Dave spotted Medina in a red dress and her mother, Termima, all in white as soon as the car pulled into the Compassion International site in Addis Alem, Ethiopia. Medina had bouquets of roses for each of our daughters, her Compassion sponsors. Of course, Dave couldn’t get them to the girls, but he took pictures to show them how thoughtful she was.
“Medina was very shy and I finally asked one of the project managers if she was always that quiet or was it because I was there,” Dave said.
Medina was afraid. Dave explained to most sponsored children, the sponsor is like Santa Claus – a person you hear about and receive gifts from, but never meet. So when the child meets their sponsor or sponsor’s family, they are afraid. “I didn’t look like anyone she knew and didn’t speak the language, plus I had three other men accompanying me,” he said.
She is the youngest of five daughters. One is married and lives in another village, another is working in the Middle East, and a third daughter is at school, so that leaves Medina and her sister, Fedila, living at home with their parents in Addis Alem. One of the project managers, Dagnachew, said according to his research for his graduate paper, 97.5 percent of women who return from working in the Middle East have HIV because of the sexual abuse they get from Middle Eastern men. Dave is concerned about Medina’s sister.
After a tour of the Compassion International site and a traditional Ethiopian coffee service, Dave and his team, visit Medina’s home and meet her father, Hyredin and have another Ethiopian coffee service.
“Medina really liked the gifts I brought and immediately put on her new watch,” Dave said.
Next up: Dave and Medina get to know each other