Sunday, May 11, 2014

Friday, May 9th

Friday, May 9th…we woke up today excited to go see Jaden Biyagegn.  We ate breakfast at the guesthouse and headed out at 9:30 to see him.  When we got there they brought him down to the lobby for the first time.  He was out of his element and very distracted.  The three of us sat around awkwardly while the guard and our driver tried to get him to pay attention to us.  After quite a while, he finally warmed up and decided to sit with us a little.  It was “tea time” at the orphanage; their tea is so good!  We began sipping our tea, and Clint asked if he could offer Biyagegn some.  He started giving him sips, and he drank Clint’s entire cup!  He then sat in Ashley’s lap and drank her entire cup too.  It was hilarious and we learned the key to his heart is his stomach. J We knew this was our last visit, and we were starting to get a little sad.  Our driver Abey asked the director if there was any chance we could come back tomorrow.  It wasn’t our idea at all and to our surprise the director said yes.  We decided it was time to leave and said our goodbyes for the day.  As he walked up the stairs, he waved goodbye and blew kisses.
Drinking his Poppa's tea
Jaden with Abey (our driver)
Jaden with one of the older kids from the orphanage
Waving goodbye

We left from there and decided to have Abey drive us up Entoto Mountain, which is the highest peak over looking the city of Addis Ababa.  It was a beautiful drive and completely different scenery than the city.  We saw so many fascinating people, including these ladies that carried huge piles of sticks on their back.  Abey told us that these ladies do this every day.  They are such hard workers here!  We also saw a man with a pet monkey on a leash!  When we reached the top of the Mountain we saw a historic place where Menelik II dwelled and established his first palace.  We saw many people praying at the first Orthodox Church and toured a small museum.  Ethiopians are rightfully proud of their amazing heritage and history.
At the top of Entoto Mountain

Clint & Abey
Clint & Anna Grace (Ashley is not in it because she is afraid of heights, ha!)
Ladies carry sticks. Ashley and Abey racing up the mountain.
First royal palace
Second structure of the first Orthodox church
Ethiopian flag on top of Entoto Mountain

When we got down the mountain we went to eat at Island Breeze.  It was a unique little restaurant similar to Tommy Bahamas but much cheaper.  Food is very inexpensive here, usually around $5 per person. We ate and decided to call it a day around 3:00 pm.  We had our driver take us to the guesthouse and we rested and relaxed the rest of the day.  Anna Grace gets excited about going back there each day because it is the only time we have wifi, ha!  We are enjoying our time here but missing Chandler and Shelby very much.  It has been hard on them not getting to be here and meet their brother.  Ashley’s Dad has taken great care of them and we have not had to worry about them at all. We are so proud of their great attitudes and how responsible they have been! 

Some interesting things about Ethiopia:
  • Donkeys, goats, horses and dogs wander around the streets. Some have a shepherd leading them. Others do not. Our animal-loving girl, Anna Grace, loves all the animals being around everywhere.
  • In Ethiopia there are no lanes, and seems to be no traffic rules. All drivers use the horn quite often; however, it is not offensive as it would be in the USA. We are biased, but we have the best driver. Abey is a fabulous driver, and we will miss him greatly.
  • There is a huge trash dump that we pass by daily. There are 100s of adults, children and animals salvaging for food in this dump. It is very heart-breaking.
  • We needed to exchange a little more money for the rest of our stay so Abey brought us to the Sheraton hotel. We were blown away with how nice it was. It was comparable to the Ritz Carlton in Maui. The nightly rate is $400; it just didn’t seem right here in Addis Ababa.
  • As you drive down the street, there are shops where raw meat is hanging to purchase.
  • The people of Ethiopia are very precious. They all have smiles on their faces. We have not met one unkind person the whole time we have been here.
  • It is very safe in Ethiopia. There is not much crime, and we have never felt afraid or in danger.

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