June 2010

Two Shaggy Dog Stories

We were very honoured to have a visit from the regional Bishop, Bishop Brihane Eyesus Sirafel Demiraw, one of nine Bishops in Ethiopia. He came for the festival and also to see the work of the Sisters and was especially interested in Sister Terfatu's work with the Porridge Club and Day Care Centre. He spent a few hours in the Day Care Centre talking with the teachers and children. At 5.00pm over a cup of tea we happened to mention that Jane was an excellent cook. It was at this point he invited himself to dinner at 7.00pm sharp. The Sisters went into an organised panic and along with Jane and an Australian friend Lisa knocked up a substantial meal including sponge cake and jelly.
Bishop Brihane, proud of his Ethiopian roots, was eager to share stories of his past. He told us about the time of the Derg, a bleak time in Ethiopian history, and how he was imprisoned for nine months including a month in solitary confinement with the threat of his death every day. He did, however, make us laugh when he told us about a village that had a dog named Castro after Fidel Castro. This village was due a visit from the local communist representatives of the Derg regime. Bishop Brihane thought that the Derg would not take kindly to naming a dog after the famous communist leader and set about retraining the dog with a new name. The visit went well with no incidents but he said the dog was left very confused.

We mentioned earlier the death of the Sister’s dogs, three actually. One was thought to have Rabies, and not taking any chances, especially as the dogs are in close proximity to the school, the decision was made to poison all four of the dogs. Chamo, Spotty and Tana took the poisoned meat and died a silent death. Victoria (named by us two years ago) took the poisoned meat, staggered to the cow field and brought the meat back up. Two unfortunate calves then ate the regurgitated meat and eventually died. As for Victoria she is still alive - a miracle? She is a true ‘super dog’ - just stay clear of the Kryptonite.


For further information on the Bahir Dar Projects and how you can help please email Angela and Mike on khyber.king@btinternet.com

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