The rain poured off the windscreen in a tepid sheet and joined the pools already forming in the reddish ruts of this distant road. Ethiopia carries few cars on her ancient back once the cities have receded into steaming sooty blots in the rear-view mirror. The rains fall, deep and long, bathing the grateful leaves and petals and faces of children.
These children race to the edge of the road at the approaching sound of our Land Rover. A few are clad only with a string around their throat indicating that they have been baptized. Others wear shorts or shirts handed out of the windows of other Land Rovers by those who have already passed this way.
All wave imploring arms out to us in hopes of a handout. Was their condition known as poverty before these Land Rover Processions began? All those on this road both inside and outside our
vehicle feel this pain.
We slough temporarily to a halt and the real assault of the heart becomes almost unbearable as hands and arms reach inside our windows, begging for something to eat or to wear. Shame and
pain and impotence drown everyone in waves of helplessness.
There is one woman outside my window, a baby hanging from her back, its thin arms wrapped tightly around her mother’s neck. Suddenly the woman and I really see each other and her brown eyes lock with my blue ones. The intimacy of personality somehow recognized and instantly understood slices through this agony and makes clear a sacred space wherein we two exist alone in our sudden sisterhood.
I remove my purple scarf, hold it briefly to my heart to add my love and respect and offer it to her. For a moment our space disappears as her eyes darken with another intent and she snatches at the bounty and begins to rush away. But then she pauses and slowly turns back to me, self-possession regained.
She steps once more to the window and, eyes again turned to mine, she carefully removes her one ornament from her wrist, a bent bit of copper telephone wire. With great dignity, she passes it
through the window and places it carefully into my hand.
At this moment the Land Rover lurches forward again and as we drive off I turn backwards in my seat to catch and hold this last shared and intense glance with my new sister.
It is now several years and a major move since my experience in Ethiopia with Cross Cultural Journeys. There are many treasures that I have left behind since then but the copper bracelet and my bond with this woman from another continent and another life will always travel with me.
Belle Star is a Psychology graduate of Barat College. She is a certified Master Life Coach and Hypnotherapist. She has experience in various 12-Step programs, has had three years of Huna training in Soul Recovery, Energetic Rebalancing and Negative Energy Removal. Belle has trained extensively with Brugh Joy MD in uncovering Archetypal Patterning, and has studied Dream Analysis many years with Dr. Jeremy Taylor.
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