Ethiopia Adoption – Part 5

March 30, 2011  Wednesday  7am
We went to bed last night at 11pm.  Once again, I thought I would sleep normally.  I woke at 4am and have been awake ever since.  Matt is still asleep.  Thats good.  Up to now, I have probably had better sleep than he has.  So I spent some time praying about what will be happening next.  We have still been thinking that anything could happen in terms of if we would stay a little longer than planned to be able to take Sally home this trip.  Everyone says it is typically a month and never shorter than 2 more weeks after passing court.  Passing court means in addition to just going to court, the letter of recommendation from the Ministry of Womens Affairs has to arrive at the court too.  It sounds like at least half the time or more, that letter doesn’t arrive for days or even weeks later.  But with the appeal for expediting, I still think anything is possible and I do believe this is a God assignment.
I think from Matts point of view if it was a few days more, maybe a week,  it would be ok in terms of his work, but much more than that he thinks we will need to go home and come back again.  At least he would need to go.  I considered the idea of staying without him and figuring out some way to finagle this whole thing, but it just isn’t coming together in my mind.  And Im usually pretty good at finagling things :)  I think in that case it is probably best if we both go home and then both come back, that time with Emma and Meg.  Maybe God has some plan that needs to play out in the second trip.  Anyway, I think after court we will have a detailed discussion with our court representative from our agency and see what they think we should do.  I assume at this point we would go with their recommendation.
Back to the rest of yesterday.  Mid afternoon we were back in our room for about an hour rest.   And then about 4pm we decided to go for a walk down the street.  There is a main street with lots of shops on it about a 1/2 block from our Guest house.  Our guest house is on a road off that main street.  I would really call it more of an alley, but I think they would call it a normal street.  Our guest house is like a secure compound.  About 6 stories high.  All walkup.  No elevator.  Its nice though.  And when I say nice, I mean clean and basic needs met in a satisfactory way.  It has those very tall solid metal gates that allow our van in and out with a guard that opens it for us, and then a wall surrounds it with those rounds of barb wire on top of the wall like you would see on top of a wall around a prison.
We are definitely not to go out at night and we are not to take any cabs.  They scam people stealing purses etc.  One mom told us of a lady there, a few weeks before that that happened to.  But they say walking around during the day should be fine.
So.  With a slight bit of trepidation (me, not Matt) we walk out.  The sidewalks are completely messed up.  Cement jacked up everywhere.  You really have to watch where you are walking or it would be so easy to trip and fall down.  We see a cool fabric store with traditional Ethiopian dresses.  Might need one of those.  Things are so inexpensive.  At our coffee factory tour, our macchiatos were 30 cents each.
After about 10 minutes of walking, Matt was slightly in front of me and saw these 2, about, 15 year old boys walking toward us.  Later he said he definitely had his eye on them.  They were walking straight toward me and you know how you sort of walk toward someone and you each try to move out of the way but you end up doing a little dance trying to get around each other.  I thought that was what was happening, but then finally one of them reach down and put both his hands on the pockets of this long vest I had on.  I didn’t have a purse on, just a few things in those pockets.  Matt yelled at them right as that was happening and actually popped one on the back and said “get out of here.”  Wow!  It happened so fast.  Matt said “you were just kind of shocked like you didn’t really get what was going on.”  He’s right.  I didn’t until those last 2-3 seconds.
