If you are just now tuning into our Travel Journals [Retold] – then WELCOME! You can either go back to the first post and start from the beginning or jump in at any point. These are very dear to my heart and it is my pleasure to share them with you.
May 22, 2011
Hannah’s Hope / Cultural Dinner
Today started off with a MIRACLE!!! HOT WATER!!!! LOL! I didn’t know it was possible to peel your clothes off so fast! I started showering quickly in fear it would soon be gone, but once my hair was washed and body was cleaned…I began to relax and enjoy. I even had time to shave! Daddy was laughing at the smile on my face, but I know he enjoyed the warmth too.
We were a little disappointed that Wass wasn’t picking us up QUITE as early today, but we did enjoy the time to sit down for breakfast with friends. Though the buffet is getting old….we’re ready to walk down the street and try the highly recommended Sister’s Café….maybe Tuesday. Since our travel group has been hounding us to share the name we’ve chosen for you, we decided to play a little game this morning. Each person could guess a letter, and they only got one clue. If someone guessed the letter correctly…then everyone would get a shot to guess the name! This continued on in the van as well. They had guessed close….and just when we thought they were not going to get it, Danny (our driver) guessed it! Then they all got shots at the name….and again, got along the lines of your name…but they still didn’t guess it! We let them know our second-choice names to give them clues, but they still were a ways off!
Our ride to Hannah’s Hope was smooth as usual. We always love finding the odd little things that you would NEVER see in America – like donkeys carrying empty bottles of Coca Cola, or men peeing alongside the road, or children waving at a van of white-faces like they were celebrities! We always smile once we turn off the highway to the well-beat road to Hannah’s Hope…and that smile grows even bigger when we see the familiar gates that will lead us to you!
Today we found you lying on a boppy, wide awake and curious, surrounded by lots of other babies! Since it was starting to spit outside, most of us stayed indoors. We took advantage of that time by weighing and measuring each of you. Although you are second oldest in the group, you were BY FAR the tiniest, my love! Only 23 inches and 12 pounds! We love our petite little girl! (But don’t worry dear, the little fighter you have proved to be…you could probably beat any of the other babies up! Not that we would allow it…) Daddy also interviewed one of your special mothers to find out what formula you are on, how many bottles a day, how often they wake you at night, how many naps you take….and any other detail about your schedule. We also talked to the nurse about your health and she assured us, “no problems”….a phrase we have found popular with ALL Ethiopians!
By the time the rain stopped we were all eager to get outdoors, so I wrapped you in a blanket and we sat out in chairs under cover, just in case. (Reading this again, I thought that sounded funny…you simply wouldn’t sit outside under cover in weather like that at home…but here in Ethiopia it is quite humid so even though the ground is wet and it is raining on and off…it was warm.) Although you weren’t as insanely smiley as the day before, your face was full of joy and contentment. We could tell that we were becoming more familiar to you, and you were to us! We could begin reading your cues for when you were hungry and when you were tired and you showed us that you really do fall asleep quite quickly as long as we stick to the familiar way of doing it!
After you woke up, it was time for a diaper/outfit change. And as usual, once we were indoors…we couldn’t help but spend some time getting to know the amazing staff at Hannah’s Hope. It was so evident in each of their faces how dearly they loved you. I will eternally be grateful for each of them…
In the midst of the performance, we were served our dessert – popcorn, coffee and honey wine.
The dancing is absolutely amazing – we’re still wondering how they get their bodies to move like that! After hounding Tsige, she started showing us her moves too…and then Brittany joined in! After the song was over, one of the dancers came out into the audience and pulled Brittany on stage. She tried to drag me with her, but I completely panicked and refused. She did a fantastic job though and got smothered in kisses from the man she danced with!
On the way home, Tsige was able to explain a little bit more about the story line in one of the dances…which we had pretty much assumed, even though we didn’t understand the language. We dropped her off at home and went back to our hotel for the night.
I’ll leave you with some videos of the dancing below. (And if for some reason they have trouble loading…you can feel free to visit my YouTube Channel and watch it there.)
Man, I am going to MISS this place! It is truly an amazing country! Nervous and excited about what the morning brings!
*Continue to follow our Travel Journals to Day 6