The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Snapshot Saturday

You know summer is actually (read: finally!!!!!) here when you can play a round of soccer, walk your 'stuffie' in the stroller (hmmm, never asked to do that before - perhaps it's baby sister prep), and ride your bike all before breakfast.

Breakfast is another story.

When it's summer, you get to eat breakfast on the deck.

Life's good, especially when it's summer. Hope it graces us with it's presence for a bit.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nothing Concrete

To be as certain as I can, the only detail(s) I can accurately relay is that there is nothing solid, concrete, or confirmed as far as (m)any of the summer closures are concerned.

My main sources are US agencies as there are so many of them...they have more staff on the ground...and they are seemingly able to be more vocal. That said...the reports are here, there and everywhere. Trust me, I've done my research.

Some agencies are telling their families that MOWA and the courts are trying to clear their dockets before the (courts) break for the rainy season.

Some agencies are telling their families that there will be nothing happening during the closures. Yes, MOWA will continue to write letters but none will be processed until the courts re-open in late Sept. (This date seems to fluctuate between Sept 19 and 26, also.)

Some agencies are telling their families that there will be staff remaining in the courts to process the files 'outstanding' before the closures...but no new ones.

Some agencies are telling their families that the staff will continue to work "full/regular" hours throughout the rainy season, processing files for all families who appeared before the closures, but no new cases will be heard until courts re-open.

All the agencies through whom I glean this info are solid just seems that no one really knows...

The most recent dates (as of today) that I have read, whose files MOWA is currently writing letters for (wow, that was awkward) is anywhere from June 30 to July 4. A quick recap: we were in court July 15. Our BM had court several days prior to our appointment and we are seeking any sort of comfort we can, in that small detail alone. That's a lot of days of files to process between now and August 5th...the only date we know of for certain...the day courts close for the rainy season.

All this info is enough to make a girl's head spin. And through it all, I know we have no control. We have done as much as we tangibly can. We are continuing to pray constantly, consistently, (begging as much!). And yet we need to rest, knowing that the time is already determined.

Thanks for continuing to pray fervently with us.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

She's 8 Months Plus A Day

I thought of it yesterday. We spoke of it.

Yesterday she turned 8 months. A teeny, tiny, wee, eight months old.

Had it not been for a 36 hour (marathon) migraine, I most certainly would have posted on the day.

And we continue to pray fervently for that one single letter of support.

I've read reports of court closures from August 8th (the 5th being the last day) until October 15th - which nearly led me to tears. I've also read of a family who has an October 13th court date, so the latter can't be 100% true.

So, what's a girl to do with so many question marks and unanswered queries? (The migraine was likely inevitable.)

Your prayers, kind words and thoughts - they are so encouraging! Please don't stop. A friend told me recently that she would pray, with perhaps a little begging thrown in. (Insert giant smile here.)

Truth be told, I'm not above prayerfully begging either.

We need to get our little girl home.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Treadmill, Chocolate, And Desperate Prayer For A Letter

I love my treadmill. We bought it about four years ago and it has been amazing. People look at me funny when I saw I went for a run late(r) in the evening after the kids have been put to bed, or early in the morning before they (or the sun) rise. But I love it.

And while the physical health aspect is really important to me, and the habit (in which I have immersed myself for the last 18 yrs) is nearly addictive, I have to say that is truthfully not why I got my money's worth out of this machine, in it's first year.

It's an outlet.

I recall the day of the bankruptcy. I remember running the anxiety, frustration, uncertainty out of my veins. The day of the restructuring. When all us - overwhelmingly - voted yes (!). I remember running out of joy that day. Not knowing what to do to contain the elation, I just ran. I remember the day we found out about the ban (region), the day we received our referral, the day we found out about the MOWA letter slow down. All of it has carried a constant theme: get the energy, anxiety, frustration, elation, exhaustion, anticipation...get it out. And during the running, the time alone down in our basement with the ear plugs in, the TV or iPod keeping me going, I'm praying. Always always praying. At times there's earnest grovelling. Other times you'd catch me laughing, sometimes crying.

We have two weeks during which our MOWA letter needs to be written and submitted to court to be signed off by the judge. I found out yesterday they are more than two weeks behind.

