"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ethiopia - Trip One-Day 4

Our fourth day in Ethiopia started with another beautiful sunrise and watching the kids playing "football" out in the field across from our hotel. It's amazing how early they show up to play. Today, we get ready for another day that we get to see our daughter but that doesn't come until later in the afternoon. Today is our shopping day. We head downstairs to eat breakfast and wait for Wass to show-up to take us downtown for our shopping experience.

Wass arrives so we jump into the bus with the Rapps. Wass takes us downtown to a shopping area in town. Apparently, this is where he takes everyone from AGCI because they all knew Wass and knew we were coming. It has to be some sort of familiarity and safety too. Anyway, they have security people that walk up and down the street to keep an eye out on our bus and to help keep street beggars away from the shops.

The shops were very small. Some deeper than others but not very big. They tend to cram all their items in so it takes a bit to actually see all the items they are offering. We had about 2 hours to shop. Amazing part of it was we did ALL our shopping in about the last 10 minutes before we had to leave. It's hard to explain. You walk into a shop and start looking. One thing is cute, another would be neat to have, etc.... The next thing you notice is you have only gone to one shop. Okay, you try to leave but the owners keep trying to show you more things. You finally leave, feeling a bit guilty that you may have been rude but go to the next shop which is just RIGHT next to the one you are leaving and you start all over again. After you leave that store you notice you have already lost 1/2 an hour. Now you start to get a bit more daring and start to make offers on items. Then you start buying little things here and there. Again, the next thing you notice is you have only hit 5 or 6 shops and you are not at the end of your block yet which consists of about 10 shops. Then you look across the street and see MANY more shops. Now you look at your watch and notice you only have 1/2 hour more of shopping. It's amazing how time just flew by. Now you accept the reality that you will NOT see the other shops across the street and concentrate on just this small strip of shops. After all the shopping is done and it's time to leave, you just have this empty feeling that you missed A LOT of other shops and this is just one small corner in Ethiopia that is trying to make a living. Amazing how many more other shops there are through-out Ethiopia trying to do the same thing.

Afterwards, we head to the the Italian Restaurant where you can purchase art work from Ethiopia and eat pizza.

Jacob gets his very own Cheese pizza!

After our lunch, we make the trip out to the government orphanage that Seble was first taken too. Wass attempted to turn the bus around after lunch. The street was very tiny. The one side of the street was blocked by a construction fence from the project going on next door so he really didn't have any room on that side of the street. He attempted to back into this small driveway that went under the 2nd story of the Italian restaurant but may have not of been tall enough for the bus to back all the way into it because Wass keep pulling forward and then backing up as he kept trying to turn the bus. His last attempt to back into the small driveway and get the bus turned around, he boo-booed. Just as he was getting ready to put on the brakes and pull forward, the back top passenger side of the bus hit a sign that was up against the corner of the building. He barely hit it but it must have bent it pretty good. He was actually lucky it wasn't the building itself. Nothing happened to the bus at all. The "funny" thing was, since we were talking about it earlier about crashes and insurance etc., the security guy from the building saw it and sort-of was making a scene about it-not too bad but still....Anyway, Wass spoke in Amharic and the guy came up to his window. Wass shook his hand and gave him some Birr. It almost was as if we were paying him off. That was all that was done about it and we left. We joked that they won't fix the sign. It'll be like that when we come back for our Embassy date. Sure enough, on our second trip, we drove by and the sign was still bent.
Now for all you future travelers, when you get to the Italian restaurant, as you enter the building, if you look to your left, you will see the small driveway and a bent sign pole at the corner of the building. That's Wass's master-piece. :-)

Some more scenery as we traveled through the town.

A normal looking gas station. Looks very similar to ones in the US. This was NOT the norm though.

Just outside the Government run orphanage. You can see only the tin roofs of homes. Straight in front is a bridge that crosses a creek which is littered with garbage.

Government Orphanage Sign right outside their gate. We are now entering Kebebe Tesehai Orphanage that is ran by the Ethiopian Government.

Building Seble stayed in. Her room was the second & third brown set of windows. This building has now been vacant since they moved into their newly remodeled nicer building. Seble was one of the last babies in this building.

Back side of the building Seble stayed in.

Seemed to be some sort of washing room.

Seble's orphanage room while at Kibebe. This was VERY hard to think about what she went through. It was sort-of an eerie feeling in that empty room.

Of course, just after Seble was passed on to her 2nd orphanage, Bethzatha, this one, Kibebe Tshay, was able to move into their nicer building on the same lot that they just finished remodeling.

This was the class room of the newly remodeled building they moved into after Seble left. Check out the new flat screen TV.

We were then able to go upstairs to see the babies room. Absolutely no pictures so they had to go off. They didn't want us taking any pictures of any of the kids.

