At school everyone is now busy getting ready for Ethiopian Christmas ( 7th January ) ! This really is the biggest celebration of the year - and although it isnt huge in Western terms ( i.e. preperations start about a week before the holiday instead of September / October ) it is huge in Ethiopian terms.
But this Christmas, the schools biggest gift would be the safe return of one little 9 year old girl. She comes to the school from the local orphanage and although 9, she hadn't previously been to school so is the class with the 4 year olds, where she seems very happy.
Having lived on the streets for many years, she is very independent and when she becomes annoyed or frustrated she simply walks out on her own. Previously she has always returned within a few hours, however this week she had a huge argument with staff and walked out and has simply never returned.
She has now been missing for four days and despite all efforts being made, she has not yet been found. The Ethiopian police force simply doesn't have the resources to carry out a huge search so we are simply hoping for the best and doing all we can on our side.
Things like this really expose you to the harshness of life in Ethiopia.