And so I went for a run yesterday morning. Because, while the thought (hope) of our MOWA letter coming before summer closures seemed less distant while we were in Ethiopia, I found (have been finding) myself very very uncertain.

And while I realize I have no control and I need to allow this part of faith (!) to take over, it's still very tough. And I'm still human. And now that I've met my baby, the thought of her remaining in institutionalized care (where she is very very loved, but institutionalized regardless) for another nearly two months, is a really big pill to swallow.

So yesterday morning I ran my heart out on the treadmill and prayed desperately, and hopefully, and faithfully, and confidently, and sought peace and comfort.

And then I ate a lot of chocolate.

Because I'm human. And female. And stressed. And that's a deadly combo.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Week Back From Surreality

I had to make a conscious effort last night to figure out what day it was and then process the fact that a week ago (late!) last night, we were in court.

How is that?

How could a week have passed since we had for a moment, sat in that room. Just like that, in the blink of a eye, it's over. The whole experienced emanated surreality. Perhaps it's that we are not officially five yet. Or maybe because this journey was three and a half years in waiting. It could be that the intense and immense beauty, history, and culture is simply so rich that to take in even a fraction of it in a week's time isn't humanly possible. I deem part of the unbelievability of it all on the many incredible people (heroes and angels, really) we were privileged to meet and whom we are now blessed to call friends. The knowledge that a wee baby girl, so delicate and content is there, waiting as we are, on one small (crucial) piece of paper, holds some sort of inconceivable weight, too. I cannot get over her beauty. I cannot get past the elegance emanated from one small seven month old being. Mercy, shown on us in the form of this being is surreal. There's no two ways about it.

{a home...right across the street from affluent homes...again, the juxtaposition is great}

Our last full day there was mainly spent with our friend from Entoto Mountain. This friendship was such a gift. Linked up through a (new) friend here in Canada, we caught a better glimpse of daily Ethiopian family life than we could have otherwise. The afternoon of our last full day, he picked us up on his way home from church and took us to his home for our third traditional meal. And coffee ceremony. Yum. On both accounts. There's nothing like a home cooked meal. And there's nothing that could top a home cooked ethiopian meal in this friend's house, with his daughters.

We then had the privilege of walking around the land surrounding his property/house. It was beautiful. Near the airport, we watched as the planes took off. I could enjoy this for hours. There's something magnificent about watching such a giant, take off with such grace.

We overlooked hundreds of indigenous acacia trees (they are beautiful), watched as a river rushed through a valley below.

It was incredible - a part of Addis you simply cannot explore or even realize exists if not in the company of locals.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Injera And Tradition

I had truly hoped to enjoy at least one Traditional Ethiopian meal while we were in Addis.

But we didn't.

We were blessed to enjoy three.

All three in completely different places, served by different people, in the company of different friends. And all three were equally fantastic.

Part of the experience of this meal is just that: the experience. The culture and customs you inevitably enjoy while eating among Ethiopians, is one of a sense of family. Sharing, eating together, taking your time, talking. It's about togetherness.

I knew this before we went but friendship and love runs deeper in Africa than in North America. Ethiopia is no exception. I recall talking with friends who recently returned from many years of missionary work in Kenya. One thing their young boys (who had spent their young childhood growing up in a village there) found very difficult about the transition back to Canadian (BC, actually) was the lack of brotherhood-like friendships, among their peers.

And this theme runs deep. Men with their arms around each other. Women holding hands like sisters. It's a camaraderie I think we lack but that I'm not sure we could ever mimic because it dates back years...and our country...our 'culture''s in it's infancy compared to that of the African and Ethiopian (especially) culture.

When I think of our daughter's childhood...when I look ahead to her years of growing up in Canada, this is one of the concerns and great sadnesses I have: she won't have strong, deep bonds with friends the way she would in her country of birth. On the flip side, I feel blessed and excited (you know, the ear-to-ear-grin type of excitement) that she will live in proximity to two friends with whom she shared a room for the first many months of her life. What a unparalleled gift.

I digress.


Our Ethiopian Meals.

The first took place at a traditional restaurant - and if you are in Addis, I would highly (!) recommend 2000 Habesha. The food, the atmosphere, the dancing. We went with new (Ethiopian) friends which made it all the more fun and enjoyable. We were able to communicate well (their english was great), they were able to order, but we were able to enjoy the customs and entertainment that is part and parcel with this experience. After the meal was over, we enjoyed dancing from all different regions in Ethiopia. All of it was indescribable.

