I delivered the last loaves of the bread project to my customers two weeks ago. And today I delivered the last of the birr to Our Father’s Kitchen. So that makes me officially done.
The project certainly was a much bigger success than I ever expected. I guess the old marketing adage “find a need and fill it” applies. I hope my colleagues find a way to fill their artisan bread needs next year; I’ve sent out the recipe several times and I know at least one person is planning to return from the US in August with a cast iron pot. I would have liked to see someone continue the fundraiser but it seems no one has as much time on their hands as I did this year.
Final Bread Project stats:
Number of loaves sold: 1007
Number of loaves baked: 1009 (I consider it a huge win that I only lost two loaves to power outages)
Total donation to Our Fathers Kitchen: 70,490 birr ($3524.50)
Number of meals for children paid for with bread profits: 9,994
Best customer bread story: My friend Rachel, a math teacher at ICS, was driving home from work with her fresh loaf of “Lorna bread” when a man crossing the street fell down in front of her car. She stopped the car and jumped out to help. She hadn’t hit him. He was a new arrival in Addis, having come from the countryside as so many people do in search of work. He hadn’t eaten for several days and he had fainted from hunger. Rachel gave him the loaf of bread.
One last thing about today. This morning I handed off the final cash donation to OFK’s founder, Yasser Bagersh, who had been invited to ICS to speak to our students for Community Service Day. He arrived on campus early and I found him while the kids were still out around Addis working at their various service project sites. I was relieved to take care of that bit of business because tomorrow is the last day of school and I still needed to clear out my desk and file cabinet. While I would dearly love to hear Yasser talk about his amazing work and also listen to the students report on their own service projects, I really REALLY needed to clear out my “office”. Now I could skip out on the assembly and power through the packing, phone off, no interruptions.
So this afternoon as I am boxing everything up, the vice principal rushes in to the library. “I’ve been trying to call you. You have to come to the assembly right now.” Uh oh, now I am in trouble. I swear, this is the first assembly I skipped all year. Turns out that no, I am not in trouble. I enter the auditorium to applause, the high school principal gives me a bouquet of roses and a hug, I get a hug from Yasser and he tells the room about the bread project. Dang. What a sweet finale.