August 25, 2009
Besides our incredible trip to Dire Dawa, this was my favorite day! Bisrat and Yememu (our Ethiopian friends) took us all over Addis to do souvenir shopping. This wasn't your typical tourists on Church Hill Road shopping. They took us to some really unique places along with the Mercado (sp?) which was craaazy!!! It was so much fun! I just loved seeing the Ethiopian culture up close. It was raining like crazy and pretty chilly when we left, but then the sun was out and it was a nice hot day! I really wish we could've taken Mekonen, but he had to stay at the guest with a nanny. It broke my heart to leave him.
We walked all over and took the blue public taxi buses. What an adventure! They shove as many people as possible in those taxis. Just when I was thinking, "There is no way we can fit anymore people on this thing" the door would swing open and three more people would hop on. Let's just say it was very "cozy." These taxi vans could safely really only seat 10 people. On one ride we counted 20 people!
There are people walking and out and about all over Addis. I loved this! It was so neat walking through all the different markets.
There were many people on the side of the road selling vegetables, fruit, and all kinds of different things. Jon, myself, Bisrat, Yemamu, and Donovan all walked through the market and picked out things we liked while Bisrat and Yemamu negotiated prices for us, which was incredibly comical to watch.
It felt like a "Bible time" environment in some of the places we went. You know, those pictures you have in your head from Sunday school and Bible story books from when you were a kid: hot, dusty, people in bright flowing fabrics, goats, sheep, beggars, poor people, etc. It was crazy! The cars and buses buzz all over the place and pretty much drive wherever there is room. There are a lot of beeping horns and yelling.
We bought lots of fun stuff to remember our time in Ethiopia and for Mekonen. Here are two traditional Ethiopian outfits, but they won't fit him till he's a little bigger.
Here is a coffee pot used in the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies.
Here are some wooden and wool toy African animals we bought for Mekonen's room, and to play with when he's a little older. A little drum for Mekonen to bang his heart out on! Here's a scroll of the Amharic alphabet, which is the language spoken in Ethiopia. I also picked out three pictures with African animals to frame and put up in Mekonen's room.
We also got the game mancala, three children's books in Amharic, and an Amharic CD of children's songs such as Old MacDonald, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, etc. You know I'm going to try and make Mekonen perform them. haha. Poor kid.
It was an awesome day although exhausting from being all over the place. I couldn't wait to get home and kiss on my baby! We arrived home after almost 5 hours and Mekonen was as happy as a clam. Part of me was so sad that he didn't seem concerned when I left him, but at the same time, I'm so glad he didn't cry and get really upset. It's only been 6 days and I know in time, he'll know for sure I'm his mama forever!