I guess everyday can be called a play day when you get to spend it with kids. Until today I have spend most of everyday hanging out with and playing with kids here in Ethiopia. Today was a "play day" as it seemed more tourist type "play" stuff for my friend and I. It costs 600 birr ($60) to hire a driver for whole day or 70 birr ($7) per hour. This is more than in the past and because gas prices have gone up so much here. Anyway, it is really better use of money to hire a drive for all day and use that day to do a lot of stuff. Today we shopped at Haile Sellasie shopping center and Sorvino shopping. Selassie is a shopping place all enclosed in one building. The prices seemed good and it was kind of easy not dealing with a large market type crown. Sorvino shopping is where I have been before. It is a long row of open front shops to find all sorts of traditional Ethiopian kind of goods. I am watching my money but I did have a small list of things I wanted to bring home. There are some common things adopting parents buy for their new children from Ethiopia. Most parents try to get a traditional outfit or two, the fancy carved wooden crosses, silver necklace cross and other jewelry, and scarves or other lines. Of course there are endless things to buy that speak of Ethiopia. Every main Orthodox church here has it's own style cross design. I like the Lalibela style and have worn the silver necklace I got in 2005 constantly since then. The different woven linens of all types are extremely beautiful. I bought some more tablecloths today. I love to have things from here that I use every day. I also did a little Christmas shopping for our kids. That was fun. We also went to buy Ethiopian music CDs (psst...it is a secret, don’t tell the Ethio teens) I bought some Teddy Afro music. He is the popular young singer sentenced to six years in jail last week for having some wording in his songs that the government didn't agree with. sigh.
We had lunch at a fun place I hadn’t heard of. It is called "The Old Milk Can" and had both American and Ethiopian food. We ate Morracan and it was good! The nicest thing is that the restaurant is on top floor of tall building next to place grounds. The view of Addis from the top was amazing and worth the price of lunch.
We stopped by the Ritmo guest house to visit some other adopting parents there. I saw Gail there before she took a small group to their embassy appointment. The embassy appointment is to apply for their new adopted child's visa to enter the U.S. We also went to big AHOPE to deliver donations and to the Fantu supermarket. There are so many beggars and giving out money to them is discouraged. I have found great joy is always having bags of bread
to give out, especially to the moms with little children. So I bought a lot more bread
and small packages of crackers, etc....to share. I wish I could tell you how happy their faces looks to get the food. We also stocked up on bread and cheese for ourselves and the times we can not get out to get food.
Tonight at 7:30 Ketema is picking us up to have dinner at a place where we will see a lot of traditional dancing. The food is suppose to be great Ethiopian fare also. My friend and I invited Ketema to bring his wife and two young boys with us. I look forward to meeting them. I'll let you know tomorrow how the dancing was!
I missed being able to spend the whole days with my boys. My heart and mind was with them all day, but the break from orphanage emotions was restful for me. I love being in the orphanage so much. It is just so emotional. I knew this was a good day to have our "play" day. My friend leaves Friday night and I wouldn’t have wanted to do this stuff without someone along with me for company.
Maggie at home is feeling better but MyHao and Solomon now are ill with fever and tummy upset. Good to know Maggie was dealing with a bug rather than something more serious but sad more of my kids are sick when I am not there. Bless Kayla our older daughter helping Mike care for the kids. She is really doing a great job! I guess she slept on the floor last night between Maggie, MyHao and Solomon. Bet she is tired.
Love from Addis,