Thursday, November 29, 2007
We celebrated a little bit tonight with Mikias...and as you can see from the videos and picture he celebrated a lot!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Of course, I am also thankful for "our new normal". Recently, I returned back to work. Although it was extremely difficult to take Mikias to daycare for the first time, I have learned once again why I am working. It has been fun being back with my students in my classroom, despite the ridiculously difficult new Algebra curriculum that all of my 8th grade students are expected to take. Benjamin and I have worked out a decent daily schedule which still allows for plenty of Mikias time. It has still been a bit of a balancing act, but for the most part has seemed to fall into place.
One thing I would like to expand on was my experience with taking Mikias to daycare. Wow, I was not prepared for that one! We had been so focused on attaching to him that it didn't occur to me how difficult it would be to "let up and let go" a little. I do believe as I walked away the first day, I didn't even make it to the car without sobbing. My conversation on the phone with my sister went something like..."I dropped Mikias" (and I was trying to say at daycare, but was crying too hard). She responded "why are you calling me, call a doctor!". Of course, she soon found out I didn't physically drop Mikias but had taken him to daycare.
After some encouraging words and some better days at daycare, Mikias and I soon adapted to our new routine. Now, he enjoys going and I love peeking in on him right before I pick him up. It is in those moments before he sees me, where I am most proud of him and most grateful to his birth mother. First, because I am amazed by Mikias' resiliency. In his first year of life he has adapted so well to a variety of situations that I know there is nothing in his lifetime he won't be able to face. Second, I am so thankful for the opportunity to be part of his life. I have never felt love so deeply before which again makes the argument that "blood' has very little to do with family. Finally, I am so appreciative towards his birth mother who has so selflessly and even more difficultly "let up and let go" so that our son has a chance for a good life and we have been given the opportunity to peek in on him as he goes about his daily happenings.
For these reasons and many more it is indeed a happy thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
It was an up and down week for day care. We took Mikias 4 days this week and things improved every day. Actually, today he was there for the entire day and did very well...he even took a nap!! This is a big deal because the caregivers couldn't get him to take a nap there all week until today. He has been fine all week when I drop him off but it seems like he's just so used to having someone give him 100% attention all day (either from Joanna or me), that it was a little hard to adjust at first. Joanna is back to work on Monday so hopefully things continue to improve.
In the last couple days, Mikias has been taking a few small steps on his own. His record is 7 so far, but I'm sure he'll be running all over the house in no time!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Last Saturday, we got together with some of my friends (and their children) and went to a Harvest Festival at a local farm. Although we arrived a little late in the day, we were still able to jump on a hayride and see a lot of the farm animals. I think next year we'll definitely go a lot earlier in the day so we can take advantage of all the activities. It would be cool if we could make this a yearly tradition because it really was a lot of fun.
And then on Sunday we went with Caroline, Rick, their two girls, and the Karwan parents out to a cider mill/apple orchard in Armada that had a lot of activities for kids. Mikias definitely liked hanging out with his cousins. It was amazing how warm of a day it was considering it was mid-October. Overall, this was a very fun (and very long) day.
Needless to say, I think we've fully exposed Mikias to a complete "autumn experience".
In other news, Joanna is about one week away from returning to work. She took Mikias into his daycare on Thursday to try it out while she went to a few meetings at school. Unfortunately, Mikias did not have a very good day. He was fussy the entire time Joanna was gone and the caregivers had a hard time getting him to eat. I'm sure this is just because this is an unfamiliar environment, so hopefully things get better. We plan on taking him a few more times next week for a shorter amount of time to get him more comfortable.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Afterwards, we had everyone back to our house for lunch. Luckily, we had very good weather on Sunday so everyone was able to hang out in the backyard and enjoy the afternoon. We were able to have Ethiopian food (injera, etc.) for lunch thanks to the Blue Nile in Ferndale. Joanna talked to the cook there and, even though they don't typically do catering or carry-out, the cook went out of his way to make a bunch of food for us. It was awesome. When we went to pick up the food on Saturday I thought that there was no way we'd be able to eat all the injera (there was a huge pile of it). But, all of our family and friends really seemed to enjoy the food because we didn't have much left at the end of the day. Of course there were a few leftovers but Joanna and I have already finished that off. We also had special cupcakes made for the occasion with the Ethiopian flag colors.
