We were back in the crazy traffic -
And enjoyed the sights along the street.
We were blessed to eat (and dance) at the traditional Ethiopian restaurant.
On Monday, we went to the big market. Our driver, in his broken English, informed us that "it very crowded." My reply that I think he was less than impressed to hear was, "yes, that one please."
The next day we wanted to experience everyday Ethiopia where the "foreigners" don't go. We asked our driver to take us where his wife shops. Since our Amharic is non-existent and his English is broken, he started to call his wife. We told him that we weren't asking her to come, just to take us where she shops. He took us to a little market along a street with houses.
In reality, there is no blending in with our pale skin-tones, but we bought some skirts and enjoyed our time. Once the shops ended, we kept walking because we had some children walking home from school that were holding our hands. I kept waiting for our driver to stop us from entering the residential area, but he didn't, so the adventurous side of us kept on trucking.
Suddenly, a woman came out of her compound and invited us for coffee in her home. There's not much more everyday than coffee with an Ethiopian family in their living room, so we accepted the offer. We stayed probably an hour, nervously thinking of how sick we may get as we watched her wash the dishes in filthy puddle water. Before she served it, the driver informed her that our dishes had to be rewashed in bottled water and sent a child out for two bottles. After the bottled water rewashing and Debs drying our cups with her skirt, she passed her tiny bottle of Purrell and we attempted to rub it on the mouth of each cup. Finally we told her that we would love it very hot (in hopes of killing extra bacteria). Our effort seemed to pay off because we didn't get any sicker than we already were.
The next day we returned briefly to give our host a copy of children's Bible stories in Amharic. I think it meant more to her that we returned to give it to her than it ever would have the first day. Here's a quick shot from the van of Debs presenting it to her.
I would love to launch into the story about how Tonya avoided questionable bathrooms until that last day in Ethiopia and how she desperately rushed into the public one-birr (two cents) squattie potty, but I'll save that for her to tell when she starts a blog :)
Our trip to Ethiopia was wonderful and I feel hopeful that Brooke's adoption case will start moving along after our face to face meetings. On the flight home, we had a long enough layover in Istanbul to take the subway across the city and see some of the sights.
|The Blue Mosque|
We got lunch to go from this cute little place and ate it on the subway ride back to the airport. We were by far the only ones on the subway ride eating, or talking for that manner. There were no signs indicating "no eating" and we couldn't delay until the airport because we had to go through security, so we chowed down and watched everyone else stare at us.
While Tonya and Debra waited for our food, Alei and I headed across the street to a cute little shop. I bought the ceramic trivets that I had spied in the airport and the shop owner draped this pink thing on me. ( I was more than happy to oblige because he had allowed me to use his shop bathroom). Once Alei got the camera out, he jumped in the photo as well.
His plan for Alei in this white wrap was lost in translation, but we profusely thanked him and headed back to the airport for our long trip across the ocean.