Our second injera based meal took place at our daughter's orphanage. That in itself was an overwhelming day and to say the meal was the cherry on top would be an understatement. To be able to fellowship, to eat with people who have taken care of our daughter and who love her every day, was one we will never forget.

Our third meal took place at our friends' house. Together we enjoyed food very similar to that of the supper meal at 2000 Habesha. But it was home cooked. And it was also incredible.

The flavours that run throughout the different wats are so deep, rich, unlike anything here. I cannot wait to use all the spices I brought home...and get more when we return. (Have I mentioned how hard I am praying for that MOWA letter?!)

Quickly for those who haven't yet experienced an Ethiopian meal, it is a base of injera (a pancake like food) with different wats (stews: beef, chicken, potato, cabbage, egg, name it). The different wats are all served on top of the (very large!) injera which is eaten with your hands (actually, your right hand). You scoop/soak up the different foods on top of the injera, using a piece of the injera you have torn off of your (individual) roll, or the large piece forming the base on the dish. In the restaurant we all shared and communed together. Truly, the experience was nearly inexplicable.

I could go on and on but out of concern for boring are a few photos of a couple of our experiences. Forgive the quality: there were a few times I didn't think it appropriate to bring my rather large digital SLR. In hindsight it would have been fine (I know now, for next time), but this time I used our iPod.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meet Marcos

May I introduce you to Marcos...our helpful, friendly, crazy driver for the week. Referred by friends (thanks Sid!), we hired him three or four times to take us to markets and he was fantastic. He knew several of the stall shop keepers and would always get us the best prices. He would never charge more than he should have and considering he was our driver slash tour guide slash bargain hunter, he was worth his weight in gold.

A solid two hours of driving, market stall shopping, and guiding/navigating would run us (according to him) about 200 birr...$12 CAD.

We felt we may have taken our life in our hands just a little, that's pretty much par for the course in Addis.

Marcos has been driving for ten years. His fiancee works in Dubai and will continue to do so until they get married in January. He's a sweet guy and we look forward to hiring him next time.

Marcos drives a Datsun's somewhere in the neighborhood of circa 1978/79.

There are (of course) no back seat belts.

The doors sometimes open. Sometimes not.

The locks always lock but sometimes they take a little extra 'umph'. There are no levers to roll the windows down in the back. And, while I was glad to see the wipers in case it would rain, one day it did poured actually...and I was a little dismayed to see the wipers are more for decorative purposes than anything. He didn't even bother trying to turn them on. There would have been no point. They are dead.

Oh, and one last thing.

Each time we went somewhere and he needed to start it, Marcos would hotwire his car.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

17,000 Not 7,000

When we arrived at the orphanage Wednesday morning, we brought with us two suitcases filled to the brim with donations...clothes, crocs, cloth diapers, blankets, socks, sweaters and more. After meeting our daughter and basking in the wonders of our first coffee ceremony, we told the orphanage director that friends and family had donated financially and we wanted to be able to purchase items in which the orphanage was in need. I told her the amount and she smiled.

We made plans to meet at a frequented (by her) market/grocery store.

The plans played out yesterday and we experienced yet another perspective-changing, touching, emotionally raw, humbling afternoon.

Just before 3pm we were picked up by G, our Rep on the ground in Ethiopia. He took us to the pre-chosen purchasing area and we met up with the orphanage director, E. (I realize most of you may know their names but I feel it's important to maintain privacy, so I will leave them as is.)

I wish I had been able to take photos inside the store but it wasn't really seemingly appropriate so I held off. The store was tiny...maybe 14x14 but it felt significantly smaller and was jam-packed (in a well organized way) with everything you could want from formula and diapers to Tide and Vaseline. Milk and oats lined the shelves and others were stacked full of Coco Puffs and peanut butter, berber (spices) and tuna. It was amazing.

E began selecting food items she felt were of greatest need and the process of pulling them off the shelves (the owners did this). The process included selecting, picking out, compiling and boxing the items, hand writing items on the receipt (there's no cash register...and not enough space for a shopping basket even...heck, with the four of us in there plus the two owners/employees, it would have been a nightmare for a claustrophobic).