For most of the day we just hung out with everyone and watched all the kids play in our backyard. Overall, we were so happy with how everything went.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Other than that, we're doing some prepping for Mikias' baptism on Sunday. We're planning on having all of our family for lunch after church. Luckily, it's going to be a nice day. We don't have a good cold-weather party house. Not enough room inside. One of these days I'll get to finishing the basement and the problem will be solved.
A few weeks ago, a reporter from our local paper came out to interview us about the adoption process. Our adoption agency was in touch with them. With November being National Adoption Month, the agency wanted to see if the paper would be interested in doing a story on us. The article was just published last week. It's ok...although I'm not thrilled about being quoted in reference to Angelina Jolie and Madonna. Of all the things they asked about, they choose to put this in the story! Oh well...here's the article.
Parents Choose Adoption Option - Oxford Leader
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Just wanted to share a quick video of Mikias from today. He's really progressing fast! He just crawled for the first time a few weeks ago. He went back and forth across the room like this quite a few times.
Mikias' teeth have really been bothering him for the past week too. He's getting close to breaking through a few more. He has been waking up a lot in the middle of the night so I think he's in a bit of pain...nothing some Tylenol can't help. Hopefully, that will be over in a few days.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Here is Mikias' latest trick. He's certainly keeping us busy now!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
It was a very relaxing weekend. We took a few walks and did a bit of swimming (especially Mikias!). Other than that, we just hung out, played, and napped all day long. It was kind of nice not having all the "responsibilities" of home hanging over our heads.
While we were there, Mikias decided he would crawl for the first time! He has been on the verge of crawling for about a week now, but he finally figure everything out and crawled across my grandma's kitchen. Needless to say, we really need to a little baby-proofing around our house now that he is out exploring everything.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Kidus and Mikias go way back. From what we understand, they both started out at the Adera Orphanage in Debre Zeit and then were brought at the same time to the Adera Orphanage in Addis Ababa. We actually had the pleasure of meeting Kidus when we picked up Mikias in June. The picture below is of Mikias and Kidus hanging out in Addis.
We actually were able to get together with the Norris family this past weekend. I hope we were helpful in answering some questions they had about travel. It's so exciting that the next time we see them we'll be able to reunite the two boys. We wish them the safest of travels and hope that they enjoy the experience of Ethiopia.
We know that so many people enjoyed reading this blog while we were in Ethiopia. Here's a link to the Norris' blog. Hopefully, they'll also be updating this during their trip.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
In other Mikias news, Benjamin and I are just amazed how far Mikias has come since bringing him home almost 2 months ago. When he first came home we weren't even able to put him down by himself and now he is at the point of almost crawling. He is just working on getting that last leg out from underneath him. The newness hasn't worn off one bit. We still find ourselves saying "he is so damn cute". At the same time we are eager for the nights in which he makes it all the way through asleep. In the meantime, we just enjoy!
The following are links to a few stories that our adoption agency covered on our experience should you be interested. The Ethiopia program has gained substantial interest and we are fortunate to be able to help others as they begin their process. We are scheduled to speak at an informational meeting at the end of August. It is amazing what doors open when you open your life.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I'm on a trip for work right now and not at home with my family. I'm in Phoenix and will be driving around the Southwest US for the next 1-1/2 weeks testing vehicles in hot weather...yipee. This really kind of stinks. Actually, the work is very interesting and I do enjoy it, but right now I'd much rather be home. It was crazy how much harder it was for me to leave for the airport Monday morning when I knew that I was leaving Mikias. In the back of my mind I'm thinking that maybe he won't recognize me when I return or that I'll miss some real big milestone while I'm gone. I already know he'll have more teeth when I get back. I also feel bad about having Joanna completely take on Mikias 24/7. It definitely makes it a little easier when there are two of us around. I guess the good thing is that this is the only work trip I'll likely have this year. I had four trips last year.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
On Saturday we took Mikias to get blood drawn for some tests that were recommended by our pediatrician and the adoption agency. We thought we'd be in and out pretty quickly but it turned out to be a bit more of an ordeal than we were expecting. The nurse that was drawing his blood had a difficult time locating a good vein to use. She tried digging at his left arm with the needle for a couple minutes before giving up and moving on to the other arm. This was very hard to watch since Mikias was screaming at the top of his lungs the entire time. Luckily there was a bit more sucess with the other arm. Hopefully we won't have to do that again any time soon. It was 10 times worse than watching him get his shots.
