Wow, what a day! Let's see, we visited Mia's old neighborhood yesterday and were able to get in contact with a few of her relatives. We'll be meeting up with them Tuesday. We also visited the Lem Lem School, where Mia attended school while living in Ethiopia. There was an end of year carnival just wrapping up, but there were still quite a few people and kids around. Got to have buna (coffee) with some of the administrators, play with kids and get a tour of the new facilities they're building. Pretty amazing...a new library even! They invited back to a big parent's day program on the 4th of July too. Probably no fireworks, but lot of celebrating, dance & song and our sponsor girl will be there. We also visited the Layla House children's home, where Mia spent 5 months before we adopted her and hung out with lots of kids. Steve (the guy from Utah) was with us and we got to meet his little 10 month old daughter...what a cutie!
So, back to today. We went on a quest for Sambosas...the main thing Tina wanted to track down at a specific bakery. Of course the bakery had moved a year after we'd been here and they didn't know where they'd moved to...so no such luck. After that we dropped off Mia and Tigist to get their hair braided while the rest of us went souvenir shopping. It wasn't too bad...Sierra wasn't too out of her element with not being able to say no. Rafe and Tina even managed to barter for some low down prices..."Habasha price, I promise!"
We went back, got the girls and headed to our friend Henock's house for lunch with his family. He lives in VA now, but we hung out and had amazing Ethiopian home cooking. We talked to him on the phone later and he said his mom was very happy that we were able to come by and visit with them.
Off to find Rafe's brother, Musay at the Brother's of Charity home for the handicapped. Musay is paraplegic, but there are physically and mentally handicapped boys and young men there. I'll have to admit it can be quite draining being there. I think it takes it's toll on him at times too. He was so surprised to see Rafe. I don't think any of the people who were there when Rafe was could believe it was really him. It was great to see them together!
All piled in to the taxi next and off to find Tigist's grandpa...but no one knew exactly where he lived. I have no idea how, in the pouring rain no less, but our drivers managed to track him down. What an emotional time with so many relatives, neighbors and old friends suddenly flooding through the doorway. It was hard for the kids with the language barrier, which caused Mia to be pulled 50 ways at once trying to translate for everyone that wanted to say something. She did an amazing job of it though. I think the memories came back for Tigist, Mikias & Yohannes (Tigist's two younger brothers) though as the old faces kept coming through the door. One way to describe it all was an emotional tornado of chaos.
After that we decided to just come back to the guest house (where the internet is working...whoohoo!) and relax...it's definitely needed at this point.
Tomorrow it's meeting up with some other people, hitting the Kidane Mihret orphanage, probably Layla House again and meeting up with the in country directory of COEEF, Fitsum. So we'll sign off for now...see ya!!!