Last night, I slept in my own bed. I enjoyed slidding into the clean sheets and resting my head on the down pillow. There is just nothing like my own bed… Oh, the joy and contentment of being home.
A cool breeze blew through the room from an open window. I could hear the waterfall from the Koi pond in our backyard running–a soothing sound for sleep.
As I drifted off…
I found myself on the streets of Addis Ababa again. On our last day there, we shopped for gifts of coffee and other things. [I am always looking for beads to buy, sometimes antique beads if I can find them, in the various countries to which we travel.] We found a fabulous shop tucked away on a side street of Ethiopian antique beads! I was in heaven looking over the possibilities. I bought some gorgeous, old amber, silver, and nickel beads. I make and sell jewelery, so this shop was a find for future visits to Ethiopia.
Anyway, as I closed my eyes, I remembered walking down the streets of Addis Ababa looking for things to buy. As white westerners, we were constantly chased. Almost every person on the street is a beggar. They flock to you and beg relentlessly. They follow you and beg and beg and beg. They even press their faces against the glass of the taxi door and run along side the car.
I have no problem giving.
I love to give to them. The problem is that if you give to one, you will be mobbed. And there is an end to what we can give. Therefore, we could not give, even a piece of candy, to avoid a mob. It was so hard.
I will never forget those faces, begging, running after us, mobbing us wherever we went.
I will never forget it.
We gave in many other ways. But those poor, precious beggars on the streets, never knew we gave in many other ways… They only knew we didn’t give to them.
Finally I fell into a deep sleep, where nothing chased me but dreams of home.