We also had a lot of Joanna's family over on Saturday to celebrate her mom's birthday. It was fun having everyone over. We're still in the honeymoon phase where people don't mind driving all the way out to our house to see us. This will probably wear out fairly soon and we'll have to take the Mikias show on the road.
Today we set up our tent in the backyard in preparation for next weekend's camping trip. We wanted to see if we could fit the pack-and-play and our sleeping bags. It looks like it will work! I can't wait to see how the boy likes camping.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur. We still have many moments where we look at Mikias and then at each other and can't believe he is really here. When you have an idea in your mind for so long, it is hard to change that idea into a living being. Well, until he cries.
He is gradually getting adjusted. We have been able to get him off his every 2 hour feeding from the orphanage to a more normal (for us) every 4 hour suck-a-thon. We think his ear infection is gone. His snots definitely are. He is not going to bed at 2 in the afternoon anymore. While all of these are good things, it is also weird to know that some of his characteristics of Africa are leaving. It is comforting to know he is more on our schedule but at the same time sad knowing that his "Africa time schedule" is gone. He no longer regularly sees people whose skin matches his. I no longer smell Africa on him. Instead, we are beginning to define a new normal for him and us which includes still trying to figure most everything out.
I am enjoying this time of transition but am saddened by already forgetting things of Ethiopia. Our pictures show some things, but can't replace vivid images. Our clothes have long been washed (yet, not put away) erasing the smell. However, I still can't bring myself to wash his socks from the orphanage. Every once in awhile I still open the plastic bag and smell a pretty distinct scent. We still have a chair of "stuff" we brought back and can't find the time to put somewhere. Yet, this is also comforting to have so I can pick things up and imagine where we were at when we purchased it.
I hope we raise him well. I hope we can replay enough of Ethiopia into our lives that he feels connected to his birth country. And although I know he will soon be a typical American toddler, I hope we can instill enough into our lifestyle for him to be defined as an Ethiopian American toddler.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Yesterday Mikias had his appointment with the pediatrician. Being first time parents, this appointment was extremely helpful to us. Overall, Mikias is in very good health and is progressing developmentally quite well. Unfortunately, because of his ongoing cold, he now has an ear infection. This is the likely cause of some of his fussiness. Some antibiotics should take care of this.
Since his arrival in the US on Saturday, Mikias has been gradually meeting some of our friends and family and getting to know them a little better. It has also been great touching base with some people to begin telling our stories and sharing some of our pictures and video. We hope to continue to do this in the coming days and weeks.
It's felt a little strange to us pushing a stroller around the neighborhood or having a car seat in our vehicle. The feeling is a bit surreal. This whole experience has been almost like a dream. What an adventure it has been...but this is only the beginning!
Monday, June 18, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
This morning we finally met Kurt, our adoption consultant, who arrived at the guesthouse late last night. It was kind of a strange feeling telling him about our stay in Ehtiopia and giving him some tips since he was the one we’ve turned to for answers during this whole process. This is his first time in Ethiopia and his first time meeting Alemu. He is here to visit new and existing AAI-affiliated orphanages and he will also be escorting a child back to the US next week.
After a lengthy conversation with Kurt this morning, Alemu took us to the US Embassy to pick up Mikias’ passport. That was a very quick visit. We were also given a sealed envelope that can only be opened by US Customs in DC when we arrive. This contains copies of all the final adoption decrees and other “official” papers. We sure hope all the correct documents are inside! Following the Embassy, we did some last minute shopping for gifts. Our intention was to get 18 gifts for Mikias’ first 18 birthdays. We did pretty well although Alemu could not assist with the negotiations so we’re not sure we got the absolute best deal.
We will now spend the afternoon packing and getting our things in order for our departure tonight. We need to be at the airport at 7pm to check in for our 10pm flight. We’re not really excited that we have to be there so early, but it is a small price to pay for starting our trip home.
Thank you everyone who left words of encouragement in comments and emails to us. They have definitely helped us during this trying but rewarding week. We look so forward to sharing all of our stories and experiences with you. Our next post on here will likely be from home!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
This morning we were able to talk to both of our parents on the phone. Alemu had given us a cell phone that we purchased some prepaid minutes for. So, the grandparents were able to hear Mikias for the first time. It was mostly crying for Joanna’s parents, but Ben’s parents got to hear some laughing and squealing. For us it was great to hear some familiar voices, if only for a few minutes.
