Anthony... Ok, I'm waiting for my personal bolt of lightning to hit me square on the ass but, dammit, I'm a poor tourist, not a social worker/philanthropist...
After breakfast, I hoofed it down to the Sudan Embassy... Got there at 1000, plenty of time to submit the application. Mohammed and Sharif (kind of sad when you get to know the embassy staff by their first name for the wrong reasons...) were still acting like complete a$$holes again and not answering my knocking at the steel gate/door on the Embassy's perimeter. I knew I had to be persistent to get any service. So, I kept knocking at the door with a coin in hand. That made such a grating noise. Within minutes, Mohammed cracked the door open. He reached out, grabbed me by the arm and pulled me through the opening and into the compound. I gave Sharif my papers and passport and left as fast as I came in. I should have reviewed my visa requirements but I forgot.
Further logistical problems with regards to finding a minibus ride back up to Bahar Dir. I inquired at the front desk of the hotel, all the receptionists referred me to "landcruiser guy" who charged 250 birr for the trip. Suspiciously, the "Canadian lady" in the room next to mine only had to shell out 120 birr for the Bahar Dir journey just last weekend. For some unknown reason, she was reluctant to share any info on how to get a similar ticket... I don't know what to think anymore...other than I gotta get outta here...now.
Out of Canuckistan: A travel blog, May 3/07
Buy Bubba a Beer Now!