Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ethiopia 1st Trip - Day Five/Shopping Day!

(I never had a chance to journal about this day while we were in Ethiopia, so I am going to go back now and try to remember all the wonderful details!)

Monday, July 22, 2013

I woke up late again (around 8:30 or so) this morning to the sound of children's voices outside our window.  I slept really good again.  I could not wake up while we were in Ethiopia!  I don't know if it was the time change or just being so tired, but it was so hard to get out of bed every morning! :)

But I was thankful to feel even more rested, and I got up to take a shower and get dressed before our shopping excursion to the local market.  I was really excited about this shopping trip because I knew this was pretty much our only chance to purchase Ethiopian souvenirs for our kids, friends and other family members back home!  And I also wanted to purchase at least 18 things to give our Caroline Faith "L" over the years on her "Gotcha Day"!  Plus, I wanted a few Ethiopian items to have in our home!

Our itinerary said we were leaving at 9:30, so I knew I had to hurry and get ready!  I had to wash my hair that day, so I went upstairs to use Emma's hair dryer.  I had blown up my hair dryer and blown a fuse in the guest house on our very first day there!  Ahhhh!  Then I blew up my friend Ginny's converter...yep, I saw sparks!!!  Fun times!  After that, I decided (for everyone's safety) not to do anything "electrical" in our bedroom anymore! :)

Since, I was running late, I didn't have time to go see our little one before we left, but Chris had been over there, and took some cute pictures for us.  She was wearing one of the outfits we brought her, and seemed very happy!

We got into a small car with Chris and Emma, and Danny drove us all to the market.  It was fun to see another area of the city.  As we approached the market/shopping area, we saw booth after booth selling Ethiopian items.  Danny finally pulled up and parked out in front of one of them.  He was friends with the family that owned this little market that we went to, and he wanted us to make all of our purchases there.  The family that owned it was very nice, and we were happy to shop there!

It was a very small booth packed with so many beautiful handmade Ethiopian things!  With all 4 of us shopping in there, we barely fit!  The girl working there was great to show us things and they were very helpful.  We got almost everything she suggested!  We had been thinking of things we wanted before we got there, but then we added some things that we saw there too.

Some of our purchases included:  a coffee ceremony set (Callie Grace had specifically requested this!), an Ethiopian soccer jersey for Carson, 3 handmade dolls for the girls, a gorgeous silver Coptic cross for our home, a handmade nativity set for our home at Christmas time, colorful scarves, lots of paper bead necklaces for friends, handmade daggers for our Dads and my brothers, carved wooden African animals, painted animal pencils, silver crosses to put on bracelets and necklaces, a wooden puzzle of the regions of Ethiopia, various pieces of jewelry to give Caroline Faith over the years, a soft handmade fabric alphabet ball, wooden salad server sets with beaded handles, a New Testament that is written in Amharic and English.

And we also got a precious, traditional Ethiopian dress for Caroline Faith!  I can't wait to get her picture made in it when she gets home!  It is white with beautiful red detailing!  So excited to see her in it!  I had no idea if we had collected 18 things for her or was kind of crazy trying to gather everything up! I was just hoping for the best!

(Just today, I was putting all of our souvenirs for her up in the closet, and guess what?  We have exactly 18 things for her!  I couldn't believe it...that is the Lord's doing!  So thankful!!!)

Emma and I had fun shopping together at the market!  It was such a great shopping trip...definitely one of my favorite outings in Ethiopia!  It was fun to get out and experience more of the culture and meet more people!

There were a few sweet boys just waiting on us to get through shopping.  They were selling something that looked like a type of toothbrush.  We did give them some money, and encouraged them to use it to buy some shoes.  We could see that they desperately needed some new shoes, but I chided myself as we drove away.  I should have just probably encouraged them to buy food...or whatever they needed most.  Food may have been a greater need for them than shoes.  They ran beside our car as we pulled away from the market.  Even now, I still think about those boys and pray for them.

Next, Danny took us all to a really nice Italian restaurant and art gallery called Makush.  The food was really great!  I got a pasta with a spicy red sauce that was very good, but I was regretting that choice the next day! :(  More to come on that later.  The art work was gorgeous.  We didn't purchase anything, but we really enjoyed looking at all of it!  There are some great Ethiopian artists!  Danny ate lunch with us, and we loved getting to visit more with him.

Then it was time to head back "home" to Hannah's Hope.  I couldn't WAIT to go see our baby girl!!!

Daddy couldn't wait either!  He scooped her up before I could even get upstairs to her! :)  I love this picture because you can see one of the "HOPE" signs in the background.  Hope was the word that God gave us for 2013, and hope has indeed been so significant to us this year!

