The ties of our lives come from the past, and today, after more than 20 years of attending Ethiopia, getting to know and caring for thousands of children, our hearts have become inextricably linked to the land that has also become our land.
The war lasted a full 2 years and put people in distress who had an already difficult life due to poverty and disease. We wondered how we could continue to help our brothers in distress; we sent money through unknown people who we knew, however, would not betray their people, and so we were able to get food to people who had reached an extreme stage of endurance.
At the end of the war, however, it was very difficult to reach Tigray because you cannot buy tickets from Italy; they can only be bought in Addis Ababa with a letter of introduction.
Upon our arrival we were struck by the desolation of uncultivated land, empty streets, the disappearance of the swarming of people in the streets that characterized that land and to which we were accustomed. Ayder Hospital in Mekelle was no longer functioning for cardiology and almost all specialties, having been turned into a war hospital. We helped the staff repair the equipment that no longer worked.
We went to Adigrat: far worse situation, the hospital totally destroyed, we visited our heart patients by writing reports on a bed net set up in a corridor; we managed to bring sheets and towels from the storage of our house that was spared from the devastation thanks to the presence of Italian flags displayed outside, as if to indicate a “foreign” territory.
And thanks to our guardians, to Desta our patient manager, to the nurses who continued to work. Thanks to the guardians who tightened control, our patients and The children were almost all safe … and now we can begin again and look at the future with a little more hope.