|Lalibela, Ethiopia: In the tukul that is now burned to the ground|
|Kassa, our wonderful tour guide: red shirt|
The top photo is Kassa's family. Kassa not only took us through all the sights in Lalibela, but he also invited us in to his tukul. There, we met his father (in photo, with hat), his mother (seated next to me), and his sister. These people are extremely poor, yet they invited us into their home to eat a snack and enjoy some delicious coffee. They were very dear people.
I have recently learned that Kassa's father and mother were killed in a house fire. In fact, seven tukuls were completely destroyed by a fire that swept through the area in the middle of the night. His sister is in a nearby hospital; I still have not heard about the extent of her burns.
Kassa emailed me, asking for help. He had a desperate tone: he now has nothing, and has nobody to turn to for assistance. He is responsible for paying for his sister's medical bills, and for helping her to restart her life. Kassa also lived in this house, so now he, too, is homeless.
I have verified the validity of this story through a third party in Lalibela.
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This is the letter Kassa sent me:
Hello my dearest mother K., How are you and your family? I really don’t know what to say about my situation everything here is against me. I have this bad news to tell you.I fell like I am cursed. There was an accident last week. There was fire accident and our house is burnt. The bad thing is my father and mother could not escape and have lost their life. Some fourteen houses were burnt because of the fire accident. Many peoples were victim of the accident,seven people including my parents died and five were seriously injured, it is my sister among the seriously injured one. As the accident was in the night most of the victims could not escape safe. I have no words to tell you how hurt I am because of the lose. I lost my parents our property and here I am thinking about my sister. she is referred to Dessie hospital 300 kms away from Lalibela for further medical assistance. We are not sure how it helps her recover. However, dear mother Kristen,I don’t have any thing to cover thecost for the medical expense. I fell like I am in the middle of nowhere. my Dearest K., you have done everything for me when you were in the Lalibela. I want you to help me now save my sister. I have lost everything. She is the only one I have now. Please for God’s sake help me have her. May be I will get her recovered.Even, if not I fell, at least, like I did everything to save her and I won’t feel anything. ut I need your favor. I want you to send me money so that I can take her and buy some materials we lost by he accident. mother K., I wish I could tell you everything I need but I feel like I am bothering you,but if you are willing to hear it. I need a lot of things for life.I have to begin again. It is from zero that I start now. I need some one to help me and show me the bright future.Would you please take some courage and tell me that you stand by my side? For God sake. words really fail me to express my sorrow. I am no one without your support. Please save our life. I will be looking forward your reply soon. God Bless You all Yours Kassa.