After returning from Sele Enat we had lunch and then met with a Missionary Family. It was such a blessing that we could meet. They *just* happned to have business in Addis on the week we were there. Isn't God great? Sherri and I had known each other through a homeschooling board and never dreamed that we would meet in Ethiopia. They are working in Nazareth which is a town an hour and a half outside of Addis. They are building an orphanage for 160 children. Here the children will receive food, education, medical care, and learn about the love of Christ. It is a ministry which will have eternal ramifications. I am so blessed to know Mike and Sherri and their three precious children! They are a WONDERFUL family!
Day 5~ Embassy day!!!
Day 5 was the day we were to go to the US Embassy. Gaill was picking us up in the early afternoon so we spent the morning shopping. I had wanted to get my dds and friends of ours dds some traditional Ethiopian dresses. They are so beautiful!
Next my dd went swimming as Wee Baby and I snuggled. They had drained the pool the day before (it is fed by a hot springs) and had refilled it and it was REALLY hot on this day. We ran into Gail who had come to swim laps and she asked if I had gotten her message. I hadn't. I loved the Hilton but I never once got any message anyone had left for me! She was coming a little earlier to pick us up.
We had meant to take a picture of the sign they had outside the the pool at the Hilton. It was a huge sign that said something like "Please do not spit or blow your nose in the pool. If you have the flu or open sores please don't swim." Africa Pool Rules. I wouldn't let my dd put her head under the water.
We met Gail downstairs at our appointed time. This time she arrived in a red van. It was packed. Shelly and her two children. Maribeth, her SIL, her neice, and her two children, Danae and her 4 children, and then the 3 of us.
We arrived at the Embassy. They have the front blockaded as to prevent car bombers so Gail parked up the road and we walked down the rocky road to the entrance. I don't know what I was expecting, but the Embassy was so un-Embassy like :o). It's an old building that in the US would be considered run down. We went through all the security and then made our way up a narrow staircase. As we went up the stairs there was an amazing amount of Ethiopians descending down the stairs. We later learned they had to clear the room because US citizens take precedence and we were to be served first. That felt really icky.
Gail was all business and had info and cash flying at the lady at the window. We hung out and chatted under the three enormous pictures of President Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condi Rice. The children played and entertained each other. They were all incredibly sweet! It took quite some time but eventually we were called up one by one and processed. Yippee! Our children could immigrate to the US. It really is a huge step in the process!
As we left we saw the Ethiopians who had to leave for us waiting in benches under an awning outside in the drizzling rain. It really struck me how blessed we are to live in the US. While we were in Addis we watched the Immigration protests going on back in America. It hit me that 150 people were killed and thousands arrested in protests in Ethiopia last year. We are so blessed to live in a country where if we disagree with the government we can express it. Most of the world is not so fortunate.
We walked back to the van in the drizzling rain. A school had just let out. Children in tattered uniforms seemed to be having fun looking at these strange white people and yelling ferenji (foreigner) at us. It was hard not to giggle along with them.
A few families needed to exchange $ and confirm airline tickets as we went back to the Hilton first. This time the gurads not only stopped the van but did a bomb search. Gail said someone important must be visiting the Hilton. Security inside was noticably tighter too. They metal detectors you have go through each time were more sensitive. My bracelet set them off which had never happened before.
We e-mailed Daddy to let him know all went well at the Embassy and had a quiet dinner and went to bed. The next day we were headed to Kidane Mehret. It's the oprhanage our 3 yo lived at for most of his life.