We kept walking a bit and I said, lets cross over and turn around.  We started walking back and saw a little restaurant and he said, do you want to go in and have something to drink.  I thought YES, I still feel a little nerval about that whole thing.  I need to calm down.  That place only had coffee and Id had enough coffee, so we walked on to what turned out to be a bar with a little seating area in front on the street, surrounded by a wall of red bottle crates.  Very “hole in the wall.”  Though I guess that is the description of everything on this street.  We had a beer.  That helped.  Little by little more older Ethiopian men came in and sat down, one with his wife.  And little by little we all started talking.  It was good.  They wanted to know about our adoption. Everyone was showing pictures of their children to each other.  We ended up telling one man (pretty rough around the edges) we would definitely pray for his child to be brought back to him.  He was grateful.  For some reason, his parents had custody.  He looked to be in his 40’s.  It was all good.  And that, my friends is how my husband loves to operate in these random, other-worldly places.  Making friends with the locals.  Those are some of the places ministry really place.
After a while, we headed back to our guest house.  It was starting to get dark.  Another hour to rest and then we took off for dinner in our van with David and Jonas and the young couple from Galesburg, Ill plus the husbands mom.  What a fantastic dinner and music it was!  The atmosphere was so right on.  The tables are low and small like in a bar, though it was a restaurant.  They are these special tables that they bring a round metal tray on.  Then they lay one layer of injera bread on it – the spongy thin ethiopian bread. The tray and bread are about the size of an extra large pizza pan.  Then they scoop out about a cup of about 15 different things on to the bread.  And who knows what each thing is.  I can tell you there were 2 different kinds of lentils, beets, cabbage, hummus, lamb, and more.  You are each also given a rolled up piece of the injera bread.  You tear off a piece of the bread and with your fingers, scoop up whatever you want to eat.  No silverware at all.  Id eaten Ethiopian food once about 20 years ago in LA and loved it.  I think I can easily say it is my favorite food, with Thai coming in second.
THEN, the music.  My goodness, there were 4 guys on stage right in front of us.  They were playing the strangest instruments Id ever seen.  Some sort of homemade looking thing like a cross between a guitar and a violin, a base guitar that was shaped sort of like a giant harpsichord, drums and another guitar type thing.  No frets.  They played awhile. Traditional Ethiopian music.  Then 3 women and 3 men dancers came out.  They proceeded to sing and dance for the next 2 hours.  Very intense movements with this jarring, shaking shoulder movements, the women would do these crazy head swinging things so fast with their hair flying all around.  I got lots of video and will post later.  And finally they got audience members to get up there and do it to.  Yes, I did it and Yes Matt videotaped it.  How could I say no?  Matt did it too.  So funny!
Oh and they were burning frankincense in frankincense burners though out the night.  Wonder if they got their frankincense in Oman, like we do?
A few other random notes:  No one wears seat belts here.  They don’t exist in our vans or in the cars.  No car seats either.  I just noticed last night that there are really no stop signs either.  There is a rare traffic light.  People just sort of jut out and around each other.  The driving is haphazard but our drivers are good at it.  Seems people are sort of playing chicken with each other and then someone decides to move over.
Sally was wearing an 18 month old dress and a 6 month old onsie under it.  Thats a good tidbit.
I was intending on following the rules of not eating any raw fruits or vegetables unless you can peel it.  But our first lunch, I broke the rule.  Jonas thought it would be ok.  Everything seems fine so far.
Thats about it for now.  Gonna go take a shower and get ready for court.  Praying that I have good energy today despite the lack of sleep.  Matt is still asleep.  Trying not to be jealous :)
Love you all and thanks for being such a good audience.  Like I said, It is so wonderful to be connecting with people back home.  More soon.
Allison

