Our phone rang this morning telling us that we can buy the tickets. MOWA submitted in court Monday a favorable letter. Considering the recent slowdown, this letter being added to our case is huge, and we are very thankful.
There was a buzz of energy in the house this morning after the phone rang. I confirmed our guest house reservations. We are still trying to nail down the right flight. My traveling buddy is in Los Angeles, so that makes things more complicated.
Abe went to school, and I went to work. I was finally able to tell the clients at my job the dates that I'll be in Addis Ababa, where many of them have relatives. An interpreter came to the community room at my workplace to make sure we weren't losing any vital phone numbers or dates. She explained to them why I was going, where I would be staying, how long I'd be gone.
I will be taking photos and letters and I'm not really sure what else to give to their relatives for them. One of our clients, with a huge smile and opened arms said that she had nothing to give her family so she just wished me safe travels and to come back to them soon.
Another client broke down in tears, saying he had nothing to give his son, the one who used to support him in Oregon but has since been deported. I pray I get to meet him anyway, just to look him in the eye and say how much we love having his father in our program. I want to tell him stories about his father in Oregon. I pray this happens.
Another client's wife is on her deathbed in a hospital in Addis. He asked me to visit her for him. I will try my best to do so.
I will be staying in the same neighborhood where the daughter of one Eritrean client lives and works. He is going to call her and arrange a meeting for us. He is the one who reminds me most of what Abe might look like when he's in his 70s. Of course, he's incredibly handsome.
Our other Eritrean client began speaking to the interpreter in Tigryna. He spoke for a a long time. He kept locking eyes with me. My friend and interpreter told me that he was explaining that he knows how much I love them, that they consider me a sister, that I am "one of them." He wished me safe travels and to come back soon.
I have had a lot of wonderful moments in this job, but this moment may be the one I treasure most.
I leave next week. I'll be carrying their hearts with mine as I go.