Our only event for today was to attend our Embassy appointment at 1pm. Getachew (our power of attorney here in Ethiopia) took us for our appointment and we were a little late getting there because of some traffic. We were required to bring Mikias along too. This was the first time he has left the guest house compound since we brought him here from the orphanage on Friday. The whole process was pretty easy actually. We had to present some of the documents that we had filled out. Some immigration forms and U.S. tax returns were also required. After this we paid the visa fee and then had a short interview. Really the interview was only a few basic questions and took just a couple minutes. Success!! We were very excited that this went so smoothly. We just have to return to the Embassy in the morning to pick up Mikias’ passport and we should be good to go. Alemu told us later that he was a bit concerned about our appointment today because this is the first adoption AAI had done where the birthmother was known. He wasn’t sure if this would cause any issues. I’m glad he kept his concerns to himself and that everything turned out well.
This afternoon has been uneventful as we’ve spent the entire time around the guesthouse. We are beginning to pack our things up a bit. We also had the opportunity to present gifts to Getachew, Gizesh, and Hiwot for the help they have given us for the past week. Tonight Alemu is picking Kurt up from the airport so we expect to finally meet our adoption consultant this evening. It’s funny that we have to fly halfway around the world to meet him.
Tomorrow we’re hoping to also do some last minute shopping, but we’ll probably spend most of the day “prepping” ourselves and Mikias for the plane trip back home.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
After we posted last night, we thought we had had a very nice and balanced day. That changed. Last night Mikias woke up at about 2am and we could not get him to stop crying. He would not take his bottle. He doesn’t know how to use a pacifier. (We have been able to get him to suck on an empty bottle nipple a few times.) It was awful and all we wanted to do was call someone (home) to find out what to do. Eventually, it got pretty bad and so Alemu suggested that we take him to the clinic.
Earlier in the week, when we picked Mikias up from the orphanage he did have a runny nose. So, all along we have suspected that some of his colic behavior was related to this. We noticed last night he couldn’t take the bottle because he couldn’t breathe. On top of that he was dead tired and really hungry. This is the point where we weren’t having fun anymore. It was difficult.
So, last night at 4am Alemu drove all of us to the local clinic. Our conversation prior to leaving went something like this “Bring all of our Ethiopian and US dollars, we are going to a developing country’s clinic.” It was not a good feeling. We were able to see the doctor pretty soon after we arrived, and he basically told us that Mikias was really congested. Luckily, his congestion is mostly in his sinuses and not his chest. We talked to the doctor about our concern about the flight home. In Ethiopia they do not give decongestants to children under one. The best he could tell us to do was to mix salt and water and place the drops into Mikias’ nose to help break up the congestion and then use the aspirator to clean it out. (We like this alternative better than the house maid who sucked out Mikias’ nose and spit it out - no, seriously)
After all was said and done, we were finally able to get him to breathe easier. We fed him a bottle and he fell asleep. This was somewhere around 6am. We were so exhausted mentally and physically at this point. We commented about how if we were at home we could just call our moms. It was difficult to be cut off from that.
After 2 hours of sleep, we heard banging at our window. Alemu was outside. He had received a phone call from the orphanage saying they had found the birthmother and that she would be at the orphanage until 10am. Of course, we sprang from the bed, threw some clothes on, ate on the run and began the 40 kilometer drive to Debre Zeit. We had to leave Mikias with the house care, which was also difficult. We have developed a relationship with these women and trust them though.
As we approached Debre Zeit, we tried to take video of the area. This is the area where Henock was born and lived at the beginning of his life. It was very similar to most of the villages we have seen this far. However, viewing it was different. It was hard not to think about what Mikias’ life would have been like when you know he is at a guest house in Addis preparing to come to the States with us.
Meeting the birthmother, Tizita, was an absolute wonderful and a moving experience. We were able to videotape our more than 20 minute conversation with her and felt a connection right away. She was able to, through translation, answer for us and more importantly, Mikias, questions about her life, her family and her situation. We also told her about us and gave her the opportunity to ask us any questions. We are extremely grateful for this conversation. At one point, she did tell us that we had her and the Lord’s blessing and that she considered us her family…unbelievable.
We were able to tour this orphanage as well. This was the orphanage that Henock was brought to by Tizita. It is connected with the one in Addis where we originally picked him up. Leaving Debre Zeit was difficult. Leaving Tizita was also difficult. We embraced for a long time. As we went to leave, she came back to the car and hugged me again. I will never forget that moment.
