Another great morning. We woke up to fantastic scrambled eggs and banana bread. I realize I keep talking about food, but I love food and they have perfected the art of cooking here. And the coffee!! Ethiopian coffee makes Starbucks look like a bunch of 4-year-olds with a lemonade stand. I’m hoping they can just put it in a bunch of IV bags so I can just load myself up every morning upon my return. And it’s always fresh, always fantastic. So moving on…
We got to the office to talk to the doctor, nurse, social worker and nanny who has been taking care of Tariku. It was nice talking to them. We asked the nanny what she wanted us to tell Tariku about his time here. She said tell him he was always so sociable, always so loveable and that they will miss his smile. Did I cry? Yes, is she so right? Yes.
We then got to watch a video from his birth place. I won’t go into too much detail because it is Tariku’s story to tell but it was so very powerful. So very emotional. It will be something he can treasure for the rest of his life and this DVD alone was worth everything we went through with CHSFS. I’m eating big time chow right now as I’ve witnessed how fantastic of an organization CHS is here. People say it every time, but it’s so true. The nannies LOVE the kids. They get so much love you wouldn’t believe. You truly wouldn’t.
Tariku was superb again. He seems to be a bit partial to me but who can blame him (just kidding). He got mad at us for the first time today. When the kids here get mad they do this shoulder shrug thing. They shrug one shoulder a couple times, I think it’s the equivalent of flipping us off but that’s hard to tell. Another little boy had taken the audio recorder we had sent Tariku and was listening to it. Well we let the boy play with it a bit too long. Tariku went to a seat opposite us, turned down his face. I said, “Zach he looks sad.” So we started calling his name. We got the shrugs, then the tears. I couldn’t help it, I had Zach snatch that toy like a 2-year-old. Much to my pleasure, Tariku cheered right up. And proceeded to say, “Thank you, daddy.”
He’s taken a liking to saying, “I love you”. He has no idea what it means I’m sure, he just knows when he says it we’ll kiss him and do whatever he wants us to do so that’s nice. He also started walking off and then motioning us “come here” and wants us to see everything. So he’s training us well.
The pictures are in his bunk bed. I never thought I’d say it, but his eyelashes make Zach’s look like mine (which is to say, nonexistent). He is beautiful. I’ve started memorizing every scratch, every scar, every freckle. It’s been fun getting to know everything about him. We won’t get to see him until tomorrow night and I’m already missing the kid.
Leslie, will you tell Trysten that Tariku liked listening to his voice the best? He just kept playing it and saying, “TT”. They are going to be the best of friends. I’m so stinkin excited.
Tonight we will go to AHOPE (the center that houses HIV+ children) then shopping (yippee!) and then to the Crown Hotel where we will see traditional Ethiopian music and dancing. I’ll post after that as well. Hope you enjoy the 4 pages!
We just got back from our time at AHOPE and shopping. AHOPE was amazing. Just 2 years ago the government decided they would pay for the essential anti-retroviral medicines for HIV+ kids. The person giving us a tour said AHOPE had changed so much in the last 2 years as before that it was pretty much a hospice for + people. So incredible to think about. AHOPE is definitely an appropriate word because the kids were amazing and beautiful in a way that I’m not sure American kids would be should they be in the same situation.
That is kind of the theme to Ethiopia. In a country that should, for all intents and purposes, be without hope; hope is all around. I’ve heard comments from Americans who feel really sorry for the Ethiopians. I tend to look at the Americans with more sorrow than the Ethiopians. There is definitely poverty. There are the crippled who would undoubtedly be “whole” in America. But the Ethiopians are so much closer to God. They are more like Jesus than I’m sure I will ever be. They have so little but that also means there is so very little between them and Jesus.
With that said, we should not give up on them or count their cause as a loss. They deserve much, much more. But I envy how hopeful their eyes are and how welcoming they are to us. There are grown men holding hands, women with their arms around each other. Completely heterosexual and completely overt with their affection and I’m envious of that.
On a lighter note, we went shopping and Zach and I did our best to boost their economy. J I hope you guys are prepared to see all the goodies!
We just got back from the Crown Hotel. Amazing dancing, fantastic food, beautiful people. We will hopefully post a small video when we get home. Time for bed. It’s 9:35pm here and we have to be up at 4am to go South to Hosanna. Should be an emotional day! Thanks for reading and enjoy the pictures!
Get in touch in an instant. Get Windows Live Messenger now.