Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chapter Four continued briefly! (Silly Me!)

I was having a mental lapse last night when I typed the last blog entry. When I talked about the second crater, I said we didn't stay as long there...not as pretty, blah blah blah...Well, that is because I honestly couldn't remember it being that great. BUT SILLY ME! I don't know why I forgot about the fruit juice!

When we went to the second crater, we sat at a restaurant and had the MOST wonderful fresh juice. The kids and I had mango guava, and Andy and Wendi had mango pineapple. Very fresh, very safe to drink. YUM~YUM!


Monday, March 23, 2009

Chapter Four (finally! =)

Life is certainly busy with two little ones, so close together. Plus, having a 13 and 10 year old with their own busy itinerary, I haven't had a lot of time to blog. But here I am...

Where did I leave off last?

Oh yes...We were indeed able to make two day trips outside of Addis. The next day, after Elliot's eucalyptus forest event (the cipro worked wonders!!!) we went out of town to see two craters. The drive was very bumpy, a lot of road construction that never seems to get finished. The route we took involved a lot of heavy trucks, apparently the main road to Sudan, I believe...my memory being fuzzy now. But anyway, it was a main thoroughfare into other parts of Africa. And I think I've mentioned it before, but with very heavy, black exhaust emitting from each vehicle, it was hard to breathe at times. Wendi, our driver, was fantastic about passing these other trucks, cars and buses. Often times at the cost of our being fearful for our lives! These Ethiopians!!! They drive like maniacs! But we love them!

The first crater we stopped at was deserted except for us. There were two young men, early 20's I'd guess, who came over to take our entrance fee and write a receipt...good thing we had pens =). I was surprised we had to pay to see the crater since things like this are free in America. It was very beautiful, though. Across the lake was a couple of large resort looking buildings which Wendi said was the compound for the Protestants. This lake had very leaky looking boats that we could pay extra to be taken out in. The crater looked deep and the boats looked too rickety so we decided not to this time. We posed for a few pictures and then headed back up to the Range Rover.

The next crater was not as pretty and we stayed an even shorter time there. It truly was more exciting to be driving along, taking in all the sights on the way. Seeing the people, the countryside and how everyone lived outside of Addis was so fascinating! Plus, I just loved handing out the pens and paper to the students and children we would encounter. That was a highlight. Not because I felt like such a grand person for 'doing that' but because we got to interact with these joyful people. Have I said how beautiful in spirit they all are? They are amazing.

The next day we finally got to head back up the eucalyptus forest hillside and experience that trip. And my, what beauty. I fell in love with that drive. One I will never forget. Lovely. The air smells fresh and minty...eucalyptussy...ok, not a real word, but you get the whiff...=) The donkeys heading into town with their heavy burdens, the women and men who chase after them, the women carrying their own heavy loads to sell in town. As I mentioned before, the athletes training up and down the hillside, so full of energy and vitality. People always on the go to somewhere...town, home, chasing goats and sheep. They are always busy but not too much to look the way of a Range Rover coming down the road...big waves and huge smiles welcomed us wherever we went. SO wish our camera had not run out of batteries. We did get much more video footage and some day will upload some of it to here.

We drove to the largest christian orthodox monastery there, with it's huge domed ceiling. First, we had to read a sign and attest that we had not had sexual intercourse with each other for 48 hours and I also had to attest that I was not on my period...that being said, we were then able to take the monastery tour. Our guide, a very knowledgeable and delightful priest, started the tour by having us remove our shoes before entering. It was built in the 1960's, and not being that old, I was quite surprised by how musty it smelled inside. It was fairly dark, no lighting except for the sunshine in through the beautiful stained glass windows. We were not able to photograph using flash, so we just got video inside. There were murals depicting the last supper, the trinity and Mary and Jesus. Jesus on the cross and other disciples. The stained glass was spectacular. Each one showing different Bible characters. Daniel in the lions den, Abraham, Noah and the ark, Jonah and the whale, and many others. The opposite set of glass had the disciples. After the tour, our guide/priest gave us a miniature sermon...which was really, really awesome!!! He told of the importance of bringing up the children in the church, teaching them to love their Lord and Savior. Teaching them stories straight from the Bible, God's word. To show the example of what we would like them to be and being consistent. It was really neat. My family talked later about how our denomination, Seventh Day Adventists, was so much like what this priest was talking about.

After the tour, we were invited to go on the hike up the mountain side to the sacred cave. Where the holy water flows from the ceiling of the rocky crevices, healing all Orthodox Christians of their ailments. This was a lovely hike. At one point, the trail opens up to this plateau that could be taken straight out of a Robin Hood movie or like a forbidden forest. I can't even explain it...except mysterious and lovely.

At the cave opening, we went through a small gate. Priests were sweeping the entrance, even though it was a dirt and rock floor. We took our shoes off and went inside. It was damp and musty. The interior was about 20X20. The priest told of how the founder of this cave prayed for over 20 years and walked with the Lord. At the end of his meditating and communing with the Lord, this saint lost one of his legs from being on his knees so long in prayer. Again, some of my recollection may be off as there has been a lot happened since hearing the story and visiting the cave...But, it was very interesting.

Well, my 13 year old is home from visiting a friends for almost two days and I'm going to hear about her time there. I will try to write more soon!


Welcome to our site! We hope you enjoy the information we share during our adoption journey. As we document this wild ride to bringing home our Ethiopian children, we hope you'll fall in love with this beautiful country as we have.

Washington State, USA

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa