Well today was Saturday, our second full-day in Ethiopia, and we are still alive and well. I think we are actually doing VERY well despite a few bumps here and there. We did wake-up to a variation of trickling to no water in the guesthouse this morning. Both water and electricity occasionally just goes out in parts of the city. We got to visit Tensae again this morning and it went well. She ran out to our van as soon as we arrived and this time wanted to be held the entire time we were with her. We showed her a picture book that we brought and she was very interested in it, pointing to each person and thing in each picture and wanting us to tell her who or what it is. We purposefully included a lot of pictures of the dogs so that hopefully she will get used to the idea. It was a short morning visit and as soon as she heard the van honk at the outside gate she became distracted and looked sad. She knew that meant that we would be leaving. We then went to the main CHSFS office and had a meeting with the doctor, social worker, journalist, and nanny to receive more information. We watched a video that they had made of her history and it was a very emotional thing for me to see. We then got to go back to see her again for a short time and to observe her lunch. She again was excited to see us and wanted us to feed her. We then went back to the guest house, had lunch and loaded into the vans to go shopping.
I already had an idea of some of the important things that I wanted to buy for her to have from her home country so that helped. We only spent a short time at each spot so even though everything is so cheap (once you compare prices and haggle a bit) and we now have two large empty suitcases to fill back up, I did not buy as much as I would have liked because we ran out of time. I am hoping that we may have some more time to pick up a few more things, especially coffee. I was able to purchase a "mesab" table which is the woven basket like table as well as other baskets, a Ethiopian doll, several girls dresses of various sizes, a outfit for Ethan, shirts for us, a beautiful table cloth with matching placemats, and a traditional coffee pot (just for looks). While shopping we were surrounded by beggars, some very young children and mothers. I dealt with it by simply detaching, I did not talk to them or make eye contact. I felt bad about this but we were told not to give out money for multiple reasons (let me know if you want to know why). Others in our travel group had a very hard time and were really stressed by the beggars. There were a few men who were disabled and crawling on the ground by our van. Others were so persistent in trying to sell us things right at the windows that a female police officer came to stand guard by the vans. When we finished our drivers drove us through the Mercado, which is the largest outdoor market in Ethiopia. It was surreal, people and shanty like shops everywhere with donkeys carrying loads down the street and wandering goats. It is apparently not a safe place to be so we never got out of the van but I did take pictures.
As if that was not a busy enough day we then went to dinner at a hotel which has a traditional Ethiopian buffet type dinner with singing and dancers. So here I am typing away. The time change has not affected me much, I seem to be one of the first ones up and one of the last to bed. I know the morning part will surprise many of you who know me well! We will be up very early tomorrow as the Landrovers will be coming to pick us up at 5am to go on our trip to the southern rural region. I am really looking forward to seeing the scenery and maybe some animals. We will be traveling to the city of Hossana and possibly meeting Tensae's existing family members. I think it will be very helpful as well as very emotional. We will not be able to visit Tensae tomorrow so I am sad about that but know that in a few days she will in our arms forever.