When all was said and done, the employee turned to E and gave her the total. She passed the receipt along to me, I pulled out the two lump sums and we began to count. E was taken aback when she realized that one of the lumps of paper was held together by a paper band...indicating it was 10,000 birr. She hadn't spent half of the donations (you!) made. We piled the purchases into the 15 psgr van and drove up a few stores.

The process was repeated at the new store however the quantity of goods was significantly more. (Items were also less costly at this establishment.) Included in all this was two 50kg bags of flour, dozens of cans of formula, 25kg of macaroni, at least a dozen jars of jam, dozens of boxes of tea, peanut butter, eggs, vaseline, tuna, and the list continues.

What got me was the 100 boxes of matches. I'm not sure why it took a second for the ball to drop. The matches were for the stove. The stove would be lit and used for every meal. Without matches, the stove would not light...without a hot stove...well, you do the math from here. It's too hard to think about something as basic as matches being such a commodity.

After all was said and done, we were handed 5 birr in change (17 birr is equivalent to $1 CAD).

The. Van. Was. Loaded.

So off we went to the orphanage. E was still surprised. She was overwhelmed. Upon entering the orphanage she turned and remarked that no one family had donated such a significant amount of food. (This is the part where we say thank You.)

Initially as the gate was opened upon our arrival back at the orphanage, colour caught my eye that I had not noticed a few days prior. Since our initial visit, an american (adoptive?) woman had come and painted murals on many of the walls. Oh!! The colour. It lights the place up.

And then as we drove in, I looked over and saw the children enjoying their TV time for the day. I smiled noting again, so many parallels between two such distinct cultures. They all turned to watch as we drove in and stood to observe what was about to unfold. They could sense something out of the ordinary and the look of anticipation on some of their faces was worth the trip alone.

After we pulled in and the van was turned off, she turned to us and remarked upon the fact that she will now sleep for a month because she won't have the worry of how to feed the children.

Did you get that?

The orphanage has no need for food for an entire month.

It wasn't a dire situation yesterday but food is always, always a concern. How could feeding 32 children (plus staff) not be a concern?

The children came towards us laughing, chattering, helping. They wanted to put the food away. They wanted to see their food storage room full. It's a concept which our children likely never contemplate.

After unloading the van we had the surreal opportunity to visit with our daughter again. Those minutes were some we will never forget. More formative in our minds than perhaps several days earlier, we savoured every moment.

As we left her room and said good-bye for the next who-knows-how-many-months, we anticipated heading to the van to be returned to our guest house.

Oh, how wrong we were. We were guided into the room in which we had enjoyed our first traditional coffee ceremony after our first visit. But we weren't about to experience a coffee ceremony. We were about to be served a traditional supper. Injera, wat, drinks, and a coffee (ceremony) at the end of it all.

Amazing. Delicious. Perfect.

Every moment was savoured. It was an evening highlighting that of many we have had here so far.

And, when we thought we were ending the evening we were wrong again.

About a dozen or more of the children (likely all those two years and older) entered the room. And each one had drawn a picture for us. Birds, planes, helicopters, the words "I love you" and "I love you ____" (our daughter's name written in Amharic) covered the pages. Each picture carefully sketched out. Each child had a piece of art for us. What a gift for our daughter's life book.

Tears rolled down my cheeks.

They just kept saying "thank you" and "I love you".

And all I wanted to do were reciprocate the words.

We left soon after. It was time. Nearly 8pm. We had had the true privilege of spending the better part of an afternoon and evening with two people (and many many children) who care more deeply for the orphan than I could ever put words to.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Entoto Mountain...A 3200m Climb

I am yearning to post about our afternoon but I have to get our Entoto Mountain experience down first before it passes by. (I have to apologize for the quality of most of the photos - they are all taken from inside our vehicle while on the move.)

After the Entoto market we continued the 3200m climb to the summit of Entoto Mountain. Known for it's eucalyptus trees and even more so the Women Fuelwood Carriers, the drive was amazing. The view from the top reminded me, further taught me, drilled into me, the true beauty found in the rich history and amazing culture of our daughter's birth country.

Briefly, the women who are known for carrying these branches of eucalyptus trees will often walk for one to two days to descend the mountain with their loads, in order to earn a living...this is how they feed their families.

