Wednesday, July 13, 2016
We have been already a week in Ethiopia and it seems like yesterday when we were taking the flight. So far, it has been a week of welcoming and where we start to know many new things. Our first day in Addis Ababa was to meet the provincial house, spend some time with Fr. Julio Ocaña with whom we share our community preparation time when we went out to Mozambique. We remembered as a very special moments where we were preparing ourselves for our first time service in Africa and he was also preparing himself facing the mission. Now after nearly 18 years we find each other in Ethiopia, each of us with a little more history. […]

Also a special moment to greet Fr. Juan Nuñez. After many years. When we met him, he was the provincial of Spain and we were starting as CLM. So far, the old friends after that many other Comboni Missionaries of the province who welcomed us with affection.

Our trip to Awassa was very good, stopping at a beautiful spot next to one of the largest lakes in the area. It is always good to travel by car as it gives you a perspective of the situation of the country, its roads, villages, crops. Inevitable compare with our experience in Mozambique or other countries. Discover many plowed fields with oxen or the countless donkeys pulling carts where many transports water, potatoes and others.

Finally reach Awassa, capital of the southern states. Knowing Fr. Mansueto, superior of the house, which welcomes us very well, attentive to the different needs, and the rest of the community. This is home of passage for the different communities in the south, so occasionally we meet some missionaries that come for shopping, fix the car or pick up the mail.

And of course, finally meet our beloved CLM community. Mark was the first to reach the Comboni house knowing of our arrival and with unmade suitcases; we went to greet the rest of the community (just over 5 minutes from the comboni´s house). There we met Maggie and their three children, Emebet, Isayas and Teibe, as well as Magda and Madzia. Also with a nice welcome poster hand made by the small of the house and a good dinner to go in conversations.

Is the beauty of internationality, where Canadian, Polish and Spanish share as members of the same family.

Every day we are having a different activity. Always attentive to us, with a new plan every day, and something new to discover at every moment. Each member of the community accompany us, showing the places and activities where they are engaged and finding time to also show us the city and its different places (but this we will leave it for the next post).

An experience as a family we appreciate and hope to take full advantage.

Greetings to all.
Alberto de la Portilla (CLM)