After a whirlwind day, yesterday…today promised to be another day of great happenings! As you can see, from the pictures I posted, the views of Ethiopia from our van was humbling, sad, glorious and beautiful….all at the same time. So many heartbreaking scenes, yet so much beauty. The women were modest, in their dress, and their eyes could tell a beautiful story. The men (and women) were hard working and were very diligent in what they did. There were a lot of unfinished buildings, so many make shift homes on the side of the road and so many people laying, asleep, in the median.
We all met, at the restaurant and had breakfast, but instead of anticipation, we were elated and eager to share our individual stories with the other couples. I believe we were all still processing the things that we had seen and heart and the touches we felt by so many children. Once breakfast was over, we headed down the same path, as we did the previous day, heading to the orphanage. The Monks’ safely headed back to Nazret to see their boys and we loaded up the van, with the Veal’s to see our kids.
When we got there, it was a much different scene from the previous day. There was a nanny there, who made the kiddoes tow the line. We backed in and all the kids were sitting down, on the curb, quiet as little mice 🙂 We walked up to Abinet and sat on the ground, in front of him. He instantly knew that we belonged to him 🙂 His smile said it all. He started looking for his picture book, so we tracked that down and we sat and went through it, over and over again.
We played soccer and he loved on us….we didn’t know that the slide was off limits, so we started to gather some children and play on the equipment. There were several little boys who had the most fun….Mebrate, well she was a different story. She had no use for that slide, at all 🙂 The stricter nanny informed us that we were killing the grass and to go play elsewhere :/ Oops. Luckily, the Veal’s brought bubbles and WOW the kids loved loved loved them! We were blowing bubbles, eating peanut butter crackers and singing Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord. These kids are so loved and so well taken care of. I’m so thankful for each and every nanny there! As well as, Yonas, the director.
Speaking of crackers…I didn’t post about this yesterday. As we sat, I got out my PB crackers. I handed one to Abinet and he was so gentle with it. Like it was a great great treasure. He cracked it open and gently picked the peanut butter off of both halves, then gingerly, he ate the cracker. It was so precious. Once the crackers were gone, I introduced him to M & M’s. He looked at it, like it was some sort of foreign object. Mebrate immediately said “chocolate” in her precious voice, with her dimples just shining. She knew exactly what to do. Abinet placed *an* M & M on his tongue and then proceeded to stick it out and show everyone…he had no clue what to do with it. I ate one and showed him how to chew it…he started chomping like there was no tomorrow LOL. On this day, he *knew* there was food in my bag. After much loving, playing soccer and cuddling…he wanted some food. I handed him a cracker and thought that he would repeat yesterday’s event of eating it. Well, not so much 🙂 He shoved the whole thing in his mouth and laughed hysterically! It was so funny.
He is a gently child, when I’m cuddling him, but if gets up for a moment and someone else steals his seat….he grabs them by the collar and slings them out. Then he reclaims his throne and just pats and rubs my arm. He preferred us to be standing up and holding him, but he is so darn heavy that it makes it almost impossible.
We were able to stay and listen to the teacher teaching the children…what a blessing to hear all these kids singing praises to our God! After school (which they let Abinet stay with us, so we could have some alone time), the kids starting cleaning up for lunch. They would all, so diligently, wash their hands and then head off to the school room, which was soon transformed into the lunch room. Everyone had their spots and quietly waited for their lunch to be served. There was no grabbing of food, there was simply patience. They ate injera and a type of red sauce on it and the kids ate every last bit. If eneded, they could have seconds. It was a joy to watch all these children eat and be satisified.
Once lunch was over, there was a short playtime. The babies, stayed in their room (2 infants per bed, there were 7 cribs) and the toddlers went onto bed. The 3-6 yr old kids played some soccer and enjoyed the love the Americans were there to offer. The kids were clearly tired because they were getting grumpy. They wake up when the sun comes up (about 6 am) and they go to bed when the sun goes down (about 6 pm), so it makes for a long day. They do take a 3 hr. nap, after lunch. Everywhere we looked, there were kids on one of the many potty chairs that were scattered throughout the orphanage or they were scrambling to pick up the prizes that they found (a pipe, a bottle cap, trash, it didn’t really matter), then they’d go and line up their shoes, by the door and find their spot. Each child shared a bed with another child. Abinet was no different from the other children…he did as he had done every other day for the last, however long, he had been at the orphanage. Just like clockwork. It was a sad joy to tuck him in because we thought that was the last time we would see him, for a while.
When we were picked up, we headed to lunch at Lucy’s Restaurant. It was like an oasis in the middle of the busyness of the city. We ordered pizza, there. We ate, laughed and ate some more! After lunch was over, we walked over to the Ethiopian National Museum, where Yonas awaited us. He was our guide throughout the 4 story museum. I didn’t bore anyone with the pictures, I took alot. I really like museums 🙂
After all of that…we headed back to the Crown. We cleaned up and then we all met and chatted in the restaurant, for supper. We were able to somewhat communicate with our families through the internet in our hotel. We shared our events of the day and our nervousness about our court date the next day. It was another gloriously busy day in Ethiopia….