Sunday, November 21, 2010

Journey to the GORGE and back! Some of our memories from Ethiopia!

Well, the jet lag really hit me this trip.I was up again this morning at 4am. Last trip Robby and I didn't have ANY jet lag. Philip is fine too; just lucky me who can't sleep. At first I thought it was the adrenalin of everything that had just transpired, but now I am definitely blaming the jet lag and the 9 hour time difference! I will not be sleeping the first leg of the trip home next time. That is where I made the mistake! Lesson learned! :)

So, I shared our sweet son's photos and told y'all a little about his sweetness and his likes and dislikes. Now I want to show you his beautiful country.

The first full day we were there we went out into the countryside and saw the beauty of Ethiopia!
Now, when Robby and I were there in July we were there during the Rainy Season and their Winter Season. The DRY Season is a totally different Ethiopia that we were able to see this time! It was BEAUTIFUL! The temps were 75 degrees with a constant breeze and sunny skies every day (it FELT like being on vacation on an island). The weather was perfect! It felt GREAT everyday! You needed a jacket early in the morning and at night, but the daytime temperatures were superb! It was so nice to see EVERYTHING DRY as well. No mud on this trip! We were slathered in it last trip! So glad I was able to see both season's in this beautiful country! As as side note Ethiopia gets ALL of their rain from July-September. The other 9 months it DOES NOT RAIN. Crazy, huh?

Early Sunday morning, we drove 2 hours outside of the city to a Gorge (A.k.a as Ethiopia's Grand Canyon! We passed all kinds of remote villages, kids who were shepherding cattle and goats, kids playing in the fields, people walking to church, people walking to visit their friends houses!
Here you saw more of the HUT type houses and it looked like what you think Africa looks like. There is a BIG difference from city life in Ethiopia and life in the countryside. They still do all of their farming with Oxen and a wooden plow and they walk really long distances to gather water. We passed a well today and saw children using it.

It was a gorgeous drive and we went with some new friends of ours, Lisa and Mike from Buffalo New York! The scenery was breathtaking on the way there and the Gorge was spectacular!

We finally got to see monkeys (Baboons)! I didn't get a ton of pictures or many up close because they scurried as soon as they saw us! So, look REAL close in these photos!:)

There was a magnificent waterfall at the Gorge and we hiked down to it.
There was also a REALLY old bridge that was gorgeous!

We had a few "local" guides give us the "tour" and of course we bought a few handmade items from them!
The rolling green hills and the river at the base of the gorge were spectacular.It reminded Philip and I of the beauty we felt when we were in Lake Tahoe. Breathtaking beauty!

There were aloe Vera plants growing everywhere and lots of other flowers and plants. Our Christmas poinsettias grow wild here in Ethiopia too. And they grow BIG! Like Poinsettia trees! :)

It was such a beautiful morning and we were blessed to have been able to journey 2 hours outside the city to see this beautiful site! Our driver and tour guide, Alazar, taught us sooo much aboout Ethiopian culture and the differences from Ethiopian city life versus rural countryside life!
We made the 2 hour journey back and left for the orphanage where our kids were! They were all eagerly waiting for us when we pulled in!(Despite the van running over and exploding one of their soccer balls!- No worries we replaced the next day with 3 new soccer balls!)

Especially happy to see us was this sweet face! :)
We donated tons of clothes and shoes to the orphange (a lot of the good quality stuff that was left over from our MEGA yardsale). Today each of the kids were bathed and dressed in new clothes and shoes! They came out one at a time (one nanny bathed and washed all 20 kiddos, so this happend over a few hours...) We all made a big deal when each child came out so clean and with their new duds on! Their little faces just lit up! It was so sweet and it felt so good that they were getting great use of all of YOUR donations!!! It truly put a smile on all of their sweet faces, and ours too!!! :)

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