Merry Christmas to all of you in the states. It is weird to be here without any signs of Christmas except for the tree in the restaurant. On the way to breakfast this morning Wendemagegn asked “Today Christmas?” When I said “yes” Beza said “I eat meat.” Because that’s what they do in Ethoipia – not that they haven’t eaten meat every other day they’ve been here with us. The Ethiopian Orthodox generally fast for 2 weeks before their Christmas (which is on Jan 7 for us).
They kids can really put the food away – Wendemagegn especially eats a BIG breakfast. My appetite has been much smaller here and I feel so bad when I cannot finish whatever dish I ordered. Mark and I have even shared a couple of times and we still don’t finish it.
We met Grandma this morning. Diribia came and brought her to the hotel. He stayed a few minutes and then said he would be back in one hour. The kids had just learned to use our little camera so they were having fun taking lots of pictures and Grandma was laughing. We went outside a little and she watched Mark and Wendemagegn play soccer and me and Beza blow bubbles. Then we went back into the restaurant and had drinks. I think she was scolding Wendemagegn a little on how he was drinking his tea so we shaped him up. (He likes to use a spoon and drink it from the spoon.) The kids had some animated conversation with her. The loudest we have heard them speak. Everyone was happy and laughing. Then she had the kids, with the help of one of the restaurant staff, write a letter to their teachers to tell them about coming to America. Not sure what else it said. We took a picture of it, perhaps we can have it translated at some point.
In all it was a really good visit. We are so glad that they had that visit and we now have a ton of pictures – mostly taken by the kids.
We ate lunch – meat for both. It’s called Tibs – basically it’s small pieces of meat with stewed tomatoes, green peppers (looks like bell pepper but it’s not – spicy), and onion. Then they rip of pieces of injera to eat it. Mark’s chicken sandwich came with an olive on the toothpick and so Beza tried it. At first she nodded and then her face totally changed and she spit it out into her hand 🙂 So cross olives off the list. Guess it’s just me and Natalie that like them. She also had a cappuccino to drink. She kept saying “Cappuccino very, very good.”
We watched a little movie afterward. They almost have Curious George memorized. Madagascar is a big hit too. They also seem to like Lady and the Tramp. Cars and Over the Hedge didn’t stay in long at all. They also liked Dora – perhaps because the Story Reader has Dora books.
We ate strawberries for a snack – went through a whole container – and went outside to play. We lucked out in that the parking lot was completely empty. The construction workers get a kick out of watching us play. The soccer ball did go over the wall – surprised this is the first time – and so Mark had to go around the building, climb down about 10 feet and retrieve it.
We have had our first “ouch” tears this afternoon. Wendemagegn either fell off the stool or got his leg caught. Not sure. Then Beza got snapped in the ear with the jump rope.
The become more animated and more comfortable with us each day and are excited to get on the airplane tomorrow. We told them “Breakfast, lunch, dinner, then we go to airport. We will sleep on the plane.” Wendemagegn wagged his finger and said “I no sleep on the airplane”. Ha! It will be 10 p.m. by the time we get on the plane. I am praying for empty seats so that we can spread out.
I am super excited to see Dustin and Jen and find out how their week has been.
The internet is working good right now so I’m posting this even though our day isn’t really over.