My spirits are high!
Today was Sunday in Ethiopia, and we started the day by attending an amazing international church service here in Addis. There were people from all over the world worshipping together. It made me think about what heaven will be like one day... all different ethnicities and nationalities worshipping our savior together. We sang many of the same songs that we sing back home, but it was different here somehow. So beautiful and uplifting.
(Let me digress a minute and tell you that the chef at our guest house is amazing! Every morning he serves fresh squeezed pineapple juice, strong Ethiopian coffee, amazing sweet breads, yogurt, cheese, and eggs cooked just for us whatever way we like them. I'm not sure if its the fact the eggs are so fresh or if its just that Chef David is wonderful, but they are The. Best. Eggs. we've ever had! We're getting totally spoiled here and will have such a hard time when we return home to cereal each morning!) : )
On with day two... After church, we went to lunch at an awesome little restaurant called Island Breeze. It was hands-down the best Mexican food we'd ever had! (Who would've ever thought that in Ethiopia!?!) Although the food was terrific, all I could think about was getting back to the Transition Home to visit with Elias! I was so anxious and excited to see him again!
Today was our day to deliver care packages and take pictures for families who are back home waiting for their children, so we did this first when we arrived at the Transition Home. This was a huge blessing to us when we were waiting, so we were so excited to do this for these families! We know what a lifeline new pictures and updates are! It was so much fun to meet these precious children, knowing that they have forever families anxiously waiting to bring them home!
When we were done with care packages and photos, we simply walked inside to get Elias. The pressure of "Meetcha Day" was gone, and it was very relaxed. I wouldn't say Elias was happy to see us, but he tolerated us well! He's pretty withdrawn when he's with us and just likes to sit and cuddle. We realize how completely normal this is because we are still strangers to him (strangers who don't look like him or speak his language), and its all very confusing to this sweet boy. After some time, we took him back inside to his room and played with him there. The wonderful, amazing nannies (oh, how I could go on and on about these ladies!!) tried so hard to get him to laugh and smile for us. One of the nannies laid him down and started to play a little tickle game with him so we could see and hear him laugh. It was absolutely adorable to see this side of him, and totally made my day!
After our time at the Transition Home was up, we came back to our guest house and got ready for dinner. Tonight was a traditional Ethiopian dinner with dancing and singing. I love Ethiopian food, and actually eating it here in Ethiopia was awesome! We also tried Ethiopian honey wine, which was the strongest alcohol I had ever tasted and may explain what happened next. The Ethiopian dancers did a lot of unbelievable tribal dances (head spinning, body jerking, shoulder lifting, story-telling kind of dances), and then they left the stage and came into the "audience" where we were all sitting and eating. Our table was front and center and one of the female dancers came a picked Emma out to dance with her. Emma did a great job following along, and it was adorable! And then the male dancer came to our group and picked out Charlie. Yes, Charlie! (Seriously, have you ever seen him dance before?!?!) It was hysterical! Our travel buddy, Dave, said it looked like he was having a stroke, but, I was so proud of him for living in the moment and experiencing all that Ethiopia has to offer!