Colin '11 is leading us in a game of Spades at our Mek'ele hotel while we wait for the rest of our party. It's been a long, complicated, but productive day.
Ethiopian Air, using their infinite wisdom, decided to cancel our early morning flight. We had to unexpectedly revert to plan B. I took the three presidents and Mr. Dearie with me on the next available flight out of Addis, while the remainder of our contingent did their best to make the most of an extended stay in the nation's capital. They'll be arriving late this afternoon.
In the meantime, the boys and I, after arriving in Mek'ele in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, visited Dagia Reinhold School, about 5 miles outside Mek'ele.
The trip though took some time. Our van couldn't quite make it all the way to the school due to crater like ruts in the earthen road. We got out and did the last stretch on foot.
It was all worth it. Our welcome was spirited and warm. The children were excited. They ran from their classrooms to greet us with traditional greetings in song, chanting, and dance. We then visited their classrooms and shared time together.
It's hot and very dry. Vegetation is sparse, topography mountainous, and the predominant lifestyle is centered on subsistence farming.
Mimi O'Hagan, a wonderful friend of Saint David's, helped build this school. Tomorrow, we will visit Saint David's Kalina School. The purpose of our trip.