Mission Impossible

November 20th

Mission impossible achieved #thesegirlscan – “They believed they could, so they did.”

A couple of weeks ago, Tutu asked Caroline and I whether we would be able to help her with a very important mission. Tutu wanted us to help her take a wheelchair on the plane for her father, Melaku,  and then push him around the 10km Great Ethiopian Run course. Getting the wheelchair  to Ethiopia with all our other luggage was even more challenging than the running feat, but we did it in the end with a little help with our friend Derege from Ethiopian Airlines! Hoorah.

Melaku, who is in his 70s, has always wanted to do the Great Ethiopian Run but  has recently had a couple of strokes and couldn’t run it or walk it himself. Anyway, suffice it to say that Tutu’s dream was realised. What an amazing day!  Tutu, Caroline and I wore tutus and named ourselves “Tutus For Change”. Along with friends,  Nancy, Mikey and Joseph we joined 42,000 other athletes and fun runners and pushed Melaku around the streets of Addis.

The Great Ethiopian Run can best described as a carnival with everyone in a party mood. The course was undulating so it was tough at times but the wave of goodwill carried us around the course. Simply unforgettable…..

Whilst jogging around with a very good-natured crowd it was hard to believe that a month ago it was uncertain that the Great Ethiopian Run would take place because of the State of Emergency and political tensions. Quite a few international visitors cancelled their trip and there were only around 250 in total.  But today everyone put their differences behind them and simply just ran. There was a larger presence of police than normal in Addis today but apart from that, the race was very relaxed.

I think that I will leave the final word to Tutu’s Dad – as he crossed the finish-line in his wheelchair, he smiled and said: “today I have been reborn”….

 

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