We walked up the stairs and into this one room. As we walked in, you had bunk beds in front of you and to the right. We had to be quiet because their were toddlers in there sleeping. We walked about three beds down and made another left. As we went past the three beds, there were a few kids that were awake but "sleeping". They just laid there staring at us as we walked through. It was as if they knew they better not move or even attempt at reaching for us. Their eyes were empty and with no hope. It was sad. We walked through another door and the next little room seemed to act as a separating room from the toddlers bedroom to the next room which was the babies room.

As you got even 2-3 feet from the doorway to go into the room, the smell hit you. It was the most disgusting smell of urine stenched stale smell with poopy diapers and old formula. We wanted to cover our mouths but at the same time be respectful and act as if the smell didn't exist. The room had about 4 or 5 cribs head to foot on the left side of the room along the wall. Then at the far wall end was about 2 or 3 cribs, then another 4 or 5 cribs back up the right side of the wall end to end. Right in the middle of the room were 2 cribs head to head 3 or 4 rows down. Basically this left about a 2-3 foot walkway down the room, around the "island" of rows of cribs and back of the other side, all with cribs on either side of you. There were 2 special mothers inside working but about 17 babies in the cribs. These wonderful special mothers, and I say wonderful because if it wasn't for them, these poor kids would be even worse off. At least they were willing to help with what they were given. But these special mothers couldn't care for all these babies. We walked down the isle of cribs looking into the eyes of these babies that looked at us just wanting to be picked up. That's when it hit us. These babies had some hope left but we knew the longer they stayed in this environment, they will become just like the toddlers we just saw in the other room. It was sooo sad. The babies just laid there with their bottles propped up or fallen, laying next to them leaking formula. One baby was COMPLETELY soaked. You just couldn't blame these special mothers. It just seemed impossible for only 2 of them to be able to keep up with the demands of about 17 babies. It was just so hard to think about. We couldn't believe our baby was here for 2 weeks and this was suppose to be the "nicer" building.

We left with very heavy hearts. The trip back to Hannah's Hope was a quiet one. We couldn't believe what we saw and our kids went through but at the same time how thankful and blessed we were to have our kids at Hannah's Hope. We could NOT wait until we got there to see our baby girl.

As we drive away from Kibebe Orphanage, we pass by many small blue tin business shacks. Each one was some sort-of business and it lined both sides of the small street.

At the end of the street, a few blocks down from the orphanage, we turn left and go over a small bridge on our way up to the main road. Below the bridge is that creek which ran between all those houses in the earlier picture. This is a better picture, even though it's blurred but you can see brown edges along the water. That was garbage littered along the rocks.

As we continued through town on our way back to Hannah's Hope, this is some more scenes we captured.
You see shoe shinners quite often.

There were TONS of turn-abouts in the city and practically a lot of them had some sort of statue in the middle.

This particular turn-about is located directly infront of the Federal Police Station in Ethiopia. (It's outside the picture but off to the right.)

School kids in uniform getting out of school.

This is yet another picture of someone that just had the urge to stop and go to the bathroom rather than at least step off the side of the barrier/bridge to do his work.

Then we made it back to our Hannah's Hope. Only a few more minutes and we would have our baby girl in our arms again.

Once we arrive to HH, we make a "B" line to the babies house, slip our shoes off outside on the front steps and head inside. Making our way up the stairs we run into a few special mothers and say hello. We get to the top of the stairs and walk into Seble's room. Another special day (or we should say hours) with our daughter.

We had to make a family book for Seble. It's a book showing pictures of our family, place we live, Seble's referal picture etc... This book is suppose to go to her mother but since Seble was abandoned, we gave it to her Special Mothers. They oo'ed and ahh'ed over her referal picture and then looked over the rest of the book. It was a book they would see where Seble was going to go and who she was going to be with. We believe this is the time when it all broke loose. Between them looking at the book, what we saw at the other orphanage and then seeing Sara walk off into the bathroom crying, the flood gates opened. We all shed tears. Everyone that entered Seble's room joined in the "cry-fest" we were having.

This is one of the Special Mothers that cared for Seble with Sara. Her name was Mereket. She was very quiet. She seemed a bit older but sweet and loved on Seble just the same. She had tribal tatoo markings down her jaw to her chin. It's just interesting to think about each ones past history and how each person grew up in Ethiopia and eventually received a job caring for our babies at HH. It's amazing how God orchestrated it all.

This is Sara. She is Seble's Special Mother (in blue). She had taken care of her since Seble arrived at HH malnurished and needing tube feedings. She was quiet but you could tell she really loved Seble. It made it very hard but comforting that Seble was in excellent hands.

This is one of the nurses that worked there and Sara holding Seble.

With everyone in the room, we all got together for a group photo.

Time just flew by because before we knew it, we were having to say good bye for the day. It was getting late and I'm sure, close to the time where the special mothers were getting ready for their shift change with the night time special mothers. We got back onto the bus and Wass drove us back to the hotel.

We ate dinner down in the hotel and then up to our room. We attempted to skype back home but we had some computer issues and could not connect with home. Had to wait for another day. Another family was showing up this evening so we tried to stay up so we could meet them but we were so wiped out that we ended up falling asleep.

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