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02/09/2021

Trip Report (IV)

Shashamane, 1 September 2021

A story… her name is Kalkidan

Pina tells us her story from Shashamane.

Sometime those things we call “coincidences” never fail to amaze us…

There is a bond, a very thin common thread which binds the possible to the inevitable.

Today’s meeting in the courtyard of the mission was inevitable.  We were returning from a visit to the school supported by GMA Napoli, and awaiting us were two men with drawn faces, dressed in poor but dignified clothing that displayed a kind of rough beauty.   Accompanying them was a splendid 4-year-old little girl named Kalkidan.

They approached Father Gebre’ and, in the Amharic language, they asked him something -- pleading with their eyes, their hands, and their body.

I asked Nunzia, our leader, what they said… although I had already guessed from their imploring gestures.  “Something to eat, a job, some clothes… or at least the opportunity to send the little girl to school”.  Kalkidan and I looked into each other’s eyes, we smiled, and hers was a smile that only these children, so poor, can give you.   In just seconds, we were deeply connected.   I said, “I will adopt her”.  And then that man, Joannis -- so tall, so thin, so desperate -- threw himself down at my feet and started kissing them, to my great bewilderment, with his face on the ground, in the dust.  He was crying.  I knelt down too, I pulled him up, I hugged him and I said “you are my brother”.

So, different dimensions can create bonds between the possible and the inevitable.

On Sunday, Joannis, the father of the child, fainted in church due to hunger, we were later told.

Kalkidan in Amharic means “hope”.