This morning we left Addis Ababa, and drove with CRS Country Director John Shumlansky and staff in a southwestern direction to the town of Meki. Within the Church Meki is an Apostolic Vicariate--the last step before becoming a Diocese. The Bishop Abraham Desta heads up the Vicariate.
The Vicariate is situated in a very large compound with a new Church at the center of it. The Bishop's residence, offices for the Vicariate, and other leadership activities are situated here.
We first visited the wonderful Our Lady of Perpetual Help Clinic supported primarily by donors and entities in Spain. The Director is a young man from Madrid, and he has helped the Clinic to grow to a most effective medical center for the area. Spanish doctors, medical specialists, and dentists take turns coming from Spain to staff the Clinic. Many Spanish volunteers also come for a period of Christian volunteer work.
The Clinic opens at 6:30 am, and people begin lining up early to be seen by Clinic staff. A triage person evaluates each person to determine where he/she should be sent for care. Emergencies receive priority over all others.
- Tree Fruit: mangoes, avocados, and other fruits
- Row Crops: corn, alfalfa, potatoes, and many kinds of vegetables to be sold
- Dairy Cows: to produce milk with the majority of it being used to make three kinds of cheeses
- Vineyards and Wine Making: the farm grows three varieties of red wine grapes, and chenin blanc grapes for white wine