Angel Olaran: “High morale… against all hope”

Angel Olaran: “High morale… against all hope”, while rejoicing at the reestablishment of electricity services, the arrival of unexpected aid, but continuing to feel sorry that the concept of urgency is not being applied as it should after six weeks of the peace agreement.

Written by Angel Olaran: “High morale… against all hope”

Six weeks have passed since the South Africa meeting. At the end of the meeting it was expected that the decisions would follow each other: with urgency. As far as we can see, the concept of urgency has yet to be defined.

As of today, December 18, the only thing that has reached the Tigrayan population is the daily electricity service . We now realize what the long daily outages meant for us, until 10pm and then cut off again at 6am; outages of up to two weeks at a time. We barely have to use candles and flashlights. We have the feeling that we can walk with our heads held high.

Other humanitarian aid

Aid not announced or promised, but with the seal of seriousness, independent of any political commitment, continues to reach us. Not like the MOTHER HUMANITARIAN AID demanded by the UN, the African Union, . . applauded by the EU: the one declared “URGENT” last Nov. 2 in South Africa.
Regarding the URGENT HUMANITARIAN AID, I dare to assume that those official commissions that often meet must be deciding on the urgency of this URGENCY, for which they are taking the necessary time – the seriousness of the case demands it -.

In the previous publication I informed you about the arrival and distribution of the 20,000 kilos of flour – of which we include some photos below -, while adding that there were still some products yet to arrive. These days we have received 800 liters of sunflower oil, half of which have already been distributed. Proof that it has also arrived at our house is that our salads have oil and we don’t need to make lettuce-based dishes – you can feel the difference! Prior to this, a former student of ours gave us 5 liters for the community plus 30 kg of pasta. The pasta will be taken to the dining room of the Seniors (Wukro Social Development Program).

Five liters of the oil have been donated to a cooperative of 14 young mothers displaced within Tigray. Last week they were given 50 kg of flour and money to buy charcoal, yeast and matches. This morning they made the first frying of donuts, to which I was present and had the honor of eating the first one to come out of the charcoal fire – I attest to their quality. They are going to produce them according to orders received. Each donus costs 10 birr – with one euro you can buy 5 and a half – they are filling. They also have other jobs in mind.

It is a group that has been helped since their arrival, since they only came with the bare necessities, including a few pregnancies. Several of their husbands are at the front, and one of these women’s husband has died.

The inequality of the animals on their farm

The former student of the gift of oil and macaroni pasta was fostered in our orphan program, for which he was previously in the SOS program, also fostering orphans, in Mekelle. After graduating, he worked with us in the rural development program for 10 years. The people at SOS Mekelle knew his worth and hired him to open an office in Adwa. For the last couple of years he has been SOS’s second in command for the whole of Tigray. Regarding the budget of SOS Tigray, he used to tell me that they had no problems, given the number of European and other very wealthy families that support them. But at this time he told me that the orientation sent these days to these families is that, for the whole of Europe, Ukraine is the priority. So loud and clear.
One wonders what they would say about their European counterparts, the Fathers of the Charter of Human Rights of the United Nations, declared in 1948, all based on the principle that all men, all people are equal, without any second thought. This Charter was approved by almost the totality of the nations of the world.

In George Orwel’s simple, entertaining story “Animal Farm”, about the revolution of animals against man, it all begins with a Charter of 7 rules setting out the rights and obligations of animals. Even the illiterate, with a little help, could understand it. The law that gave meaning to all the others was: “ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL”. With the passage of time and the laws of the market – not necessities – and the like, without the workforce supplying the market being able to find out, the laws changed their meaning, their value as well as their text. To this magic rule of equality, it was added a small phrase, opened with a, BUT, and followed by 7 words, which also turn it into a magic formula: “SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS”, which abolished all the other laws. It gives the impression that, to the Charter of the United Nations, these last years all kinds of formulas of this type have been added, that those of us on foot do not know the value that these days has the word: EQUALS, referring to: ALL MEN: Phrases like NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY; FOOD SOVEREIGNTY, UN SECURITY COUNCIL, WORLD BANK. . .equally affecting words like DEMOCRACY, FREEDOM. . .

It would be irreverent, in bad taste, to add to the phrase of the Charter of Human Rights the : BUT SOME MEN ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS. However, seen from the perspective of the impoverished world, this unwritten formula is the one that governs the world today. Hence, given the urgency that Europe has for Ukraine to become part of NATO, we are denied even the crumbs that fall from the tables of the rich – never better said. In spite of all these abuses, the impoverished world will survive, given its determination to move forward and thanks to aid such as yours, which continues to reach us, to support cooperatives such as this one of the 14 displaced women, and to continue feeding the elderly and orphans, as well as their school education. We are preparing a list of new needs as a result of the war, as well as continuing to attend to those already in hand.

Other photos

In some of them you can see that I am one of the two people. Maybe the second one will cause some problems to more than one of you. This is our day guardian, Haleka. I told you that he was ordained a priest and now he is Abo Keshi, with the distinctive turban. He is still at his post.

I am wearing my first pair of pants given to me this morning by our young “housekeeper”. After the photo she asked me to change them and wear my everyday ones, even though it is Sunday, until we have to go to Makelle. Just like mom when we were kids – she had the most presentable pants saved for when we had to go to San Sebastian. Another hallmark of the trip to San Sebastian was that we had to keep our knees clean, since, next to our face and hands, it was the only thing on our bodies that could be seen. For Begoña and me the extraordinary thing about the trip, apart from the Sunday clothes, was that at the end of it we would go into a pastry shop with a choice of two cakes, which always turned out to be the biggest. I don’t know how Begoña managed, but I always ended up with: now on my own. And there I would stay cornered, looking at the street.

And that’s it for today. Someone is going to Mekelle and will take this letter with them. I hope that tomorrow I can take advantage of another similar occasion.

A big hug,


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