It seemed like I had just got there and really I had. Day three and I was needing to pack us up to leave that night. I packed up all of the things I had brought to donate at Layla, and Meklit, Ted and I headed over for breakfast.
By now when we walk in the kids swarm us, and we are hugged and kissed all over again. What a great start to the day. Meklit is taken by Tsion, and she will again spend much of the day with she, Rahel and Tigist, as Marta’s friends continue to show us love as if we were family.
Ted heads off with a throng of boys in tow to skateboard, and I started to make my rounds greeting with a touch, hug and/or kiss every little face that I could find. I have always struggled to know what I want to do when I grow up, and now I know. I want to be the head of hug therapy at Layla House – that is my dream job. Merrily, if you ever read this, let me know what you think.
Breakfast today was the pancakes Marta had been describing to me. They are very big around, so you get slices like you would of a NY pizza. They are big wedges of pancake that look more like injera than our pancakes, but are denser, thicker and don’t have the sour taste. They are cooked on the injera mitads, and just like injera are not flipped, so the top is the bubbles just like injera.
They are smothered in VERY sweet syrup, and of course there is very sweet tea too. Breakfast is when these guys get their sugar fix for the day, and the dense, sweet slice filled me up.
I let Terefu have my camera for the day after showing her how to use it, and she took ~200 pictures throughout the day.
I spent 2 periods of class time with the 2 groups of combined 4/5 kids in Ku Ku’s music class. He played the guitar, I played the djembe I left last time, and we all sang worship songs that Ku Ku has learned by ear, and taught the kids. We had a great time, and I now have an obligation to get him some music to read.
I also played soccer for 2 periods, and if you are uncertain if the elevation will affect you, play soccer. Wow! I was one tired, hot ferenge.
Lunch was shiro and alecha cabbage and potatoes that was awesome. I could eat like that every day. So good.
After that it was hot so we spent most of our time hanging out in different bedrooms (the kids call them classes, like “J” class, or “H” class, which are really just the room numbers).
Terefu was taking pictures like crazy of everyone, and they were having fun posing for her. I brought my laptop over and loaded them all so they could see a slide show and watch the movies we took too. There is a great one of all of Marta’s friends being silly and saying hi to her, saying goofy things in Amharic that I still don’t understand, and singing songs for her.
While we were there that afternoon there was a film crew capturing Tigist and her siblings getting their family gift bags. What an exciting time for so many kids, to see what they will someday receive. But it must be a scary time for them too - a time when they feel doubtful about it all as well. I want so badly for them all to get homes soon.
If you have ever felt your heart tug towards adopting these older children, you won't regret it. I would take ALL of them home with us if we could.