On our long drive back to Addis we were able to stop at another orphanage that Adoption Associates works with. We had saved half of our donations to deliver here and had packed them in a hurry this morning. This orphanage is relatively new and is much bigger than the other two we have seen. There were so many children. One section housed children ages 2 -10 and the other infants up to 2. We spent some time visiting the children and talking with the director. He was extremely grateful for all of the donations. He said at one point, that he found it “very encouraging”. Obviously, this was another wonderful and enriching experience.
Once we finally arrived back at the guest house it was nearly 2:30pm. We were more than exhausted. It was an extremely draining day. Thankfully, the women watched Mikias for a few more hours so that we could get some sleep. After our nap, we were/are still pretty exhausted, but had such a fulfilling day that we can’t complain. We were able to play and care for Mikias tonight and have already fed him twice. We are hoping all will go smoothly.
We hope tomorrow will be quieter. It is Embassy Day and one that will end with an entrance visa to the USA for Mikias. We received his pretty darn cute passport and birth certificate today, so we are on our way.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Today was a very well balanced day. Not too rushed like some of the days have been. This morning started out a little rough (again). Mikias’ woke up at 4:30am and refused to go back to sleep. He was in a very good mood but both of us were so exhausted from the all the excitement of the last few days that we were not much in the mood for playing with him that early in the morning. We finally got him to go back to sleep around 7am so we slept as well…right through breakfast.
Most of the morning was spent at the guest house just hanging out and relaxing a bit. Alemu and Ben took a quick trip to the Ethiopian Airlines office to confirm our tickets for Friday’s flight. We were able to secure a front seat with a fold-down bassinette for Mikias. Big sigh of relief. The best news came when Gizesh (a guest house worker) turned the faucet in the bathroom and water came out!! This immediately made the rest of the day much easier. We will never take water for granted again.
This afternoon we hit the town with Alemu again. He took us to another market area because we were interested in purchasing some fabric. This market was much less chaotic than the Merkato and we got some great deals (with Alemu’s help of course). We discovered that children had been yelling “white person!” in Amharic at us as we drove down the street. Alemu finally clued us in on that one.
Then we stopped at the University Museum at Addis Ababa University. This was a great experience and we highly recommend this to all families making the trip here for upcoming adoptions. We learned a great deal about Ethiopian history and customs. The tour guide we had was very knowledgeable. This helped us understand a lot about the country and we hope to share some of this with Mikias when he grows up.
We made it home before today’s large rainstorm. This seems to occur in the afternoon every day now. We spent some more time at the guesthouse enjoying Mikias. We finally got our first family picture taken today. We realized that no one had taken a picture of the three of us since we got Mikias. Also, Joanna learned how to wrap Mikias to her back (see picture). This is a very common way to carry babies here. Gizesh and Hewot were able to help Joanna out a lot.
This evening we went with Alemu to a traditional Ethiopian restaurant about 20 minutes from here. It was fantastic traditional food and entertainment. We have had injera (Ethiopian bread) a few times in Michigan, but that was nothing like the injera here. This was much better. Throughout the entire meal there were various dances performed that represented the various regions of Ethiopia. Some of the dancing was simply unbelievable. We ended up recording quite a bit of video.
We are still trying to meet Mikias (Henock’s) birthmother while we are in the country. The orphanage director is trying to locate her but was unsuccessful today. We are hoping that she is located and we can meet her before we leave. When we do meet her we will travel to Debre Zeyt, just south of Addis. We will also have the opportunity to visit the orphanage in this town where Henock was originally brought. This all may happen as early as tomorrow.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Nonetheless, we had a great day. In the morning, Alemu took us to the Merkato which is the largest open-air market in Africa. It was wild. It was basically like the market we visited yesterday multiplied by 20. Many more people, congestion, and sellers. We were interested in buying some clothing and little gifts, so Alemu took us to several vendors. Luckily he was there because every transaction involved some sort of heated argument about pricing. I think we ended up with some good deals thanks to Alemu’s negotiation skills. We only walked out on one vendor. Walking through the Merkato was quite an experience. Dodging cars, buses, donkeys, and people carrying huge sacks on their heads was stressful. Also, many people would just yell “You!” or “I love you!” at us. Maybe this was the only English they knew or maybe they really did love us. Many people would also try to get in the line of our cameras so they could get in our pictures. At one point, we walked around for 15 minutes with our video camera rolling at eye level just so we could give some sort of perspective.
