Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Travel Journal: Day 3

Having been awakened around 3am by howling wind coming through the crack in our sliding glass door, I couldn’t get back to sleep. I laid there thinking about our new three babies, how they will love meeting the 4 at home, and imagining our life as a new family of 9! Paul was awake too, but wanted to take a sleeping pill and go back to bed. He took the real kind, I took the herbal ones. One of us has been awake since then – typing 4 pages of memories from the past 24 hours! Oh well, he is getting some much needed rest and I am dressed and ready to go have some cups of buna in the lobby!
Today we go on a museum trip. I must admit, I would rather not if it meant we could spend the day with the kids instead… but I suppose we should learn whatever we can about Ethiopia while we are here!

 We saw lots of interesting things on the way to the museum: clothing stores, beggars, food vendors, incredibly frightening driving, the Addis Ababa University graduation in process, as well as the other typical sights – goats, bulls, cows, dogs and chickens in the roads.

The museum was very interesting – many cool artifacts and historical clothing from Ethiopian government history. We took lots of video, so my words will not do it justice. We found it very interesting to see the cultural items such as carvings, wooden furniture, clothing and jewelry that is typical to this area.
After the visit to the museum, we walked across the courtyard to the Lucy Restaurant. The restaurant is named after the famous Lucy artifact which was found in Ethiopia. The evolutionists say it is the earliest human form. The restaurant was interesting, animal hides on the walls in the shape of tiles, interesting menu options and the traditional Ethiopian-time service schedule.

After lunch we headed back to our hotel after first dropping the families off at care center 3 to visit with their children. We went over to see our kids and got to play with them for a couple of hours before their dinner time!  We enjoyed playing with the bubbles again as well as some hot wheels cars. When I first handed them the cars, baby boy threw his, Z** dropped it and reached for bubbles instead, and B** smiled and said “Machina!” (ma-kina).  The nannies brought juice for a snack – avocado and papaya blended together. The kids all guzzled their juice down in seconds flat! They love that avocado blend!

Too soon it was time for us to go. It was sad knowing we would not see them for over 24 hours at that point, but we knew that this was our last time leaving them overnight. I took all three up to their bedrooms where they were getting cleaned up for dinner and bed.  I left them their photo album books to keep overnight since it was their favorite thing we had brought so far.  After many kisses and fighting back tears, I descended the stairs, grabbed my things and went out the front doors.

Emma and I walked next door to the hotel talking about how hard it was to say goodbye today. We had some time before the cultural dinner, but only a short time frame before we were supposed to be downstairs waiting.  We changed clothes for dinner, got cleaned up a bit, and then went to wait in the lobby. While we talked to our travel group friends, we began recalling the events of the past couple of days. It is amazing how much we have packed into such a short amount of time!

After waiting for 45 minutes after the time we were told to be ready, it was finally time to go to dinner. Several from our group had decided not to go to the dinner, so those who were left piled into the van. We drove to the restaurant and walked into the smoke-filled restaurant around 8pm.  The smoke was due to the pine needles/incense that they burn as part of the coffee ceremony. There was a band playing traditional instruments on the stage and these cool chair groupings around these Ethiopian drum tables. The server pointed us to where to go and then removed a cover from the table to reveal a drum-like surface. We ordered our food and watched the show. 

The food was served family style and most of us enjoyed the injera with a yellow-curry-lentil blended substance the most. After some disagreement with the server over whether or not Paul could have the raw goat, he was served cooked goat which he did not eat. The manager got upset and the server and manager proceeded to tell him that the raw goat was not on the menu. It was, in fact, on the menu because he pointed to it to order. Anyway, we ate, watched the show, and then went back to the hotel exhausted. 

We changed into pajamas and packed our bag for the next days’ trip to Durame at 6am. 
There was an over-arching sense of nauseating anticipation in the air, knowing we would soon meet our children's birth family. 
Travel Group (and annoyed Ethiopian man in foreground)

Hand-washing before the meal - Emma and Michael on the right

More hand-washing...

Yellow stuff we enjoyed is in the 4:00 position - looks like creamed corn, but was SO yummy!

Dancers doing their thing! 

Check presenter baskets... pretty cool!
I think we paid around $12 for dinner.

Cool tree from at the museum - looked like a giant poinsettia!

Friendly reminder from the museum folks...

(Baby monkey named) Selam - they say is the earliest human child.
This was on the cover of National Geographic at one point.
Uh huh.

See! I'm not making this stuff up!
"Lucy" was on display in the USA while we were in Ethiopia... so we missed that gem.

Photo of a lady making injera. We didn't get to see anyone actually MAKING the injera while we were there, so this was a little clue as to how they pour it and get it all thin and even since they can't tip the pan around.


  1. So great reading this... it's almost like I was there :)

  2. Chrissy, I love all your pics. I wish I had taken more there. We had over 2000 pics but lots of them were of Judah and kiddos and not the country-side or city views. You rock!


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