Adele Scholtz

Working for Holland America Cruise Liner, for the past 3 years, I thought of doing something that I always wanted to do my entire life, currently being on holiday I thought the best way to spend my holiday time was to sign up to do volunteering work in Africa and chosen Ethiopia to assist a children programme and feeding centre for 8 weeks. I would love to share my story with you all, this is me in Africa.

One month in Ethiopia!!!

 Posted by Adele Scholtz at 12:04 am  Ethiopia  Comments Off on One month in Ethiopia!!!
Jun 292012

It’s been a wonderful and very spiritual month for me.  Every morning i wake up i thank God that i have everything that i have and i ask him to forgive me for all those times i asked for more and when he said no I could not understand.  I have been an very active reader and the 2 books that I do have to mention is “Maalika” written by Valerie Browning and Ït’s not ok with me” written by Janine Maxwell.  It is so true, I came here to change lifes and the biggest life that was changed is my own.  Shame on me for spending so much money on shopping and wining and dining with my friends while there is 30 000 children starving of hunger/malnutrition in sub Saharan Africa.  i have to admit that some nights I can’t sleep and I lay in my bed thinking what else can I do, i’m thinking of plans & new projects all things going through my mind endlessly of how I as one single person can make a difference.  I had this conversation with Eyob, our volunteer co-ordinator on Wednesday with tears in my eyes i asked him what else I can do to help more?  And God bless him for his answer Ädele you’re doing much as you can do, one step at a time!” I have to be honest Africa is and will always be in my blood, but I grew absolutely so fond of Ethiopia.  You can not explain this to anybody, you have to live it, feel it, look into the people’s eyes and see it before you will ever understand how much love and happiness there is in these people’s hearts.  People are usually scared of the idea to come to Africa, and yes, i completely understand that even for me that grew up in South Africa, coming out into this was an eye opener, sometimes a shock, sometimes i have to walk away and not show anyone especially the children, that i’m crying my heart out.  It is tough, but so rewarding… isn’t the great pleasures in life doing what people say you cannot do, and then you go do it because that makes you happy, and when you succeed you realize that your dreams are necessary to live!!! I have to thank so many individuals here that is making my everyday life in Addis amazing, i would also like to tell you about these wonderful people.  First of all Eyob, an amazing guy, a God send to these children and this country, from the 1st day you picked me up at the airport your endless love and support for me and mostly the children and people of Addis Ababa is shining through you.  I can’t thank you enough and you will always have my support where ever in the world i am.  Mattie, you were like my son from England, you were my help and assisting in every way from school to feeding soup to playing with the kids to painting to laughing to crying etc.  Thank you so much for coming to help me for a month putting your studies & friends aside and offering it all up for this wonderful country and its people.  Beza, our wonderful teacher and my best Ethiopian friend, thanks for showing us all the in’s and outs in Ethiopia without you we wouldn’t have seen it all, experienced it all and my Amharic would not be so good if it wasn’t for you my dearest friend.  Buze, i call her my Ethiopian mother, you cook me 3 delicious meals a day, you bake the best bread and make the best coffee in the world, you clean and see that all 15 children gets all their meals everyday, you are our angel, we love you mamma Buze.  Magadee & Hazim, the wonderful girls upstairs in the office, thanks for all your support and love and listening to all my suggestions, God bless you.  Then to my children, my love, my heart… I will do anything for all of you bunch… Kalid, Yabsra, Fkadu, Sintayue, Frewet, Lem Lem, Yabsra, Meseret, Big Yabsra, Abeti, Tomogosen, Hiwot, Melkamu, Hayder & Bahilu… I love you guys so much!!!  I don’t know when i will be updating my blog again, for this month I will be very busy here, this will be my last 4 weeks in Ethiopia, before i go back to my family and work.  I wanted to thank everybody for all their endless support and love to me and this people, we appreciate it so much, don’t stop helping and praying for Africa please!!! “Love and kindness are never wasted.  They always make an difference.  They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver!!!”.

More than 3 wonderful weeks in Ethiopia!!!

 Posted by Adele Scholtz at 12:06 am  Ethiopia  Comments Off on More than 3 wonderful weeks in Ethiopia!!!
Jun 222012

