Friday, December 3, 2010

We're Home-Part II.......The People of Addis

For Part HERE!

We were in Addis for five full days, unlike many couples who passed through for 2 or 3.  We did this on purpose because I knew my body couldn't take the long flight, the adjustments to time change, etc, and then back on another long flight again.  The other reason being that if we were going to fly across the world we were going to make the most of it.  You have to know Dic and I never go anywhere together...alone.  SO......every morning I woke up and said, "I'm going to take a walk around the neighborhood today to meet some of the people".  And each day brought something new.  I went through a series of emotions while we were gone--it seemed like we spent 2-3 weeks there.  The first full day the guys took a soccer ball (that Lori & Eric brought for a donation) and went outside the gates to play with some boys.  People started to peek out their doors to watch and I asked if I could take their pictures.

  They all seemed to love it--playing and posing.  But one lady (about my age) stepped outside her door and asked me who I was and why I was taking pictures.  I told her we were visiting the guest house and I was just having fun with my camera.  I immediately felt as thought I had offended her.  And of course, this was NOT my intention.  Later when I was discussing it with the staff at the guest house we wondered if maybe she was hurt that I hadn't asked to take HER picture, but it came out a different way.  Regardless, I had been rubbed the wrong way.  I went from taking shots freely from our balcony to hiding my camera.  It's really hard to explain unless you've "been there", but I didn't want to upset anyone else.  Who did I think I was gallivanting around like a tourist with nothing better to do.  I should be trying to fit in as much as possible, and this way didn't seem to be making me many friends.  From then on I was more selective about the pictures I took and where I took them.  Always making sure that I had befriended the people before waving my camera around.

a view from our roof-top

a look inside a compound, a home

 With our donations I brought lots and lots of clothes for kiddos.  Our agency is really only needing them for ages 5-10, so I packed them up.  But I had a huge amount of baby clothes and wasn't sure where to take them.  Dic and I became close with the staff at the guest house and I asked the women there if they had babies.  They told me they had sisters who were in need and I asked them to come up with a list of sizes.  I'm pretty sure we got them all decked out for awhile. :0)  But I still had infant clothes without a place to go.  The last day we were in Addis, most of our friends had gone home.  I decided this would be the day that we took our walk around the neighborhood.  I was determined to find the babies that I could hear crying from our room at night.  Our new friend Balynesh from Jemimah found a young girl who had a very small baby and she came for the remainder of my stash.  She was soo delighted and it made my heart melt.  They showed us where she lived, basically outside our gates, and we were able to visit and bring her and her family some other items from the store.  Turns out she was one of the girls I had photographed earlier in the week during the soccer game.

 As we walked further we came upon a family sitting in front of their house and they giggled and pushed their children to come say "hello" to us.  They were very reluctant.  We headed back to the little store along the way (you usually find these down most roads--convenience stores) and bought some bread (these nice loves were 1 birr each--1 huge bag of bread about $.70 US dollars) to give.....and a couple of suckers to let the kids know we were friendly. :0)  We came back, asked permission to give, and the children were all smiles.  The mother made the baby boy come kiss me.  It made my day.

 We walked and walked and I never wanted to stop.  Greeting people with "Hellos", "Salem", and giving bread and bananas when we saw the need.  The people were lovely and gracious and I felt God working in all of us.  This was the best day of our journey.  

A sheep-owner posing for a photo.

Seeing the love, the need, the contentment.  It was an amazing way to end our trip.  And I want more....of the people.  I am excited to go back and just "be" in the moments.  Always keeping in mind that we may not be received so favorably all the time, but knowing that we gave something of our selves and received soo much.

The store outside our gates.

  It's incredible that our journey doesn't have to end there, although it would be a great ending.  We get to do it all over again, and even more, in a very short period of time.  What a lovely thought.  

More amazing people.....

 Workineh (our host) & Isias (our driver)

 Dic & Workineh (we absolutely love him!)

 "Our Girls"

 Our sweet cook who put on this coffee ceremony for us

 The Jemimah (sounds like Jem-i-mah...not the maple syrup) Guest House

Our gates-keeper (yes, the guy who spooked us the first night :0)

more to come on baby "A".........
to see Part 1 of our story, click HERE


Brenda said...

Kendra, Your journey through all of this has inspired me, made me cry, laugh and get a glipse of the enormous amount of love you have for your little girl and her people. Thanks so much for sharing...Looking forward for part 3.

Deena / TEAM MARQUIS said...

WELCOME HOME! I was just thinking about you and then...your blog post appeared! I must have missed your first post after returning home. I am so happy for you. Isn't it surreal to think that you were just on the other side of the world and met your baby girl???? How amazing. I loved reading about your trip. It brings back so many memories. The Ethiopian people are so sweet. I could totally relate to your food stories too...I ate so much vegetable soup while in Addis!
Can't wait to hear more. Email me if you have time- I can't wait to hear more about your sweetie!

There was an error in this gadget

music player