Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 1 in Ethiopia!

Day 1- April 24, 2011- Easter

We are staying at BJoe guest house. We were under the impression that we were the only Gladney family in country this week. We got in late Saturday night, and were told that there were 2 moms (with their kiddos) staying there as well.!! We got to meet them in the morning. One mom, Meggan, is with Gladney. She has her 3 year old son with her, that they adopted from Ethiopia 2 years ago, and she is adopting a 6 and 8 yr. old girl. The other mom, Danielle, has her 3 year old son—home from Ethiopia 2 years ago as well, and her baby boy that she’s waiting for his embassy appointment. She is with CHI. So, it’s been a nice surprise to have other moms here!! My dad is a trooper!! He’s not a big “world” traveler, so this has been quite the experience for him. We hit the ground running on day 1. Since we thought we were going to be the only family around, and we knew that Easter was such a big holiday here, we were just going to go to church and then maybe spend some of the day at the Hilton, by the pool. Assumed a lot of places would be closed, and staff and drivers would want to be with their families that day. Well, Sunday morning plans changed because we were invited to join the other gals that are staying here to go celebrate Easter at Kebetesehey orphanage. They had a goat they were going to be eating and we stopped on the way and picked up cakes. 4 hours at the orphanage was an incredible experience. I will say that it’s a tough orphanage to visit—there is GREAT need--- and there also doesn’t seem to be an active “sponsorship” program going on there, that I know a lot us thought we were a part of! But, the kids were sweet, and beautiful, and loved having visitors. I spent a lot of time upstairs with the babies. There were just too many to hold! There were only 3 or 4 nannies there, so all the babies are fed by having the bottles propped up and every baby I picked up was soaking wet! Maybe there is a diaper shortage, but we were told that the babies only get changed twice in a 24 hr. period!! I’m really hoping that’s NOT the norm... but afraid it might be!

After eating (injera and doro wat- with goat instead of chicken- so probably not doro wat, but it had the red sauce and egg), we had cake and soda and then it was time to go. We stopped by Ketchene for a few minutes to deliver a pair of shoes to a girl and for a quick bathroom stop.  We were now on our way to Alex’s house for a coffee ceremony. (Alex volunteers at Kebebtesehey and works with some of the special needs kids. I think he’s paid a bit through Gladney—but don’t quote me on that. ) He lives out in Korah. It’s a bit more in the countryside and it’s beautiful….. beyond the view of the steaming dump. We spent a few hours at his home with his extended family. It was a beautiful way to spend Easter!

By this time, we were pretty wiped out!! So, we headed back to BJoe’s and ordered dinner in and then hit the sack! Day 1 was amazing. Nothing like hitting the ground running!

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