For everybody must we wondering by now what happened to me… Sorry people i have had internet problems here for the past 10 days, but i’m doing absolutey great!  I’m becoming part of the family here now, i’m loving the way people get to know me now, where ever i go they say my name now and they shout bafana bafana… no more ferenzie (whitie).  The children has been absolutely adorable, Kalid has been sick and had to go to the hospital with an infection, i had 2 sleepless nights over this boy, i was so worried about him, at lunchtime one day i went and curled myself up behind him and hold him so tight and said that i love him so much and that he will be okay soon.  I have been called a local now at the fruit stalls and also at the embilta hotel where i love to go to gym and also come to enjoy the pleasures of a hot shower and a flushing toilet twice a week.  I’m still in town (Piazza) twice a week helping to feed 1000 street people and now i’m also sitting down in between them and enjoying my bean soup with them, eating it with the right hand, chatting my way to them trying to improve my Amharic.  Everytime i get sad or lonely or a little homesick i think of the wise words of that fantastic man Gandhi… “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever!” In the mean time i have also been enjoying my time alone in Addis, as everyone here now know me i like to walk or run everywhere, i’m very strict with my eating and i’ll rather have a little food and give the rest to someone that needs it more than me, i love my coffee, and i love to be sometimes on my own reading or doing yoga somewhere quiet.  I had the great opportunity to go with Eyob to an traditional Ethiopian dancing show, i also went with Beza (my lovely and best Ethiopian friend) to Merkato, the biggest outdoor market in Africa, i went to Buze’s house for sunday lunch and i absolutely loved the traditional foods.  I was introduced to all their shai (different teas) and loving the way i learned how to make buna (coffee) outside with sticks and using african tea pots and doing it on the fire.  I grew fond of their corn bread, lentils and chickpeas… and believe you me this is great for the diet, i feel good & lean and fit just like an Ethiopian long distance athlete.  The only thing that i do have to admit still gets to me is the 7800 ft altitude.  I struggle very badly with this, but my body slowly gets use to it, i have to admit i do push myself though and with my hard headedness nothing will get me down, not even a dizzy spell every now and then.  It started to rain about 2 days ago, it’s really not cold but it’s so wet, and wednesday when i got home i was covered in red clay from head to toe… looked like a wet cat when i got home, i had to look at myself in the mirror and laugh at myself, what else can you do… just pick yourself up, clean yourself and carry on!!!  I also had a very bad cold a week or so ago but Beza’s Kashar (hot ginger & spices tea) sorted me out in a few hours.  Everybody here has been absolutely amazing, i will leave here by the end of next month with tears in my eyes, for i’ve been treated like a princess here,  so for anybody of you wonderful people out there want to travel or want to have an real African experience I will very comfortably recommend Ä few weeks in Ethiopia” it is life changing, but REAL.  Away from all the glamour and glitz, this is the real world, this is what life is all about, never mind if you are poor, you can always be nice and caring and help everybody no matter who they are or where they come from!!!  I will end this weeks thoughts by saying this “Life’s problems wouldn’t be called “hurdles” if there wasn’t a way to get over them!!!”.  Selam from me & my people in Addis Ababa!!!

Selam from Ethiopia!!!

 Posted by Adele Scholtz at 11:17 pm  Ethiopia  Comments Off on Selam from Ethiopia!!!
Jun 082012

Now that our first week is over in Addis Ababa, i can share thoughts and feelings with you and honestly tell you that i have never had feelings like this before.  All i can state before i begin is there is a God out there looking after these people, their will to live and succeed is so incredible it is contagious and even me as an outsider fell in love with this very poor but very happy country!  On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays we teach English, Vocabulary, Mathematics, Arts & Crafts and Sport Activities to the children of the Mercy Home.  There are 15 children each one of them very special in their own way, some making great progress others a bit slower and needs alot of love and attention from us.  On the first day i spotted a young boy named, Kalid.  I just love this boy, he is a very slow learner and his mind gets distracted very quickly so i spend lots of extra time with him, he has one parent and comes from a very poor house, but he is just lovely.  I get tears in my eyes when i see him in the morning and he runs to me with open arms so that i can pick him up and give him a huge hug & kiss.  The children i have to admit are very active and energetic, so after a full day with 15 of them i am exhausted.  I spend hours at night in my bed awake…  i’m thinking how and where do i start helping getting the resources and the money together to make this world a better place for these children & their families and the poor.  A good friend of mine on the ship said to me Ädele, you can’t save everybody, but you can make a difference!” I feel so bad when i complain that i have to wash out of a bucket at night, or when i have little food to eat, or when i have to travel miles to get somewhere, and in this country people do this day in and day out.  I had very little food and struggling very badly with the altitude here, but i’m like a teabag… i get stronger when you leave me in hot water everyday!!!  On wednesdays and fridays we work at the “Hope Feeding Centre”from about 12 to 2pm.  In that 2 hours we feed 1000 people that lives on the street mostly mothers and fathers.  we take them in groups of 200 people at a time and feed them each a piece of injera (Ethiopian traditional sour dough pancake like bread made from a wheat called, tef)  and then we top the pancake with 2 soup spoons full of a bean soup.  To think this will be their only meal they get for the day, and that they are so thankful for it, they say to me ” God bless you” and thanking me very much for the meal.  Life here is tough, and for someone like me that travel the entire world year in and out i’ve become spoilt and forget how grateful i am for here small things like just a toilet that can flush or having warm water for coffee or a piece of toilet paper i notice how we take these things for granted in our everyday life, we think that it is just suppose to always be there… food, fresh water, clothes a warm bed and toilet facilities… the list goes on and on and on!!!  I’m facinated by this place, its people and its strenght.  I wish i was that strong, i know i’m strong and surely there are only a few people that can do what i’m doing in these situations, but i hope that i can encourage people to send resources and help countries like these to survive. I will end this weeks blog by saying that i’m doing well, and that i feel good, it is not easy, but home will always be there, i only give 8 weeks of my life to this and i will do my best here to help!!! Ït’s not how much you accomplish in life that really counts, but how much you give to others!  It’s not how high you build your dreams that makes a difference, but how high your faith can climb.  It’s not how many goals you can reach, but how many lives you can touch.  It’s not who you know that matters, but who you are inside.  Believe in the impossible, hold tight to the incredible, and live each day to its fullest potential… YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO YOUR WORLD!