March 30, 2011  Wednesday  7am

We went to bed last night at 11pm.  Once again, I thought I would sleep normally.  I woke at 4am and have been awake ever since.  Matt is still asleep.  That’s good.  Up to now, I have probably had better sleep than he has.  So I spent some time praying about what will be happening next.

eth5 9

Gosh, she is so pretty!

We have still been thinking that anything could happen in terms of if we would stay a little longer than planned to be able to take Sally home this trip.  Everyone says it is typically a month and never shorter than 2 more weeks after passing court.  Passing court means in addition to just going to court, the letter of recommendation from the Ministry of Womens Affairs (MOWA) has to arrive at the court too.  It sounds like at least half the time or more, that letter doesn’t arrive for days or even weeks later.  But with the appeal for expediting, I still think anything is possible and I do believe this is a God assignment.

Should I stay or should I go

I think from Matts point of view if it was a few days more, maybe a week,  it would be ok in terms of his work, but much more than that he thinks we will need to go home and come back again.  At least HE would need to go.  I considered the idea of staying without him and figuring out some way to finagle this whole thing, but it just isn’t coming together in my mind.  And I’m usually pretty good at finagling things :)

I think in that case it is probably best if we both go home and then both come back, that time with Emma and Meg.  Maybe God has some plan that needs to play out in the second trip.  Anyway, I think after court we will have a detailed discussion with our court representative from our agency and see what they think we should do.  I assume at this point we would go with their recommendation.

The Guest House

So yesterday afternoon we were back in our room for about an hour rest.   And then about 4pm we decided to go for a walk down the street.  There is a main street with lots of shops on it about a 1/2 block from our guest house.  Our guest house is on a road off that main street.  I would really call it more of an alley, but I think they would call it a normal street.

Our guest house is like a secure compound.  About 6 stories high.  All walkup.  No elevator.  It’s nice though.  And when I say nice, I mean clean and basic needs met in a satisfactory way.  It has those very tall solid metal gates that allow our van in and out with a guard that opens it for us, and then a wall surrounds it with those rounds of barb wire on top of the wall like you would see on top of a wall around a prison.

Be careful

We are definitely not to go out at night and we are not to take any cabs.  They scam people stealing purses etc.  One mom told us of a lady there, a few weeks before that that happened to.  But they say walking around during the day should be fine.

So.  With a slight bit of trepidation (me, not Matt) we walk out.  The sidewalks are completely messed up.  Cement jacked up everywhere.  You really have to watch where you are walking or it would be so easy to trip and fall down.  Here is a short video of the street we were walking down.  After you watch, click your “back” button to continue reading.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFEYzOxiBII

We see a cool fabric store with traditional Ethiopian dresses.  Might need one of those.  Things are so inexpensive.  At our coffee factory tour, our macchiatos were 30 cents each.

Pickpocketers

After about 10 minutes of walking, Matt was slightly in front of me and saw these 2, about, 15 year old boys walking toward us.  Later he said he definitely had his eye on them.  They were walking straight toward me and you know how you sort of walk toward someone and you each try to move out of the way but you end up doing a little dance trying to get around each other.  I thought that was what was happening, but then finally one of them reach down and put both his hands on the front pockets of this long vest I had on.  I didn’t have a purse on, just a few things in those pockets.

Matt yelled at them right as that was happening and actually popped one on the back and said “get out of here.”  Wow!  It happened so fast.  Matt said “you were just kind of shocked like you didn’t really get what was going on.”  He’s right.  I didn’t until those last 2-3 seconds.

Heart beating faster than normal

We kept walking a bit and I said, lets cross over and turn around.  We started walking back and saw a little restaurant and he said, do you want to go in and have something to drink.  I thought YES, I still feel a little nerval about that whole thing.  I need to calm down.

That place only had coffee and I’d had enough coffee, so we walked on to what turned out to be a bar with a little seating area in front on the street, surrounded by a wall of red bottle crates.

eth5 1

Very “hole in the wall.”  Though I guess that is the description of everything on this street.  We had a beer. That helped.   After you watch, click your “back” button to continue reading.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2xvEL3km8w

The Locals

Little by little more older Ethiopian men came in and sat down, one with his wife.  And little by little we all started talking.  It was good.  They wanted to know about our adoption. Everyone was showing pictures of their children to each other.

We ended up telling one man (pretty rough around the edges) we would definitely pray for his child to be brought back to him.  He was grateful.  For some reason, his parents had custody.  He looked to be in his 40’s.  It was all good.  And that, my friends, is how my husband loves to operate in these random, other-worldly places.  Making friends with the locals.  If we had another few months here, he’d probably be running for mayor!  So funny.  I love how these are some of the places ministry takes place so naturally.

