Our first morning in Sheshemene we awoke to monkeys right out our hotel window! I was so excited, never having seen a monkey in the wild before! We got ready as fast as we could. Katie and De were already up and De was after a closer look at the monkeys:)
To get a closer look at the monkeys, where would one need to go? Up on the roof! So De led the way and I followed. This is as far as I got because going up is one thing, coming down is another! He took this pic without my being aware...can you read my mind? "Oh, I really, really want to do this but..."
I found my Halloween costume in Sheshemene...I'm going as Eve! Is this a huge leaf or what??
This group got up early and took a walk. I went out to the street to find them coming down the street on this donkey cart. It's not a mode of transportation for people but Maste (light blue shirt) thought it would be fun. The people on both sides of the street were stopped, looking and laughing.
My sweet De, who doesn't ever want me to be left out, called to me and said, "RUN!" So I did with my 30 pound backpack on my back. He hopped off and yelled, "I'll take your bag! GO!" So go I did and flew onto the donkey cart. I hate to be left out of fun!
Just as we got off the donkey card this group of school children came running up to us, yelling, singing and cheering. They had just won a trophy for an academic competition and this was their way of letting the town know and celebrating their accomplishment. It was awesome!
We took the quick 5 minute drive from our hotel to the beautiful Lake Awassa. We all wanted to see it but Biruk had never seen it before so we made the visit there a priority. It was everything an African lake should be. Absolutely, positively beautiful!
Kevin and Denise at Lake Awassa.
These boats could be rented for 500 Birr, about $30 USD. A guide would take you out onto the lake to view the hippos. Yes, I said HIPPOS!! Unfortunately, it would take over an hour and we needed to meet the rest of the medical team for health evals. at the Akake boarding school. Notice the cute little bird sitting on the boat.
Kevin, Biruk, Katie, Me and Denise. Notice the man fishing in the reeds behind Biruk.
Biruk, De and Katie.
Aliya lived in Sheshemene for a few years before coming to the orphanage. As I watched the people there, especially the kids, I imagined her as a young girl attending school, eating sugarcane, and just living the life they live in Sheshemene. All children who are adopted have a past...a "before they joined your family" past. She has so much more "past" than most kids who are adopted. She was a 10 year old running those streets. Seeing this gave me a better appreciation for where she came from and just how far she has come from there. We missed the majority of her growing up years. She came to our family at age 14 1/2. That's a lot of years.
Without giving too many details...we took care of some business in Sheshemene for Aliya. It was difficult, emotional, hard, but also good and we pray that it helps bring her closure. At least now this girl knows just how far her parents will go for her-all the way across the world and back.
I pray that this experience will never be far from my mind. So easy to forget.