Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 4 - Embassy Appointment

Our first full day with Kenenisa started with him waking up, putting his shoes on, and making his bed. (This is a nice habit that I had hoped to keep, but since coming home, he has decided that he is too little to make his bed, so I've chosen not to "fight" that battle at this point.)   We had to get ready fairly early to head to the Embassy.  Our 3 big kids stayed with Jennifer at the Guest House and relaxed, while Dave, Kenenisa and I loaded into the van to head to the U.S. Embassy.  The Embassy appt. is important because that is where you get your child's visa so that they can enter the U.S.  It is typically a fairly, routine event and most families "pass" and are given the visa without any problems.  There were 3 other families besides us who were there for visas.  I was a little concerned about how we would entertain Kenen while we waited since no electronic devices were allowed, and we had been told that the wait could be quite long, but it turned out I didn't need to worry because there was a large play area with play structure with a slide.  Wish I could have taken some video of him and his buddy Ashenafi playing.  They were hilarious and wild.  I'm not sure that the Ethiopians who were also waiting for appointments appreciated how seemingly out of control they were, but Ashenafi's mom and I were just pleased that they were laughing and having fun.  They even stood on the top of the slide and sang a little rhyming song in Amharic that made the whole room laugh.  Kenen still sings it occassionally at home.  It does make me sad to think that by the time he can tell us what the song means, he will most likely not remember his Amharic.  When they called our names, we walked upstairs and stood before a window where a very nice lady asked us a few questions, mostly about what we knew of Kenenisa's background and why he was an orphan. She tried, unsuccessfully, to ask Kenen a couple of questions, as well.  Then she wished us good luck on our journey and gave us our visa stamp.

We returned to the Guest House to reconnect with the rest of our family and group.  We had lunch at the guest house again, and then went shopping again.  Each time we got in the van, Ethan, our 8 year old, would groan. He started feeling motion sick almost immediately.  He does not typically have this problem, but there really are not words to describe the driving and roads in Ethiopia.  Fortunately, we had grabbed a number of air sick bags from the airplane, just in case.  And so the majority of the time that we were in the van, Ethan had his head in a bag.  In retrospect, this may have been a blessing.  Ethan has an incredibly soft and compassionate heart towards the needy, and one of my concerns was how the poverty and all of the sights of Ethiopia would affect him.  In fact, I told him before we left that Ethiopia was going to break his heart.  Well, it turns out, I'm not sure he saw very much, and he was quite miserable, as well.  In addition to Ethan's motion sickness problems, our traveling buddy Jen, has sympathetic sickness ... whenever anyone actually gets sick around her ... she will also get sick.  As I was trying to relive this day, I couldn't remember why I was having such a hard time remembering what we did.

Evidently, I had blocked it out ... (if you have a weak stomach like Jen, you might want to skip this part ....)  because at one point, Ethan sitting on one side of me actually started throwing up into his bag ... and simultaneously, Kenenisa, who was sitting on my other side (with no warning) started throwing up on the floor of the van.  Then, Jennifer, who was sitting on the other side of Ethan, had to jump up and lean out of the window to try and keep herself from losing it as well.  It was all so comical that I started laughing as my two boys were both throwing up around me.  I felt badly because I think that Kenen thought that his crazy new mom was laughing at him while he was getting sick ... and he started to cry.

The rest of the day passed uneventfully.  Here's a little video of some of Jennifer with some of the street kids, who Robel helps take care of, outside of the stores where we were shopping.

Hard to believe at this point, we only have two more days in this beautiful country.

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