Sunday – Day 2
Sunday we decided to be very, very lazy and just slept in. After last night we just wanted to crash and sleep in. We couldn’t go to the kids until the afternoon and didn’t have anything to do until then. We stayed in the room and ate the pineapple we bought the night before. Let me tell you that ever since the first time I ever went to Africa in 92 I have been spoiled by knowing what fresh, vine ripened fruit is supposed to taste like. In Kenya my bed was right next to the window, all I had to do was reach out the window and pick a kiwi for a snack. All I had to do was walk outside and shimmy up the tree to get a pineapple. It takes a few months of being back in the states before you stop tasting the “green” in all of the fruit and can start to enjoy the American stuff again. Well we headed to market to walk around a bit more and to see if we could find any of the stuff we were looking to buy while we were there. Pretty much we just aimlessly walked around the market trying to find “whatever” but it was Sunday and most of the shops were closed. Eventually our hunger caught up with us so we headed to a safe restaurant and ordered some cokes and an order of tibs. Tibs are bite sized chunks of fried meat. Now mind you the meat they fry is the stuff they have hanging on meat hooks out on the side of the road. No, it’s not refrigerated, nothing really is around here, so deep frying the meat is an easy way to know the stuff is dead when you eat it. Tibs are served with a small platter of sauces to dip the meat in and a couple of rolls of injera. They then give you a lime to squeeze over the meat and there you go. A meal that Heather HATES. Yeah, that’s what I discovered once it was served and Heather took a few bites. Yeah, we bombed out on that meal. Mind you I like tibs, but if you aren’t a meat guy you may want to steer clear.
We were unable to eat all of the food they brought us so we got it put in a bag and we took it out with us to give away. Now most of the time you don’t have to look far to find a beggar or a street person, but every time I have any food I can never seem to find anyone to give it to. Even when I was in Chicago I had the exact same problem, I don’t know what it is but this is a running theme in my life. We did see a small family on the side of the road, obviously not a street family, but we asked them if the would like the tibs and the laughed, and thanked us. They were very happy to have the food. It was time for our visitation and we headed over to see the kids. Today the kids were very excited to see us come and we were ecstatic to have this time with them. The kids wanted to play soccer with us today and we spent the majority of the day kicking the ball around, jumping rope, and watching the kids ride bikes. I tried to really watch what reaction the kids were having with Heather and I tried my best to play into that reaction and to give her as much time with the kids as possible. I tried to film a lot of what was going on and I took a lot of photos of the kids with Heather and filmed a lot of the playing. The little guys played the aiya djebo game and I got to watch Mihret run around the room pretending to bite all the other kids. Basically the game is where you pretend to be a hyena and you chase all the kids around tickling and play biting. It’s a total hoot to watch! Also the kids played a full body version of Cat’s Cradle. They play with their legs and it’s really impossible to explain how they play it but it’s very fun to watch them. The guard dog at the orphanage had puppies a little while ago, the little guys were very cute. Now the national meal in Ethiopia is Doro Wat, or chicken stew, so we kept asking all of the kids if they liked Wusha Wat. Most of the kids would make nasty faces at us and laugh hysterically, but not my daughter. Mihret kept up with us and was hysterically funny in pushing the issue with us. She would even run up to the dog making silly eating noises. She knows how funny she is, she and Lucas are going to keep us so busy it’s not even funny!
Too quickly it was time to leave. I can’t even explain the sorrow that hits your heart as your time comes to an end with your kids. We decided we would walk up to the garbage city that I saw the families in before, as we had been unable to contact our contact in Ethiopia who was going to help us with the Yesus on the Streets. We were looking to find a way that we could do it on the streets by ourselves but we had no idea how we were going to pull this off if we couldn’t get through to our friend. Well as we got to the corner of the block Heather found an old man and offered him some chocolate, as he was thanking Heather for the gift she replied back to him, “Ie, Yesus getano, amasagnallo Yesus” The man looked at Heather very oddly and Heather repeated herself, basically translated “No, Jesus is Lord, Thank Jesus” Well the man nodded his head and replied “Yesus getano, Yesus getano” or Jesus is Lord. As Heather left the man she asked me why I was laughing so hard, and I informed her she just got an old Muslim man to say Jesus is Lord. I was blown away. Later we got to the point where the garbage city was and we discovered nothing. The settlement was gone and someone had gone in and cleared the landfill. There was just dirt and a small stream. I was prepared to see a settlement here, not a clean area. I didn’t know what to think, and wondered where the families went, and why. Well we headed back to the motel even more at a loss than ever for the Yesus on the Streets project. For diner we decided to try a burger place next to the motel. That was a mistake! Heather ordered an “egg burger” and I ordered a “ham and beef burger.” Well it was served on a bun that I really can’t explain, but it was HUGE and nasty. Heather’s burger was a normal burger with a fried egg on top of it. She gave me the meat as she couldn’t swallow it. I’m not exactly sure what I was eating but the food was so, so , so very bad, and the fries were only slightly better than the burgers. The ketchup on the other hand was indescribable. All in all probably a better day than yesterday, although the food was terrible. Tomorrow would be interesting though as my friend would be coming over to take us to merkato.
As we waitied for midnight to arrive to usher in the new year I stood on the balcony pondering the last 15 years. You can read that post from a few days ago if you are interested. Over the hill we could see the fireworks from Ja Rule’s party at the Sheraton. We were now in 2007, ferenj time of course, Ethiopia is still in 1999 until September.