Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ethiopia Trip: Day 4-5

Monday morning we had breakfast and left for the orphanage at about 9:30 again. This morning it was sunny and much warmer. While we were waiting for the babies the kids were out in the play area and some of them, mostly girls, were sorting lentil beans. They were picking small rocks out of them. It was a lot of beans and they said it was one day’s worth. I took some pictures and Kate and I walked around the grounds a bit.

This morning Anna was wearing the red outfit with snowmen we saw her wearing in some pictures and knitted booties, plus a pink jacket we took off. She immediately spit up on me. She was much more burpy and farty today but just as happy. Aaron was making faces and looking away like he wasn’t looking at her and then suddenly kissing and tickling her and she loved it. She was watching him, following his face, and then when he looked at her she burst into giggles. She even started smiling a little before he did it like she knew he was about to.
At about 11:00 she started getting a little fussy. I held her to my chest and she shook her head and rubbed her face into me—no no no no no I’m not tired! Then she fell asleep. She stayed asleep on me until Wendi came and we took the girls back to the nannies at almost noon. The sweetest, sweetest thing . . .

We decided that after lunch we would go see and do some things around town. We went to the National Museum where the skeleton Lucy is kept (my camera batteries ran out). Some guys were making a music video about Lucy for tourism, to help change Ethiopia’s image from negative to good things like this. So we stood there four in a row like we were going to have our picture taken, but they were videotaping, so we didn’t know what we were supposed to do, look down at Lucy or up at the camera, while the guy was talking to us. It was kind of funny. We spent a little while more there, then went to the Hilton and checked email for a while. Then we went to a shopping center and bought a few souvenirs and tried to find a sweatshirt for Aaron but couldn’t. I felt like I spent a lot of money but so far on the trip (today) I spent $100. Here's photos of us at the wonderful ice cream shop, Bruno's, and Jon's amazing Spaghetti Ice.

Dinner at the guest house was good, and then we just relaxed in front of the fire and TV. Kate's funny--she reminds me of my college roommate--and she tried to suck us all in to her guilty pleasure of watching the cheesy nighttime soap show North Shore every night. After that came Oprah. English with Arabic subtitles.

Tuesday the weather was drying out. In the morning we went to Sintiyehu’s (the lawyer's) office to finish the embassy paperwork. He is very nice. He said they had 14 families coming between then and the end of August. I had tea and Aaron had Ethiopian style coffee—basically espresso, which they put lots of sugar in but Aaron doesn’t. We then went and saw Anna.

At lunch it was semi-sunny so I took a bunch of pictures around the guest house of the flowers, birds, turtles. Jon came out to see what all the hollering and noise outside the gate in the road was all about (couldn’t determine) and the old man guard was starting to weave cloth; he doesn’t speak English but showed some finished cloth to indicate that was what he was doing. He held a spindle with about six spools of fine thread on it and walked along stringing it between trees. He has worn a path there parallel to the wall from the driveway by the gate down out of sight past the car port and garden. He smiled for pictures and got a kick out of seeing himself in Jon's video camera. He has the most beautiful, patient, wise face.

While waiting for them to bring out Anna in the afternoon we asked Solomon to show us around Toukoul. They don’t let us in the baby rooms because of germs, but we saw playrooms, dining rooms/after school tutoring areas, older kids’ activity rooms, the dorm building. I think Solomon said there are about 200 kids there total. They go to public school; nannies walk them to the bus. After school they get extra help with homework or do activities. Laundry is hanging on lines, on bushes, on fences, on play equipment almost all the time at Toukoul. You never saw so much laundry! It is a pretty sight.

Next post: Partying with Solomon!


Jenny said...

Oh, I can't wait to hear about partying with Solomon! Besides meeting and getting to know Joshua, that was the highlight of the trip!

Wendy, you have to stop this, you're giving me a bad sense of Ethiopia-sickness!

Enor said...

Can you change my name too, to protect my identity? I would like to be known as Thor for the duration of the story.

If I can't name my child Thor, at least let me have this.