Ethiopian Food And Dancing

After a while, we headed back to our guest house.  It was starting to get dark.  Another hour to rest and then we took off for dinner in our van with David and Yonas and the young couple from Galesburg, Ill plus the husband’s mom.  What a fantastic dinner and music it was!  The atmosphere was so right on.  The tables are low and small like in a bar, though it was a restaurant.  They are these special tables that they bring a round metal tray on.

eth5 7

Then they lay one layer of injera bread on it – the spongy thin ethiopian bread. The tray and bread are about the size of an extra large pizza pan.  Then they scoop out about a cup of about 15 different things on to the bread.  And who knows what each thing is.  I can tell you there were 2 different kinds of lentils, beets, cabbage, hummus, lamb, and more.

You are each also given a rolled up piece of the injera bread.  You tear off a piece of the bread and with your fingers, scoop up whatever you want to eat.  No silverware at all.  I’d eaten Ethiopian food once about 20 years ago in LA and loved it.  I think I can easily say it is my favorite food, with Thai coming in second.

eth5 8

And here is the “after shot.”

THEN, the music.  My goodness, there were 4 guys on stage right in front of us.  They were playing the strangest instruments I’d ever seen.  Some sort of homemade looking thing like a cross between a guitar and a violin,

eth5 4

These two photos are with my iPhone camera zoomed in.  Not very good quality in low light, but they’ll do.

a base guitar that was shaped sort of like a giant harpsichord,

eth5 5

drums and another guitar type thing.  No frets.  They played awhile. Traditional Ethiopian music.  Then 3 women and 3 men dancers came out.  They proceeded to sing and dance for the next 2 hours.

eth5 6

Very intense movements with this jarring, shaking shoulder movements, the women would do these crazy head swinging things so fast with their hair flying all around.  I got lots of video and will post later.  And finally they got audience members to get up there and do it too.  Yes, I did it and Yes Matt videotaped it.  How could I say no?  Matt did it too.  So funny!

eth5 3

This was some kind of special Ethiopian beverage in a special glass.  Not sure what it was called.  I just know it was sweet and pretty good.  If you really do it right, you should be able to hold it in those 2 fingers and drink it, but it was nearly impossible to lift all the way because of the weight.  If you CAN do it, then I guess you are really cool!

Oh and they were burning frankincense in frankincense burners thoughout the night.  Wonder if they got their frankincense in Oman, like we do?

A few other random notes

*No one wears seat belts here.  They don’t exist in our vans or in the cars.  No car seats either.  I just noticed last night that there are really no stop signs either.  There is a rare traffic light.  People just sort of jut out and around each other.  The driving is haphazard but our drivers are good at it.  Seems people are sort of playing chicken with each other and then someone decides to move over.

*Sally was wearing an 18 month old dress and a 6 month old onsie under it.  That’s a good tidbit.

*I was intending on following the rules of not eating any raw fruits or vegetables unless you can peel it.  But our first lunch, I broke the rule.  Yonas thought it would be ok.  Everything seems fine so far.

That’s about it for now.  Gonna go take a shower and get ready for court.  Praying that I have good energy today despite the lack of sleep.  Matt is still asleep.  Trying not to be jealous :)

Love you all and thanks for being such a good audience.  It is so wonderful to be connecting with people back home.  More soon.

Allison

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3 thoughts on “Ethiopia Adoption – Part 5

  1. Love the food pics and all of the info. The two photos of the men with their instruments look frameable. Thanks for blogging. Mimi

  2. I really enjoying reading your blog. I am really surprised that you write every details that I never observe.I have learnt a lot from it.
    The yellow drink (which made from honey) that you had in the traditional restaurant is called TEJ.Hope to read more!Thanks for sharing!