My NGO. Actually, Anthony's NGO. Naughty kid ran away and smoked his inventory of cigarettes. So, I had to convert him into a shoeshine boy. Seriously, I hope he smartens up and makes enough money to go to school. (Btw, Anthony bought him the clothes he's wearing).
I bought him the supplies. The neatest thing was the AK 47 ammo box he was going to use to carry the shoe polish, etc. I wish I bought one for myself... I'd look kind of weird declaring that to customs at YYC.
This is Solomon, man with a big heart. He's the NGO's mentor. He and his family have been kind enough to offer the NGO a place to stay in their house. His payback? The kid runs off with the goods... Good luck, Solomon...
Interesting day. I think I performed a good deed. I'm not sure. I visited Anthony's NGO child today. Apparently, the contact worked at the hotel restaurant. I dropped the name and soon I found myself being led into the slum area under the hotel to visit Solomon, the child's supervisor.
I met Solomon, who seemed to be a real nice guy, in a courtyard, surrounded a group of shacks, home to his extended family. I got the lowdown on Jambirr, the NGO kid. According to Solomon, Jambirr had run away from his adopted home a couple of times since becoming a NGO project. Jambirr apparently fabricated a story that bigger kids had confiscated the materials he was suppose to sell (kleenex, chewing gum, cigarettes, etc...). The money he made was meant to better his life of course. In actual fact, he was spotted hanging around, smoking the very cigarettes he was selling. He only returned to Solomon's house when he was starving for another meal. Next disappearance is supposed to be strike 3. If I were Solomon and his family, I would kick him out now and back to his former life (begging and sleeping under a roadside plastic lean-to) for a while and thing bring him back to the good life. Then ask him which life he prefers.
You have to give Solomon and his family credit. They realized that this kid was a long term project (i.e. you can take the kid off the streets, but you can't take the streets out of the kid - well, they were willing to try again at least). With that support behind him I decided to up the ante and restart the NGO program. We talked a while and agreed that things had to change. Instead of selling nick nacks, we decided to change his career. We turned him into a shoeshine boy. We went back to the local market and, for 70 birr, bought him the necessary supplies. Suffice to say, he won't be eating or smoking shoe polish...
I truly hope it works this time because this may well be the kid's last chance at farangi goodwill. Once I and Anthony are gone the well will run dry unless another do gooder comes long. (highly unlikely).
I'm leaving for Addis tomorrow @ 0500.
I gotta pack and shoot some hyenas tonite before bedtime...
My granny, what big teeth, bad breath, and funny laugh you have...
it's 0046 and I'm still awake. It's really going to suck on the bus today. The hyenas were about a weird, bizarre, surreal experience as it gets.
This is my lame attempt at taping some of the action. First, it was really dark out. I didn't have the luxury of car lights shining on the critters. So, I had to resort to the nightshot feature on my camera. Not good, but it did give the hyenas an extra evil look about them. Second, once the clip underwent the youtube treatment, some detail was lost. For instance, the middle segment featured the eyeshine of the hyenas. There must have been 6 to 8 in the group. Very creepy with that many eyes peering at us. You can still see a couple of pairs, but they're faint. I like the hyenas laughing at us though. As for the third segment, I'm the goof playing the role of hyena paparrazi.
Out of Canuckistan: A travel blog, May 1/07
Buy Bubba a Beer Now!