Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 6 – The Start of the End…the Start of the Beginning

Day 6 – The Start of the End…the Start of the Beginning

Wow! I can’t believe it is Day 6 of our forever life changing journey. Our life…hmmm…it will never be the same…no more quiet nights at the dinner table…no more sleeping in…no more going places on a whim…nope…no more. It is good to be able to say no more. I remember us saying it when we started trying to have a family. I remember saying it when I was pregnant. I remember saying it 17 months ago when we started this journey. And now…the no more is finally here. I embrace it willingly as I begin to get us packed and ready to leave.

There is so much to do to get ready to leave. How do you prepare for a 37 hour journey home with twin 20 month olds when you have never had children? Stay focused. Pack first for the plane and let everything else get crammed into suit cases. But I can’t quite finish packing yet. Hanock is coming to pick Charlie and me up to go to Hallesy’s (spelling?) and to go by an Ethiopian Airline Office. We were informed by another family last night that we were supposed to confirm our tickets. I tried calling them but they couldn’t seem to understand me.

Hanock is right on time and his timing couldn’t be more perfect. Isaac and Jocelyn are busily playing with Grandma. It is a perfect time to sneak away. It is heart wrenching to leave our sweet peas with Grandma but we need to if we are going to get some last minute things accomplished before we leave. As we get in the van, we realize that our clean get away wasn’t so clean. We can hear Jocelyn crying. The only thing that keeps me from turning back is the fact that I know my mom can handle it. Note also said he would help in any way possible too. Note loves the children and is so determined to hold Jocelyn before we leave. She enjoys playing with him just as long as Mommy is near and he doesn’t try picking her up.

Hanock informs us on the way to the Hyatt Hotel (there is an Ethiopian Airline office there) that our sweet peas’ primary nanny is going to meet us at the airport today. We are thrilled! She was not working the day we were able to go to Grace House and we have had no time to go back. We thanked Hanock for the exciting news as we turned our attention to taking pictures. It is hard to take pictures from a moving vehicle. It is even harder to take pictures with a 20 month old on your lap. I am trying to take in every sight possible as Charlie clicks away with the camera. He does his best to swap from camera to camcorder and back again. Some of the images we see are hard but this is our babies’ heritage. This is where they were born. I want to see it. I want to absorb it.

The landscape is so rich with thick luscious grass and all kinds of trees. The variety is endless including a tree that has large beautiful magenta colored flowers blooming on the top part of it. I see dahlias of every kind. Hydrangeas with blooms as big as pom poms. The rainy season has just ended so everything is at its peak for lushness.

After a quick trip to the Hyatt Hotel, we head to a place called Hallesy’s. I don’t know how to spell it abut you get the general idea. The building is close to the postal shops. There is nothing on the outside to let you know you have arrived at Hallesy’s. It is a plain somewhat stark white building. They have their own parking behind their fence. The lot is empty but us. Michelle with Kingdom Kids had recommended coming here for souvenirs. Boy, were we glad she did! It is what they would call a souvenir shop but it doesn’t remind me of the ones in the US. For one, it is too big. Second of all, these are nice “souvenirs.” When I think of souvenirs, I think of the Mickey Mouse hat with your name stitched on it from your last whirlwind trip to Disneyland. I don’t think of statues hand carved from ebony or pendants hand crafted from solid silver. We could have spent hours in the store.

The store was comprised of approximately 5 decent size rooms. The first one held hand painted canvases, carved statues and the start of their ornate jewelry selection. The next room carries on the jewelry theme and moves into hand crafted traditional musical instruments. By the way…did you notice the theme? Everything is hand crafted here. There is no tag that says “made in China” or “made in Indonesia.” It is all made by the people of Ethiopia.

We are then drawn into the next room with more jewelry which I soon realize is much more expensive than the first room. There is a glass enclosed case with large blocks of wood that have been carved and painted. Most of them depict scripture. One of them has the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ. We work our way into the next room which is filled with hand crafted table linens, leather sandals, traditional Ethiopian dress and a few basic scarves. The last room is filled to the brim with hand woven baskets. Some are very small while others are very large like the traditional serving stand.

We move as quickly as possible through the store picking out items we would like for our home and several precious things to be given to Isaac and Jocelyn. These precious items will be given to them at key points in their life as they grow up. What’s that? You say you would like to know what we got them. Sorry, there are just some things this Mommy will choose to hold close to her heart.

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