First few days in Ethiopia!!!

 Posted by Adele Scholtz at 9:12 pm  Ethiopia  Comments Off on First few days in Ethiopia!!!
Jun 012012

Just to let you all know that i’m absolutely doing great, the internet is a challenge to start of with so I found a place to come to every weekend to get great internet and to update you all on what’s happening here.  I arrived safely and our director/co-ordinator of the mercy happy children home, Eyob is the greatest friendliest and most helpful person ever.  The first night i arrived, we (This is now me & Mat, he is from the UK and the other volunteer assisting us) were very tired so we unpacked and went to sleep.  Got up at 9AM the next morning and had breakfast, tea/coffee and some traditional bread.  We were introduced to the children, i love them already gave them hugs and kisses, they are just precious kids.  Eyob took us for coffee in town and showed us Addis Ababa, it somehow reminds me alot of India, so already i love the people and the place.  The people speak 82 different languages here, and there are so many different tribes and cultures it is amazing how these people live together in harmony and peace here, we in the other countries have so much to learn from these people.  They are sincere & honest and polite.  Everybody is friendly and all the children wants to shake your hand and wants a hug.  We got shown the bank, internet cafe, beauty salon (for me to get my hair washed and also braided).  We got told what to do and what not to do, Eyob was very good explaining their culture and believes, which are mostly Ortedox Christians and secondly Muslems. We drove back to the Mercy Home and had some lunch it was rice, my favourite food, and it was really tasty.  In the afternoon Mat & I decided to go walking around Asko for 2 hours to get to know their culture and people more.  I have said this before, but I would like to state this again to everybody in the world…. “Be great for what you have”!!! Don’t complain about things, there are people with nothing that survives in life!!!  We got back to the home and had some tea/carrots & potato’s for dinner.  The food taste great and we loved it because it was made with love.  We always get enough bottled water and for me this is great for i drink alot of water, because i like to run a bit everyday to keep fit and in shape.  The real challenge here is no water inside the house, you have to fetch buckets of water outside for the toilet and to shower or rinse yourself.  I try to do this at least twice a day to keep clean, it is fresh and obviously cold water.  This is no problem,  because it is dry and hot weather here now.  We watched some Etyhopian tv, and went through some of the work we will be doing with the children for our first lesson on Monday.  Our week will be School for children between ages 2-6 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  On Wednesdays and Fridays we will assist with the Hope feeding centre that feeds 1000 people everyday.  This is something i’m looking forward to alot, i’m use to feeding centres that feeds 50 -100 people a day, but never fed 1000 people. Saturdays we will be coming to the Embilta hotel (Enkvlal Fabrica) for good internet and a hot shower and to wash my hair.  Sundays we will be taking our backpacks and water and go hiking around the different areas in Addis Ababa, that is a huge city.  I was told that this programme was here since 2007 and that i’m the 1st South African to come help them.  I’m very, very proud and will keep my country’s name very high here, and also i’m  (very proud to say) that I’m employed by Holland America Cruise Liner, their support and help are greatly appreciated. I will be back next week with an update of my weekly happenings.  I have to mention to all my family & loved ones & friends that i have a phone number here in Ethiopia, I have posted it for you on my facebook wall.  God bless you all, all my love from Africa!!!

Ready for Etihopia – 2 days to go!!!

 Posted by Adele Scholtz at 5:18 am  Ethiopia  Comments Off on Ready for Etihopia – 2 days to go!!!
May 292012

I’m very excited… but shall i say also scared for what will happen on this journey!!! I have planned this for months, from work visas to vaccinations to airplane tickets to paying the fees and  today it came to the time that i’m sitting on my bed and realized this is it… i’m going to Etihopia, may God be with me and i hope and pray that i can make a difference to these children’s lifes and help people all over the continent and the entire world realize how important it is to give and to help those who needs it so badly!!!  This will be my African journey for 2 months I’m blessed and looking forward to it… God Bless Africa!!! This is the continent that I grew up in that looked after me for many years, taught me the good things in life, put a smile on my face, now it’s time for me to give some of myself and lots of love back to this most beautiful place… AFRICA or shall i say HOME!!!

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