Friday, July 22, 2011

Beauty.....and Ashes (Part II)

If you haven't already done so, please scroll down and read Part I of this post first.

After leaving the post office district, we stopped by Kaldi's (Ethiopia's version of Starbucks) to decompress a little (and pass some time until our dinner reservations.

(Some of our crew at Kaldi's.....Ashley, Kim, Becky, Me and Ashley)

Our dinner, on this evening, was at a traditional Ethiopian Restaurant, complete with traditional dancing and singing. At one point, Ali and some of the P61 boys joined in and then Maste did Kortnie a huge favor (wink, wink) and had her recruited for a traditional Ethiopian wedding dance.

One of the coolest things about this evening was that we were joined by some very special people. Actually, when it came time to leave Kaldi's and head to the restaurant, a few of us had to stay behind as one of the vans had gone on a little mission. I was on the left behind van (which actually turned out to be a fun blessing).

The van and driver had actually gone to Korah to pick up three awesome kids whose sponsors were on our team. The boys came to dinner with us and then back to the guest house. Sweet, sweet boys. They spent a couple of nights with us and had a great time being part of the team. Sponsorship through Project 61 is so very personal and it was such a treat for all of us to watch these relationships bloom. After the day that we had had, we needed to see the HOPE that sponsorship brings.

(This is Deborah and her daughter Kenya. They sponsor this little cutie, Maluken Abram aka "Winker")

(Here are the boys at the Guest Home after they have showered and loaded up with a backpack full of goodies....all decked out in their OH gear. This is Seasay, Maluken and Robel)

In addition to these P61 boys, we were also joined by Kelly's Ethiopian son's (Nathan) biological mother and sister (Hewitt). Hewitt came home with us on this night as well and spent the remainder of the week serving alongside us. It is safe to say that we all fell deeply in love with this young girl and it was evidenced by the tears (hers and ours) as we said goodbye to her at the airport.

A little side story regarding this night was that they almost didn't allow our van-load into the restaurant. Apparently, the President of South Korea was there. Maste (our guide) successfully convinced the guards to let us in and, in order to do so, we had to pass through a metal detector just to get dinner.

Injera (this spongy tortilla like bread) is the food of choice in Ethiopia. There is no silverware; you simply tear a piece of the injera and lay it on top of the item you'd like to eat and then pinch it up with the bread and eat it all in one bite. I had eaten Ethiopian cuisine here in Nashville on one occasion and, to be honest, wasn't impressed. But the real thing there was much better.

(Some of our gang.....Ali, Kortnie, Andy, Tucker and Kim)

(And the other half of our group.....Maste, Me, Ashley, Becky, Ashley and Clay)

(This was a neat part of the traditional meal.....warm water and soap.....I guess that's in place of a fork and spoon. ; )).

This night was so much fun and though it didn't erase the painful things we'd seen during the day, it did allow us to refuel, to laugh and to be ready for the following day.

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