It was bath time again for our precious "Konjo"!  Konjo means "beautiful" in Amharic.  Wass always called her "konjo", so we started calling her that too!  Wass said that he only called his girlfriend and our little "L" konjo!  :)

She started crawling off into the bathroom to her little pink tub!  So cute!  This was one of our favorite times each day because she LOVES her bath, and it was so much fun to watch and see her so happy!

After bath, we showed her the recordable picture album we made her before we left home.  It was perfect because the book allowed 5 different messages to be recorded.  So, I put pictures in the album, and then we each recorded a little message for her telling her how much we LOVE her.  We were so thankful that the book didn't scare her at all!  In fact, she really seemed to love it!  Yay!!!  And she also seemed to love looking at the soft baby photo album we brought her with all of our pictures in too!

That afternoon ended up being the BEST time with her yet.  She seemed to do so much better with us, and we even got some of her precious HUGE smiles!  We have some really cute pictures of her from that afternoon.

Well, Jody ended up going back to Kaldi's with Chris, and Emma and I stayed with the babies. I am so glad that I did because God was so gracious to give me this miracle that day...

I got to rock our baby girl to sleep for the very first time!!!  Ahhh!  I am crying as I type these words.

It was just the most PRECIOUS moment ever!  I had been holding her after we had played for a long time, and I could tell that she was getting a little tired.  I gently placed my hand on her head to get her to lay it on my shoulder.  Then I sat down to rock her, and she didn't fuss at all!  I started rocking her, and the next thing I knew...she was fast asleep in my arms!!!  Her special mother came and laid a blanket over her.  I loved hearing her slow, deep breaths as she slept in my arms.  I just rocked and rocked her for probably about an hour at was just wonderful!!!  (That is her crib that is right behind me in the above picture!)

Later, Jody and Chris came back from getting coffee, and they could not believe it!!!   :)  I asked Jody to grab the camera quick and get a picture!  When she woke up and saw me holding her, she looked a little confused, but she didn't cry at all.  In fact, she then let me feed her baby food!!!  Another miracle from the Lord!  This was the first time she had let me feed her anything!  My heart was just bursting with joy!!! :)

Then she let Jody and I play with her even more!!!  We had some great moments with her where she would just laugh and smile!  Oh my...we are both so in love with her!!!  You can see her little soft family picture album next to her in this picture! :)

We were both just on cloud 9 after having such a great afternoon with our baby girl!  We finally went back to the guest house to get ready for dinner.  We decided to walk up to New Look restaurant again with Chris and Emma for dinner.  It was so fun to talk to them that night about our shopping trip, and about how great our babies were starting to do with us.  It was also an extra adventurous meal when the power went out (as happens often in Addis) and we had a candle-lit dinner with them until the power came back on!  

We got another margarita pizza and some fries (our favorite meal at New Look), and Jody tried some of the tiramisu cake.  It was pretty good, but had lots of espresso in it!  We think it kept him up some later that night when he was trying to go to sleep! :)  

We all walked back to HH after dinner and stayed up and talked for awhile to our other friends who were there on the mission trip.  It was always fun to get together with them at night and hear about how everyone's day had gone.  We loved getting to hang out with all of these wonderful families every was just fun to have lots of friends to talk with it and process at the end of every day!  A true blessing from the Lord!

I went to bed that night feeling so much more hopeful about our bond with Caroline Faith "L".  This had been our best day yet with her, and we were so THANKFUL.


Jessica said...

I LOVE reading about your time in Addis and with your sweetie Caroline! It is so clear that God is in all of the details of yours and her story. Beautiful.

leemeandthegirls said...

Love this so much! And the word'll see it appearing in the new Noonday Collection fall line with some of our Ethiopian pieces! :)

The Nix Fam said...

Alison, I've been off the blogosphere for a few weeks, thanks to a newborn and a I was (happily!) shocked when I went to your blog last night to see that you've already been to Ethiopia! Oh my goodness, your posts are bringing back a flood of memories....and we were there the EXACT SAME WEEK you were 3 years ago. I miss it so much! Congratulations to your sweet family and I can't wait to see that sweet face. Praying for your second trip!
Ginger Watkins Nix

Unknown said...

Hello, I work at a computer all day doing research, and today just happened to bring me to google search Ethiopian Hair Pick. A ways down in the images I came across a photo of, what looked to me, like the first time you held your angel. It caught me in the throat as I remembered our time in Ethiopia, and the first time we held our little angel boy. I really only wanted to give, albeit belated, Congratulations! God is good! Have an AMAZINGLY blessed day!