Thursday, March 31, 2011 10pm
Quick summary of recent Ethiopian history. Emperor Menelik reunited Ethiopia in the late 1800’s from existing as many smaller kingdoms. He died about 1915. Hailie Selassie came to power and was in power until 1974 as Emperor. He was liked by some because he did a lot of good for the country, but not by others because he was a monarchist. In fact, Rastafarians believe he was the messiah. Then after a coup d’ etat, and Hallie Selasie being killed by suffocation with a pillow by a communist, the Communists took over in 1974 and they ruled for 17 years. It has since been a democracy, (I believe through another take over of some sort) though it is not much of one. Not particularly free elections. No one can own property, they lease it from the government.
This morning after breakfast we went to the Transition House to hang out with Sally.
We were there about 2 1/2 hours.
We played on the front porch again for about 20 minutes, then she started yawning and fell asleep. She slept on my chest for 2 hours.
I wonder when the last time she did that was? So sweet.
As we were sitting there, one of the other moms said she had read a book about international adoption and they categorized adopted children into 4 categories. The Sleeper, the dizzy performer and I can’t remember the other 2, but the point was she bet that Sally was a sleeper. Her friend adopted a girl Sally’s age from Ethiopia and the first part of her new life she slept all the time. It is her mechanism for coping with the change, the shock to the system, everything going on mind, body and spirit.
I know that sleep is the number 1 thing for any kind of healing so I love that. She does have some healing to do.
It wasn’t as hard to leave Luke for 3 months between trips in Russia because #1 we always new there would be 2 trips and #2 he had lived there since birth and so there was no unknown history of the first entire year of his life. #3 His physical needs of food, shelter and medical care were well taken care of, though not the love and attention of a family.
With Sally, the scars on her stomach, the unknown first 14 months of life, her wariness and/or distrust of people and her small stature described as malnutrition makes you wonder what went on. I have no doubt in the least little bit that she will fully recover and be everything God intended her to be. So I’m not worried. It’s just my human/mothering protective side wanting to come out and take charge!
Next we had lunch with all the families again and yea! they had Ethiopian food. So good. That yummy injera bread. They also had western food for those who wanted it.
Next a trip to Mt. Entoto
This is where Menelik resided and built his palace and founded Addis Ababa.
All the way up this mountain you would see woman after woman carrying huge bundles of sticks and branches that weighed about 80lbs.
The width across their backs of these bundles was probably 10 feet wide at least and the diameter of the bundles was about 3 feet. Quite a site. This is how they make a living.
At the top was the ancient Christian Orthodox Church.
They are in fasting now leading up to Easter.
They do not eat meat, dairy, or alcohol at all.
They do not eat breakfast or lunch, but they do eat dinner after 3pm. They go to the church and stand outside around it, here and there, and pray for the 2 1/2 hour service that ends about 3pm. Inside there is a guy singing these songs on a loud speaker the whole time. It’s quite a site.
You really have to be careful taking any pictures here in Ethiopia.
You always have to ask, but sometimes you really don’t even want to ask. It’s somewhat insulting. But then you can recognize those times that they would love for you to take their pictures and pay them for it, so we did some of that. Children running every where wanting things from you. They had a few small gift shacks. I bought Sally a gold metal ethiopian cross and a wooden one both about 10-12 inches tall. Will put that in her special box.
Ethiopia in the Bible
There was a small museum next to the church that we were guided through. Clothes that previous emperors had worn, old parchment bibles, ancient gifts to leaders from other countries, etc. (no pictures allowed.) There was a key verse on one picture, Psalm 68:31. I just looked it up and it is this: “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall hasten to stretch out her hands (with the offerings of submission) to God.” That is from the amplified bible.
Last Night Out
Tonight Matt, Yonas and I went out to dinner. He took us to a Beer Garden.
It was their microbrewery. They made a light and a dark. We had a beer and dinner. Yonas was telling us there are really no street names. You just tell a taxi you want to go to a certain place or somewhere that is near a certain landmark.
We had a wonderful dinner mostly talking about Ethiopian history and culture. He was curious about lots of things about America.
One thing I have noticed here and it is sort of just becoming a formed idea today, is that there is no racism. Skin color seems to be irrelevant to them. I started to realize that the first 5 minutes we were here when I was explaining to the birth mother that our good friends have dark skin and after I said it, I sensed it was a stupid thing to say. Hopefully Yonas knew and didnt translate it. I was worried that she would worry that her daughter would be dark brown in our light brown house. I really think that was the furthest thing from her mind. And I see the same thing after spending these days with our guides. So refreshing. Update: they ARE surprised that people think about skin color. Here the conflict is between the various ethnic groups.
Of course we have our history of slavery. There was slavery in Ethiopia too, but mostly in a domestic way, in the homes, not in outside farming or producing something. And, of course, today’s slavery, child trafficking, is a major problem. The Ministry of Womens Affairs (MOWA) is in charge of trying to figure out ways to improve it.
Tomorrow is our last day. Our plane leaves at 10:15pm. We will do some shopping and hang out with Sally one last time. Pray for me on that one :)
Love and peace,