Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Update from a few days ago...Traffic, traffic, traffic...who knew there could be so much congested traffic in downtown Addis Ababa. Add to that the construction everywhere and basically no traffic laws at all. Lanes, lanes...we don't need no stinking lanes!!! I've never been so close to so many cars, while in motion, in my life. Luckily the driver is an ace at it, so I just mostly laugh about it all. Tina not so much... With all the insanity, I do believe we drove to the four corners of Addis Ababa (a very large city) about 3 or 4 times today. But that aside, we had a good and productive day. We made it out to the Kidane Miheret orphanage and were able to catch up with the sister that helped us so much back in 2003, Sister Camilla. She's a sweet little nun (about 65 years old), originally from Austria, who remembered the kids and all the chaos that went on when we were adopting and trying to reunite Tigist with her brothers. We brought up an idea we had talked about with Tina's dad about purchasing a sewing machine for the orphanage and you would have thought she was a little kid on Christmas morning the way she lit up! She was so excited and had been needing one for years. So purchasing a sewing machine is now at the top of our list of things to do. We were told to buy one at the Merkado (largest open air market on the continent...and somewhere the embassy usually isn't all that excited about us shopping), but we know that the price would probably double the minute they see the color of our skin, so we talked to our drivers about purchasing it for us and they agreed. We're pretty happy about that! I think Mia will head into the big purchase with them. We also talked to the sisters about handing out donations and the femine hygiene kits, along with going over the use of the items in the kits to the older girls. It looks like we're on for Thursday with all that. Hopefully we'll have the sewing machine by then too. Throw a little more sovenier shopping in here at some point...was sick of that by the time we were done LOL.On our way to find Emebet (one of the girls we sponsor to go to private school through COEEF), we stopped by a place in Tina's quest to find Sambosa's (little triangular shaped, deep fried pastries, filled with veggies or meat...and just spicy enough)...but were denied once again. We decided that food was still in order and had a few pizzas and big plates of fries. Much to me and Mia's disappointment, the ketchup wasn't the amazing "Ethiopian ketchup" we were hoping for. Not sure what the deal was with that!!!Let's see, we found Emebet...all by the pouring rain (again)...thanks to Mia's excellent memory. We were all excited to see each other. This was the third time we'd been able to meet her, but she was still her shy little self. Well, maybe a little less shy than before, but not much. We talked to her aunt that she lives with and she agreed that Emebet can hang out with us as much as she'd like to. With that said, she jumped in the van with us and off we went. Unfortunately for her, it was a lot of driving around...probably more than she'd done in her entire life. I'm sure she was in parts of the city she'd never even heard of before. Right after picking up Emebet and in our so far unsuccessful attempts to locate the in country director of COEEF, we headed to the Lem Lem School to see if they might be able to help us get a hold of him. They did at least verify that we have the right phone numbers for him, but still no luck getting in touch with him (even now that it's 10:45 p.m.). Hopefully we'll find something out tomorrow.So we trekked from the northeast corner of Addis Ababa, to the southwest corner, to pickup our friend Henock's girlfriend, Andanant for dinner. She's absolutely stunning and tiny. Now with 12 of us in the van, we headed for headed for a restaurant that should have the game on between Netherlands and Slovakia (or was it Slovenia?)...on several flat screens as well as a projector & 10 foot screen. We convinced both the driver and his shotgun buddy to come in and eat with us, so had 12 at dinner. It was good food, even if the conversation was a little difficult at times, since Andanant doesn't speak a ton of English. It seemed to go well over all though and she is really nice.It wasn't too far back southwest to drop her off, but then way up northeast to drop Emebet off at home...then the long haul back to the guest house. I'm really hoping for less taxi time tomorrow.Right now we're watching a fuzzy broadcast of Brazil vs. Chile (Brazil is up), muted...Tina is on the floor playing some crazy card game with the kids and Sierra passed out on the couch. G'night all...!!!!
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