The roads are not easy, smooth or truthfully, all that inviting. In fact, we passed the spot the taxis stop, hundreds (perhaps a thousand even) of kilometers before reaching the summit. The road is too treacherous for taxis.

Yet, just like most everywhere else in the world the children who live up Entoto Mountain play together, in the streets.

Houses line the streets, too. Just of a slightly different construction material.

These boys approached us as we slowed to enjoy the view. Our friend M told us he'd chat to them for a few minutes so I could take their photo. They thought it was pretty funny. This is my favourite shot.

You can (or perhaps you cannot) imagine having to hike with dozens of kilos of wood on your the heat of an African day. Faces weathered, they have no choice but to continue the climb up and down in order to put food in the mouthes of their babes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

No MOWA Letter - Court Otherwise Successful

We woke up this morning after a rough sleep. The anticipation didn't, however, take over until about 8:30am when we knew we had but a half hour before being picked up. G, our KidsLink (Imagine) Rep was supposed to arrive at 9:00am. When he wasn't there as the clock struck the hour and we waited in the lobby, I tried to self-talk convince myself that everything here is on Africa time and G has done this dozens of times. (He has been with KidsLink since pre-bankruptcy...about four years.)

We waited until 9:10am and then I couldn't stand it any longer. (Court was to begin at 9:30am.) He was on his way as I called his cell and he arrived around 9:15am.

We arrived at court at 9:30 and headed upstairs, down a narrow hallway, and eventually made our way into a small white-walled room with (fortunately) several open windows. G told us the judge was seeing 69 cases today. Wow Mama.

To the right of me, just under the windows was a large crate looking wooden structure. It was maybe 6 feet by 8 feet. On it sat a few birth mothers, fathers, and two Ferengi (Caucasians).

The juxtaposition was nearly too much for me to handle and this was the first time I felt the lump in my throat nearly impossible to swallow back down, while simultaneously holding back tears.

I want to paint this picture accurately because I think it personifies the journey.

The birth mother is sitting on the edge of the crate, wrapped in shawls and scarves - tattered and dirty. She looks tired and desperately sad. She wasn't too young, maybe late twenties or early thirties...though her life has likely taken a toll and she possibly appears much older than her chronological age. A look of defeat resides in her eyes and I would bet that had I been given the privilege of sitting down with her, the sentiment would have emanated from deep within her soul.

Today is the day she would verbally relinquish her rights as a (birth) Mama.

Trusting "the system" and wanting more for her child, she would make the biggest sacrifice within these next few hours.

This is what got me: She is sitting there barefoot. And my guess is that this wasn't for cultural reasons.

She cannot - likely could not - afford a pair of shoes...and this in itself speaks volumes.

Behind her is the Ferengi waiting his turn to enter the judge's room. He is dressed casually but well. I wouldn't be surprised if his clothes had been dry-cleaned prior to coming, as they looked starched and pristine. He is on his blackberry typing away, looking slightly bored and definitely not bothered by all that is going on around him.

He is wearing nice, clean, shiny, laced up, leather shoes.

Had these two beings not been mere inches away I don't think this would have been so exaggerated. But there were. And the difference between rich and poor here is just as obvious.

As I mentioned earlier, we arrived around 9:30am. By 9:40am we were in this waiting room. There were signs (black and white photocopies) with the words "Silencio" and "Silence" copied and taped onto the walls - and they were being ignored. It was sad really. While this day was long awaited by many of us, we all couldn't seem to observe the one thing being requested of us. Like small school children in a line waiting for library and ignoring the teacher's continual request for them to close their mouths. This day, while long awaited with anticipation for us, has been equally long awaited (likely) with dread for many mothers (and some fathers), in the room.

At 9:50am we were called into the judge's office.

Her office was that of an average four walled, 12x9 office. She sat at the end, a scarf around her hair. She is young and soft spoken. Her voice gentle and genuine.

Upon entering the room (it was only ourselves and G) we handed over our passports to the clerical worker who also had a desk in there. We sat down in chairs lining the wall.

