Our sweet Babe slept blissfully until 4:30 in the morning. We had him tucked into the King size bed in the middle of dd and I. As I got up to fix his bottle our dd asked if I would like her to feed him so I could sleep (Is she a sweetie or what?)I told her we were fine and to go back to sleep. She told me she couldn't sleep because she was so happy our baby was with us and she kept waking up just to watch him.
Today we were headed to Sele Enat. Sele Enat is the orphanage our 2 yo had lived at. It is also the orphanage where our Babe had spent 5 days before moving to Layla because he was so terribly ill.
Dawait came at 9:30
Here is an e-mail I sent to dh upon returning from there.. (excuse the lack of capitialization and poor grammar and spelling- at 2 Birr/minute I was typing as quickly as one could with one hand, the other hand had the Babe)..
i really miss talking to you so i had to tell you about our morning at
sele enat. it is located on the edge of addis aso we had to drive
through quite a bit of the city. i have gotten accustomed to the no
rules crazy driving so i could really concentrate on seeing the city.
it is so hard to describe but i wanted to try. there are a gajillion
cars mostly little blue and white lada taxis left over from the
communist regime. the rule seems to be drive until someeone gets out of
your way. somehow this works.. despite the gajillion cars spweing black
smoke, the goats, sheep, donkeys, adn cattle walking in the middle of
the road and the thousands .. of people walking about. there are
literally people EVERYWHERE in the road on the side of the road in the
median and they walk in front of the cars who either stop short or honk
and narrowly miss hitting them. i asked dawit our driver if he ever hit
anyone and he said nothing serious ;oO.
the houses and shops are made of corrugated metal and are about
8x8. very tiny . men are on the side of the road.. sewing, shining
shoes, and rolling worn tires to somewhere...and variuos other things
we also saw a butcher eww. some women wear western wear and some are in
the traditional dress. there are many many people who are just laying
on the side of the road. i guess that is where they live. it is very
sad. by the railraod tracks we saw children.. tons of them homeless and
barefoot. we saw a little girl about 5 with a little sibling about 3
laying on the side of the road.. we saw men, women, lying under
blankets.. homeless left to die. honestly some of them already looked
dead and i wondered how they could tell.. there are police around with
their blue khakis and rifles and UN trucks are frequently seen.. in
between this you see some tall buildings going up (with wood
scaffolding) that look very nice it is an odd mix of poor and rich..
we turned down a rocky dirt raod that was full of the tiny 8x8 shacks
the people came at our car begging but dawit just drove on.. we came to
a gate and he honked and that was the orphanage. they opened the gate
for us and we went in.
sele enat is a tiny and well kept orphanage. they were so excited to
see "N" (who they know as baby john) all of the kids loved on him and
the caregivers went crazy to see him again. they took me to hana the
director and she greeted me in typical ethiopian greeting 3 kisses on
the cheek. she told me john was "born again" she wanted to be sure i
knew what condition he had been in 900 grams is what he weighed when
the police found him. she thought he was dead the first time she saw
him. he is the miracle baby ..
they showed me his bed and then i told them i was eyassu (philip's)
mom too. i pulled out the photo album i made of him and she went crazy
eyassu eyassu, eyassu she yelled and called the children over to see
they all remembered him as well.. then to the caregivers who yelled
eyassu, eyassu, eyassu while kissing his pictures. it was so touching
to see how loved he was and still is.
a 10 yo boy approached me and let me know he thought i would be a good
mom for him and his two sisters 8 and 6. :o(
he wanted to hold "N" and he took such good care of him. he was
showing me what a good son he would be...he stayed at my side the whole
visit to help with whatever i may need.
"K" made friends with a few of the girls and abraham and alimayhu two
little boys 9 and 6 (although the size of 4 and 5 yos) became my
playmates. we played bolleyball which is a lot like volleyball with no
net. then an older ethiopian couple came to the gate and they had two
children with them a girl about 6 and a boy about 12. i hoped what was
about to happen was not going to happen.. i didn't want to see. but it
was they were putting the little girl in the orphanage. i don't know if
they were granparents or aunts and uncles but they had her dressed in
her best clothes and her hair done beautifully. the boy's eyes were red
and crying. the lady looked at me nodded and then turned around to go
the girl went to folllow but the lady said something in amharic and
pointed at me.. i went over and heped the little girl on the merry go
round and began pushing her trying to smile and reassure her.. she
looked so sad and confused.. hanna gave her a lollipop but we both knew
that her little life had just changed .in an instant.. she had become
one of ethiopias 4.5 million orphans...
i love you, i just had to share,.. it was a blessing byeond words to
spend time with the children at sele enat. they just wanted to touch
and to be touched. to love and be loved..it was wonderful and
heartbreaking all at the same time.
I loved our time at Sele Enat. There was a sweet spirit that permeated throughout. It was small enough that we were able to really spend time with the children there (I believe they have between 10 and 12 children there) and play with them for hours. I will never forget the children swinging and breaking out in a spontaneous chorus of "Go tell it on the Mountain".
There is a song by Danny Oertli callled "Dancing With Orphans". One of the lines says "I think I know what heaven is like, I'm dancing with orphans tonight." Thank you Lord for letting us experience that little bit of heaven on earth at Sele Enat..