It is Christmas Eve in the states yet hard to imagine it here, although the restaurant does have a Christmas tree in the lounge. Ethiopian Christmas is 13 days away and yet you wouldn’t really know it from the city. It is not like the states were the city is decorated in lights and the stores have special signs to mark the holidays. Here their Christmas is celebrated with food and family, not all the gifts. We heard that there is someone in the city who is very wealthy and puts on a firework display on American Christmas. I don’t know if we will be able to see it or not.
The kids woke up about 6:30 this morning – we heard the Storybook Reader going – I’m sure it would have been a movie if we had left the DVD player out 🙂 We had some breakfast and played some outside. Then I decided to do a little something with Beza’s hair. Tonight we’ll wash it real good but it was getting a little frizzy so I felt like I should try to smooth it out a little. She had seen the bag of hair goodies apparently yesterday and asked Mark about it. When we picked her up her hair was in 3 sections that were braided in one fat braid. I took out each section, combed and then actually put it into four sections. Then in each section I made 3 small braids and put the flower snaps on the end. It looks pretty good if I do say so myself – at least with the limited hair products that I brought – I need some sort of smoothing creme – I think I have it at home.
We relaxed in the room again. Mark’s stomach is feeling a little icky so he’s laying down for a bit. The kids watched Curious George for about the 6th time. Then we had a little bit of “school time” where mom quizzed them on their English. I had a picture dictionary that had about 6 or 7 things per page. I pointed and they rattled them off like seasoned pros. Then we ran through some color and shape cards. The hexagon, pentagon, octagon mix them up a bit but they do me too 🙂 They can count up to about thirty (at least) in English. When we were running the shape cards I realized Wendemagegn was reading the answer on the bottom of the card (which is good). In his activity book he has also been able to read stuff like “Who am I” and “Match Mickey to his shadow”. We didn’t bring a bunch of other English books so I don’t know the extent of his reading skills. Wish I had a few more with me. I’m not sure about Beza’s reading yet.
Then I gave them each a sheet of paper and they wrote the entire alphabet, capital and small in VERY neat handwriting. They can each write their name in English although Wendemagegn spelled his differently the first time. I spelled it how we’ve been spelling it (and is on the their new Ethiopian birth certificate) and he said that is correct too. Seems like they way he spelled it was maybe a short version (although only like 2 letters shorter). I showed them their new last name and they each practiced writing that. They did their numbers 1-26 both in numerals and spelled out.
Rahel came about 4 p.m. and brought us the kids Ethiopian passports and their sealed immigration envelope that remains sealed until we go through immigration in Washington, D.C. So we have everything we need paperwork wise.
Tomorrow morning the kids Grandma is coming to say goodbye to them. She asked to be able to do this when we visited with her on Saturday. We are meeting in the hotel restaurant, but it’s quiet at 10 a.m.
The kids have been really good. There have been a couple little “squabbles”. Today when we were doing school I think she was kind of leaning over him to see the book and he kept nudging her over until I finally sat in between them. Both mornings they have made their beds, folded their pajamas and placed them on top of their beds. That’s better than mom 🙂
I think Wendemagegn had a little too much sugar (w/ his tea) and now they are being silly in bed – pretending to snore. They have definitely opened up even more today. At dinner they taught us lots of Amharic. Wendemagegn enjoys looking at our phrasebook and helping dad pronounce stuff (it’s written in Amharic as well).
I actually did a second hairstyle on Beza tonight after bath and washing hair. Kept it simple in twists but I think it looks pretty cute. The picture below is from this morning when I just rebraided her sections.