After our Merkato escapade, we went to a local grocery store to stock up on formula and other items we’ll need to get us through the week and flight home. The rest of the afternoon was spent at the guest house. We were able to spend a lot of time playing with Mikias and settling our room down a bit (it looked like a bomb had gone off in there). As we said, there was a huge rainstorm in the afternoon. This is the beginning of the rainy season in Ethiopia that will last a couple months. Mikias was absolutely transfixed by all the rain falling from the sky.
This evening after dinner we began discussing with Alemu our upcoming Embassy appointment. Our visit to the U.S. Embassy on Thursday provides the entrance visa to get Mikias into the country this weekend. We need to provide documentation and forms for this process. Our discussion this evening left us both a little frustrated. There seems to be a disconnect between the AAI office back home and Alemu. We were under the impression that Alemu was going to help us complete some of these documents, but now we are left calling the Embassy ourselves in the morning to figure out exactly what we need. We’re sure it is just a miscommunication and that we’ll be able to get things straightened out.
We’ve probably got another busy day ahead of us tomorrow. We just hope the water comes back on at sometime to make our lives a little easier.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Alemu arranged a trip for us to a monastery that was about 2 hours (country roads) outside of Addis. He suggested that we not bring Mikias because we would be making several stops. So, Mikias had his first babysitters today (that didn’t take long). Gizesh and Hewot, the two women who work at the guesthouse watched him today. It was a little difficult leaving him, but we’re also in Ethiopia to gain knowledge of the culture and customs to share with him later. Seemed like the right thing to do. Of course having to explain Mikias’ care to these two women was interesting especially because of the language barrier and our lack of certainty.
We left at 8am and picked up two of Alemu’s nephews and one of his friends who came along with us. Once we drove out of Addis into the countryside we were just amazed. The landscape is beautiful and very mountainous. We stopped at a weekend market in a village along the way. This was a very cool, but intimidating experience. We obviously stuck out…if not for our “whiteness” then definitely for the “interested” crowd of people following us around. It was a bit nerve-wracking having people watch your every move. We walked around a bit and saw practically everything (donkeys, shoes, chickens, batteries, flour, nails, etc.) for sale. The market was somewhat of an organized chaos. After stepping around donkeys, over chickens and breaking away from the weird following, it was a relief to be back in the car.
From there we continued on to the monastery. It was located off the main road about 4 km on a dirt road which took us at least 15 minutes to travel. This again was a bit intimidating because we traveled through a very poor village filled with beggars and interested people waving and yelling at the car. Once we arrived, we spent some time viewing in and around the building including a 15 minute hike up a mountain to a cave. The elevation aided in making this a challenge.
On the 2 hour drive back to Addis, we stopped and had a late picnic style lunch. This essentially included us sitting in a manure-filled field alongside the road, swatting flies and choking down sandwiches. This was all witnessed by a few of our closest local friends (children) who surrounded the blanket to watch us eat. Alemu informed us that they most likely had never seen a white person. We have been carrying around little packages of candy wherever we go, so this was an example of where we gave them out. They were appreciative as noted by them chasing our car down the road as we left.
Once returning back to the guest house, we spent most of the time playing with and feeding Mikias. We’re hoping to get him to sleep a little longer tonight but who knows how that will turn out.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
We hardly slept at all last night partly because Mikias needed our attention and partly from still not being on a regular local schedule. Okay, and partly because fixing a bottle out of a thermos gets a little old. All complaints aside, we gave him his first bath today. (Funny story to follow about how to give a bath in Ethiopia) This afternoon we went to the National Museum here in Addis and saw “Lucy” (the oldest human remains). We also went to St. George Orthodox Church and learned our Ethiopian religion history. As exciting as those latter two things were, we mostly just stared at each other in shock and kept saying “we are in Ethiopia” and what did we just do.
Addis Ababa is like something neither of us has seen before. Every time we leave the guest house we stare wide eyed at what is around us. The streets are filled with people and cars and even some animals. There are small blue vans everywhere. These are the local taxis and can have nearly 20 people jammed on them. I am sure our pictures won’t do justice to what we have seen. WOW!
Tonight Alemu took us to a pizza place. This was a nice break from all the food we have eaten thus far. It is good, just different. (Joanna’s stomach is not having fun, yet.)
Okay, we are dead tired and need to go to bed. Thank you for your thoughts!
And of course, here are a few more pictures of the boy.