Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Days 5 - The Leprosy Hospital

One of the things that Dave was determined to do while we were in Ethiopia was go to the Leprosy Hospital.  He had been told by his brother, Eric, who brought home their 7 year old daughter from Ethiopia in May, that the gift shop there was great with lots of beautiful things at great prices.  I mentioned that my husband was REALLY into the shopping, right?

So this was not part of America World's schedule for us.  In fact, Thursday morning was the morning that was set aside to visit the Kids' Care orphanage in Addis where many of the children at AWAA's transition home come from.  I had concerns right away about taking Kenenisa to an orphanage when he had only been with us a little over a day ... and checked my thoughts with the psychologist at the TH, who agreed that taking him to an orphanage might be upsetting.  So that just confirmed that we were going to make our own arrangements and head to the Leprosy Hospital.

This was an amazingly large compound, and we would have loved to have learned a bit more about the work they do.  Instead, with our limited time, we went directly to the area of the gift shop. Many, if not all, of the gifts are made by patients at the hospital, and the money from the sales goes directly back to the work that they are doing there.  We saw many women who were doing embroidery and weaving work ... and most of them were missing at least some parts of their fingers, due to leprosy we presume. 

The funniest part of our shopping time was when the "sales girl" in the gift shop looked at Dave and said, "You're back?" with a confused look on her face.  Turns out that she remembered Dave's twin brother from when they were there in May ... she mentioned that he bought a LOT ... must be in the genes.  Here's a picture of Dave with her.

and another one of Dave and his brother, and his brother's son (who was also in Ethiopia) from a couple of years ago ... just a little family resemblance.

Here are a few pictures from the hospital

Some of the beautiful needle work

Done by these ladies

Jen handing out gifts to some of the children

The other memorable moment was the complete breakdown by Kenenisa while we were shopping. If you've read my previous posts, you will know that I did not do a great job having toys, food, etc. with us when we went out. This was just another of the "mom fail" moments.  His friend Ashenafi had a darling little backpack that his parents gave him when the first met him. It was filled with all sorts of goodies, and his mom said she could not get him to take it off for anything.  Obviously, possessions are important for these children who have never had any.  So understandably, Ashenafi was quite excited about his goodies, and decided to display them all to Kenen while we were shopping. It was actually kind of amusing to me to be able to hear the sing song tone of voice that totally transcended language, as he would pull things out, and say (in Amharic) so I'm just interpreting by body language and tone of voice ... "Kenenisa, look what I have".  "And you don't have anything." "Ha. Ha. Ha".  Now this is not meant to be a slam on sweet Ashenafi because I am confident that had their positions been switched, Kenenisa would have done the EXACT same thing.  But needless to say, it left poor K in a complete puddle of tears over the lameness of these new parents that he had been unlucky enough to receive ... :-)

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