I got a real treat this morning when Wendemagegn & Beza (and Mark)
woke me up with their “Good Morning” song from the video. How fun!
Mark and Wendemagegn woke up first and did some exercises. Beza is
more of a sleeper like her mom. Luckily the shower was hot this
morning (yeah) so we got showers and walked over to breakfast. The
restaurant staff was really helpful with the kids and kept bringing
them more and more food. It’s really quiet in there in the morning –
both mornings there have only been 1 or 2 people there.
It is quite a noisy environment in general. First you have the prayers
and preaching coming over the loudspeaker from the orthodox church
about 1/4 mile away. Then there is construction all around the hotel.
And last the hotel has a local fitness center/gym attached to it and
you can really hear whatever music they are playing – either in the
exercise room or in aerobics class or something. Feels like it’s in
the room right next to us. That seems to go from about 8 a.m. to 8
After breakfast they wanted to watch a movie and picked out Curious
George – they seemed to recognize it. Beza really gets the physical
humor in those kinds of movie and they laughed. After that we went
outside and played soccer, frisbee and with the bubbles. Beza loves to
chase the bubbles and watch them float up into the air. Wendemagegn is
obviously quite the athlete and very coordinated. The area we’ve been
playing in is actually a parking lot (fits about 10 cars). Fortunately
it seems to be mostly empty after about 10 a.m.
We went back to the room and had just finished a snack when our driver
called and said he would be there in 10 minutes. Mark and I had to
change clothes real quick and he was really there in about 3 minutes
to drive us to the embassy. As were pulling up we saw Rahel waiting
for us and then as we got out of the car – there was Jen and Jonas.
They had just finished and were gettting in their agency van. We got
to say hi briefly and see her beautiful baby boy. Then Rahel was
hurrying us into the embassy. We passed through security twice, got
passports checked twice before we went upstairs to a large waiting
room with several windows. We were only there about 3 or 4 minutes
when the guy called us to the window. Rahel got there first and the
embassy guy was not happy with her. Apparently she was 2 1/2 hours
late and something similar happened last week. We had to raise our
right hands and swear that everything in our documents was correct.
Then he asked us when was the first day we met the kids, if the kids
were biological siblings, what happened to their parents and did they
have any other siblings. We signed some stuff, he stamped some stuff
and then handed us some papers and said the visas would be ready
tomorrow. In all we were probably in and out in 30 minutes which is
pretty unheard of.
Rahel will pick up the Visas tomorrow and bring them to us at the
hotel. On the way home we stopped at the Hilton to get some money out
of the ATM – apparently there are only about 3 ATMs in Addis. Then we
got a few snacks from the little supermarket right there before we
went back to the hotel.
We at lunch at the hotel restaurant – I’ve been really impressed with
the food. My appetite is definitely smaller here and I feel really bad
leaving half full plates. The kids seem to clean their plates for
sure. Beza ordered “fish goulash” which is fish cooked in some sort of
spice with green peppers (spicier than our green peppers). Mark said I
wouldn’t have liked it. Wendemagegn had a burger and fries – he ate
half of the burger (and it was big) and all his fries. He wanted tea
to drink – hot tea with about 3 spoonfuls of sugar. He loved it.
After lunch we watched Madagascar which they, especially Beza, loved.
We were all kind of zoning and probably could have taken naps. We’re
not really sure what they are used to. I think they do some sort of
rest time at the orphanage. Instead, we went back outside for more
play time. Right next to the parking lot is a building that is being
built. The workers have kind of gotten a kick out of watching us with
the kids the last couple days. This afternoon during their break 3 of
them came and stood close to where we were and watched the kids and
laughed. Wendemagegn went over close to the wall to rest and they
obviously asked him who we were. He pointed to me and said “mother”. I
looked up and the one guy said “Mother?” I said “Yes, mother, father.”
And they kind of chuckled. We make good entertainment I guess. Beza
called me “Mom” a couple times trying to catch my attention to look at
a bubble floating particularly high.
They wanted to watch another movie after that. “Action” Wendemagegn
said. I think he was expecting Rocky. He got Cars instead. They
watched little bits of a couple movies but I guess they didn’t hold
their interest. Beza even fell asleep for a little bit.
We had dinner delivered to our room again tonight – they wanted pizza
again. I have to say that the french fries here are some of the best
I’ve ever had.
We showed them brushing teeth tonight and tucked them into bed. Mark
caught Wendemagegn trying to sneak the DVD player into his bed and Wen
laughed and laughed at getting caught. I guess we’ll have to keep that
in our room at night.
We are both feeling ready to come home and could, theoretically, get
an earlier flight home but it would cost us a bundle in change ticket
fees and I’m pretty sure that it would be difficult to find flights
during the holidays.
The kids are doing well. I feel like we’re doing a pretty decent job
of communicating. I know they don’t understand everything we say but
they get the gist of it. They are pretty quiet unless we are outside
playing and then they get louder.
Mark has our first picture with the kids (from yesterday) posted on
his blog – markgumm.wordpress.com