Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Embassy Trip - Day 4 in Ethiopia

Today began again with getting up hoping to hear right away from the US Embassy. This time regarding when our interview appointment will be. That meant multiple refreshes of the email as we got ready, during breakfast, and as we gathered our stuff to go out. Finally, shortly after breakfast the elusive email arrived! Unfortunately, they couldn’t schedule us for the same day but we do have our appointment first thing Wednesday morning. Yeah, this is the last big step beyond getting the kids traveling papers. Our last hurdle will be requesting it all be processed and ready by end of day Thursday instead of Friday morning as is normal with Wednesday appointments so we don’t have to change flights to Friday. We’ll see what they say.

Our first full day with the kids and we decided no use just sitting around so out we went for some MORE retail therapy with Fekadu, Joel, and the Gillis family. Have we mentioned lately just how much we love and enjoy Fekadu and Joel?? Well, it’s a whole bunch. These guys are wonderful. They picked us up around 9:30 and off we went first to the Former Firewood Carriers for MORE scarves. The kids got to see how the scarves are made, and Nen even took a turn working the loom. It was cool to see him just jump right in. Then we went in and shopped. There was a big change since our first trip. The prices were lowered on all the scarves and baskets to 60 birr each! Although price really isn’t a big concern when shopping there, it really is all about helping out these cool ladies and their families AND getting great scarves at the same time. Yes, we bought several (or more than several), and Nen picked out two for himself!

Next we visited the shops at Shermada (sp ???), right outside the former firewood carriers, and also the post office. We had to keep an eye out on Nen a bit, he just didn’t have any fear and would walk around close by where we were looking. He also has VERY specific tastes. He DID NOT want any traditional clothing but was VERY interested in finding a hat just like mine (Craig’s). I think that’s pretty cool. We found Achole another VERY cute dress and Nen wanted a bright blue scarf they had in the same shop. At the post office area we found Nen an Ethiopian team soccer jersey that fit pretty well and each of the kids were allowed to pick out a carved wooden animal. They had a lot of fun looking around and Nen would have emptied my pockets if we would have let him get everything he liked (we didn’t, and he was very respectful when we said no). I don’t think he understands you have to pay for what you are choosing.

After shopping we headed over to Fekadu’s home for another wonderful meal cooked by his mother. This time she served Doro Wat at Fekadu’s request since we had talked about liking it and had made it at home. The entire meal was very yummy and the kids chowed down on it. Achole has been very interesting when it comes to meals. She is perfectly capable of feeding herself but prefers either Sherri or me feed her. I think this is a great bonding time and we are more than happy to meet her needs. Next came the coffee ceremony, MUCH anticipated. Right before the coffee was ready, Fekadu asked me to come inside to look at a presentation he has given to teenagers at several churches. It was VERY good and I was honored he wanted to show it to me. At the same time (yes, this was planned) the rest of the crew was prepping a surprise. When we came out there was an beautiful and VERY delicious birthday cake for me and they were all singing happy birthday. Yeah, I totally fell for it and was honored beyond belief at the consideration and love that was bestowed upon me. Fekadu and Joel had been planning this for some time.

Finally, it was time to head back for naps and some down time. We were all tired. Sherri, Jordan, and the kids took long naps while I chatted with many of you on FB early this morning US time. After dinner the Gillis family stopped by with another birthday cakethey picked up when they went to the Sheraton for dinner. How cool is that! Two birthday cakes and JUST because we celebrated my birthday in Ethiopia I’m now 8 years younger!! (it’s 2004 based on the calendar used in Ethiopia) I’ll take it!

We ended the day with baths (a first with the kids). Achole did not like it and cried the entire time but now she’s clean and very quickly rebounded. Nen, had a blast playing in the tub and let me wash him from head to toe. Lots of lotion, a little Elmo, and then all three of the kids are now in bed. We’ll be following along soon. We have an early start to the day tomorrow and will be leaving the hotel for the US Embassy at 8am. Good night!


1 comment:

  1. What an awesome day! Wow! I will embrace the Ethiopian calendar - and think that all of us should re-age ourselves immediately. Have a safe trip back, what an awesome journey.