Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 6- U.S. Embassy, Holy Trinity Church, & Dinner at Fasika

Notes from my journal (it was a full day):

We got up early to depart for the US Embassy. We arrived there at 7:30am and the place was already filling up. They started calling folks from our group just after 8am. I think we were the 2nd or 3rd family and we went upstairs about 8:30. The Embassy office reminded me of the DMV only with security check points. We went up to a window with an american agent behind the glass who asked us to raise our right hand and swear to tell the truth (like what I've seen on court tv :) A few questions and we were on our way. We were asked where Lucy was born, how she became an orphan, who relinquished her, basic stuff about her story.  We were at the window 5-10 minutes. We had decided that I would be the one to answer the questions, since I practically had the paperwork memorized. I got incredibly nervous for some reason, once a the window. My hands started to sweat and shake. I kept thinking, "THIS is the final official thing! Stop shaking, or he's going to think something fishy is going on!" But, he was cool...I'm sure I wasn't the first goofy adoptive mom to stand in his window.

We left the Embassy, and went over to the Gladney Care Center for a quick follow up visit with Dr. Mikiyos. He wanted to follow up on her ear infection and diarhea (I can never spell this right!). He told us to hold the course with the meds. Lucy was NOT happy to see him. I think she's been given many many shots while there. She has scars on both upper arms that he told us were from medications and immunizations being given by shot. He said everything is administered by shot, antibiotics, immunizations, etc.

Belay's Father is in the light colored uniform next to the Emperor
inside the church, beautiful paintings and art
Belay in memorial, his father is pictured 3rd from left, middle row (can you tell?)
art depicting the massacre of the former Imperial Government officials
We had a little down time at the Bejoe before we left Lucy with a caregiver for a few hours and went to the Holy Trinity Church for a tour with Belay. It was amazing to get a tour with Belay (the director of Gladney's in country program). His father was the Commander of the Royal Palace Guard (or something important like that) for the last Ethiopian Emperor in the 1970's. In the Holy Trinity Church is where the Emperor Haile Salassie and his wife are entombed. There is loads of history, and it was interesting to hear about the Ethiopian Orthodox church. Belay told us that church services last 3 hours, and the members stand the entire time, men separated from the women (so they don't get distracted from worship and prayer). The church is filled with beautiful stained glass windows (from Belgium, I believe) and depict various biblical and Ethiopian events. Following the tour of the church, Belay took us across the road to the memorial for the 60 ex-officials of the Imperial Government who were massacred by the Derg regime in 1974 (of whom his father was included). It was very special to be given such a personal tour by Belay.

Later that night, we had a night out at Fasika with the other families who were in our travel group, as well as Belay and Travis and Joanna Norwood (Gladney in country staff). I think this night may have been one of the most fun moments of our trip. We had a traditional Ethiopian meal (which we really liked) and some St. George (local beer) and watched some traditional Ethiopian dancers. The real laughs came as we all gave our go at traditional dancing, when the pretty lady came and "invited" us to give our try at the Ethiopian shoulder shimmy dancing. It was hilarious, and fun, and I have to say, everyone was a good sport about being put on the spot. I think we all knew we'd look ridiculous, so why not!?! Except Matt. He somehow positioned himself outside our circle to "photograph the dancing" and got out of showing his skills.
Our traditional Ethiopian Meal
traditional dancers

Men with their Abyssinian Lion Mane hats, getting their dance on
This girl was BEAUTIFUL. Her hair rocked! That's me on the right, getting my shoulder groove on. It's like a game of Ethiopian Simon copy her moves.
Awesome hair lady, groovin' with Travis, girl has some neck whipping power.
Belay, such a good sport. I'm sure the Gladney staff must get sick of this meal and dancing!
Seriously, this girl was rockin' the house with her moves. So fast, hair whipping, it was awesome.

We also got a little surprise. We thought Melat's biological aunt was out of the country and we wouldn't be meeting with her. BUT tonight, Travis casually said, "you guys are on at 11 for the family meeting".  Um, What?? We had thought she was in the Sudan. We are feeling a bit unprepared, but really excited to have the opportunity to meet her.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more posts! If you missed my earlier posts (like, a month ago) here's the links to them:
Day 1-Hello From Addis!
Day 2- Gondar 
     I also had two jet lagged attempts at blogging Gondar, if you care to read)
Day 3- Lucy Day!
Day 4- Family Bonding Day
Day 4-Life with Lucy Melat
Day 5- Gladney Care Center Visit and Top View
Day 5-Life with Lucy part 2
Day 6-U.S. Embassy , Holy Trinity Church, & Fasika
Day 7- Birth Family Meeting 
Day 8- Souvenir Shopping and Resort Dinner


Mark and Heidi said...

That was such a fun night, and Matt is forgiven for getting out of the crazy dancing since he took such fabulous photos! Wish we could have joined you for the rest of it. Thanks for the recap, though.

Sorry to hear you guys have been fighting so many illnesses. Hope you all have a good run of health soon! Lucy is looking absolutely beautiful. The drooling is priceless!

Love you!

Oh, and P.S. -- love the new blog layout! It really shows off your amazing photos!

Gayla said...

First: Drooling Lucy = adorable!

Second: I stole every. single. one. of you pix from this blog!!!! They are all so much better than mine- esp of the church. Fantastic!

And when Belay asked if anyone could pick out which pic was his father, my son Jack did it in about 5 seconds. So funny! (but he *does* look exactly like that photo!!!)

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