The judge asked us a series of questions (these are to the best of my recollection but honestly I was worried about wetting the chair and my nerves were getting the best of me)...
  1. Do you have children at home?
  2. Do they know about the adoption?
  3. Had we met our daughter (she used her birth name)?
  4. Have you taken courses to prepare yourselves for this adoption?
  5. Do you understand the importance of cultural identity for your child? (She emphasized how important this was to her and will be to our child.)
  6. Do you know that this adoption can not be reversed or revoked? (It was at this point I could no longer hold back the tears...they welled up with force.)
All objectively, quickly answered with, I'm certain equally as quiet a voice as they were asked. She then told us that all our documentation was/is complete with the exception of the MOWA subpoena (letter of support).

We thanked her and left.

It was 9:51.

We were in there for one minute.

So what does this mean? It means that no steps will be taken to begin immigration (the final step to complete before bringing her home) until we receive our MOWA letter.

MOWA letters are currently coming in approximately 22 days after court. Apparently this includes weekends. Hmmmm.

I may have mentioned before that MOWA does continue to write letters even after the courts close for summer break, (the last day for court is Friday, August 5th and then it is closed until late September). This is great...but there's a kicker.

There's always a kicker, isn't there?!

If our MOWA letter is written but courts are closed (ie: after August 5) then the adoption is at a stand still because the court (judge) has to give a final sign off.

So, we HAVE to get our MOWA letter before August 5th or else we will continue to wait until the end of September for our immigration process to begin.

There seems to be a slight bit of misunderstanding through all this but we have asked nine ways to Sunday and this has been clarified.

The prayer cannot stop. Please don't stop.

We need this letter to be written before August 5th - it's going to be so so close. MOWA is typically writing 10 letters a day, however this does fluctuate. Last Friday, for example they wrote 20. Each day varies the quantitative outcome.

We are thankful today has come and we are grateful for all your support. It's not been easy and we continue to be on pins and needles, clinging desperately to the faith, hope, and knowledge that this is all planned out.

I look forward to the day when we look back and can reflect on the perfection of all His timing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tomoca And Entoto Market

We had the privilege of connecting with a friend of a friend today. Ethiopian born and raised (with the exception of a brief few years in the UK), today we were gifted with a true experience. We started our afternoon with coffee (or a macchiato in my case...which is basically coffee with milk and ummm, amazing) at Tomoca. Well known mainly due to word of mouth, the smokey environment inside was almost smothering. It was the now familiar-to-us very aromatic scent of beans roasting.

Following our cultural liquid jolt we headed to the Mercato (a drive through only but an experience not to miss) and then Entoto Mountain market.

The market was not unlike many others. Yet, some of the sights upon entry were a little more than we have yet seen.

Bananas anyone? (In a wheelbarrow in the middle of the street.)

This is just like at our local farmers markets, don't you think?

And we thought Vancouver had a garbage problem during the strike a couple years ago (left side of photo). This was amazing. And so very sad. And unnoticed. It is part of life at the are the jerry cans.

Plastic (jerry cans) and any other material of the like. Nothing is wasted. What a breath of fresh air, huh?! It (they) will all be reused in some sort of fashion. You see small children using them all over the streets, carrying them as they ask if you want your shoes shined. And that's just hitting the tip of the iceberg of re-usage. It's also part of survival.

Coffee...all the (green pre-roasted) coffee beans you could ever want. Stalls of them.

I apparently had difficulty articulating what it was I truly wanted to see and experience: The Entoto Mountain Women Fuelwood Carriers. We found this (the answer to my inability to comprehensively form the correct words depicting the latter) after completing our few purchases at the Entoto market, by happening upon a sign. "That!", I exclaimed (feeling a little blond). "The Fuelwood Carriers...".

We had planned to climb - and by climb I mean sit on our derrieres in a 4x4 and drive to the 3200m summit - Entoto Mountain anyway, but what we saw and experienced has lead me to conclude that those could quite possibly have been some of the most culturally experiential hours of my life.

And that our daughter truly does come from one of the most beautiful, green, history-filled countries on the face of this planet.

This in itself - our drive, our experience, the photos, the latter half of our afternoon - truly deserves a post of it's own. It will come soon. Tonight possibly. Likely tomorrow.

Tomorrow itself as you well know is a big one.

For now, we are off with our Ethiopian friend of a friend (and his three teen children!) for a Traditional Ethiopian Meal.

I. Can't. Wait.