Travel Journal – May 1, 2010

1 05 2011

Saturday Evening

Today is a holiday.  Agency thought the museum might be closed so they called yesterday.  Museum said they would be open.  So we went.  Museum was NOT open. (NOTE:  The Ethiopian Ethnological Museum is what I am referring to.  It is supposed to be one of the best museums in all of Africa.)

So we went to “National Museum”, home of Lucy.  Except you don’t really see Lucy – just fake copies of her bones.  I was not very into the anthropology part of the museum.  And I kept wondering what the conservative Christians were thinking.

There were large groups of school kids at the museum.  We were a major distraction for them.  It is funny when you see the particular kids who just “Have” to touch you… it is like they are compelled.

The museum contained recently created art along with historical artifacts, royal costumes and bones.  One art piece really caught my eye.  I didn’t really like it and I was trying to figure out if it was a religious piece.  When I read the title “Famine.”  I had an almost physical reaction.  I think the images of Ethiopia from my high school days really stuck with me.  I wonder if they played a role in us ultimately deciding to adopt from here?

We ate lunch at the Lucy Café.  We ate in a tukul style building and they performed a coffee ceremony.  In addition to roasting the beans they burn incense… it actually smelled good. (NOTE:  I HATE coffee.  Not only do I hate anything that has coffee in it, the smell of coffee on an empty stomach usually makes me nauseous.  This was a real concern for me before my trip.)

After lunch we took a brief driving tour.  We were in the van with the driver who spoke no English so this was a waste of time in my opinion.

Last night I woke up at 2 am.  I slept some after that – but was mostly awake.

When we got back to the hotel, we went over to the care center (3pm).  LD was still shy and observant – (I think they wake him up from a nap to visit.)

Eventually I got him to giggle by squeezing him.

He gnawed on an orange for a very long time.

When he would get a seed, skin or pulp in his mouth he would stick out his tongue for me to remove it.

Eventually he crawled around some, toddled, played with an empty bottle.

Many nannies give him hugs and snuggles.

Late in the afternoon many of the babies fell asleep on their parents…but not LD.  He was just getting revved up.

We met with the pedi today.  He thought LD was born on September 3.  I had to argue with him that 9/3 was his intake date, not his DOB.  I don’t understand how they could not notice that a kid they thought was 7 months old was walking.  The doctor went over his blood-work with us and I understood about 60% of what he said.  He said LD was iron deficient and they would start him on meds… but they have had the blood results for weeks.  Why didn’t they start him before?  He also said one of his blood results could be because of hookworm but only if he was older – I don’t remember if this was before or after the age discrepancy was revealed.  He also said that result could be from malnutrition.  But it doesn’t seem like LD has ever been malnourished.  I asked him to listen to LD’s chest.  They are going to put him on antibiotics and a brochodialator.  In the end this appt left me with more questions than before and way less confidence.

When I get home I will contact the agencies’ Africa program’s director.

We thought we were supposed to leave the kids at 5 pm but no one came down to take them. So we hung out extra long then took them upstairs.  LD crawled over to the sliding glass door in the baby room – pushed it open and went outside.

I snapped this picture of him sitting on the balcony. That look in his eyes, a cross between what are you going to do about it? and are you going to do anything about it? I know this look well.

I tried to pay a little attention to a few of the babies whose parents are not here yet.  There is one young boy in the room who is a paraplegic.  I picked him up… I wanted to hand him back to a nanny rather than putting him back down on his back on the floor.  When the nanny went to take him he refused to go?  Of course I still had to put him down.  I so hope he is already adopted.  He seems like a great kid.  (NOTE: This kids’ photo turned up months later in our agency’s magazine as a still waiting child.)

Tonight we went to a “cultural” dinner.  The buffet looked amazing as long as you ate meat.  There were a number of cooked vegetable side dishes I could eat. So I didn’t walk away hungry.  But I didn’t leave exactly satisfied.  Jamie has been trying all kinds of food – very impressive.

There was a band and dancers.  There was a couple “domes” in the ceiling – one was a tukul, one had different painting of the major tribal groups.  The dancers would come out in a set of costumes similar to one of the tribes and perform what I assumed was a traditional dance from that tribe.

They did lots of isolation movements and “popping” with their shoulders.  During one song they tried to get audience members to pop their shoulders too.  Jamie was targeted and did a few shoulder pops before turning bright red.  One Chinese guy got up and really tried.  Of course a variety of Africans participated.  I think the dancers probably draw straws to see who has to approach the white and asian people tables.

There was also a family celebrating a wedding.  It was great to see the women wearing “traditional” clothes as a way of dressing up.

I love African dance and would have been happy to stay longer.  But quite a few group members were tired so we left fairly early.

My video camera sucks.  But I might have got a few good stills.

I noticed today that the Wolita children are much darker skinned than the Kambatinga kids.

Tonight at dinner I felt really lonely for awhile.

I haven’t seen SAG in a week.  When we got home from dinner I called PJ.  We just talked for a minute.  It sounded like she is doing great.

My sister is very generous to be taking care of her for so long.




2 responses

4 05 2011

do you know what became of the little boy who was paraplegic? hope he found a home. Wow, that whole coffee ceremony stuff must have been weird. Did you just say ‘no thanks.’ I have stomach problems and go through bouts when coffee really bugs my stomach. Does it offend people to turn down coffee at a ceremony? I worry about this.

4 05 2011
Semi-Feral Mama

I do not know if he has been adopted yet. His list of special needs was long. Any family out there with my agency know if the Waiting Child named Trent from Ethiopia was matched yet?
I have heard numerous APs say they don’t like coffee but felt rude turning it down. Our travel group was large – 10 families plus drivers, guides, etc… So we were usually at least 23 people. I think this made it fairly easy to manage to not be noticed when I passed up my opportunity for a steaming, hot cup of what I am sure is the world’s greatest coffee. I decided before I went that throwing up on my hostess would be ruder than not drinking the coffee.

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