Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cathedral Museum
Lunch at Metro Pizza
Played at Guest House
Dinner at Kaldi’s

We visited the Cathedral in Addis which was built by Haile Selassie. It is an Ethiopian Orthodox Cathedral. We had to take off our shoes before we entered, and TJ and Brielle already knew what to do. The Ethiopian Orthodox religion has much ritual involved in it, and they obviously had been taken to church often by their birth family.

There are beautiful stained glass windows and beautiful décor inside. Haile Selassie and his wife are entombed inside. We met a priest in the area of the tombs who asked if I wanted to take his photo. I said, “Yes”, took the photo, and then he held out his hand and said, “Money.” There was a very nice lady who gave us the tour and explained much of the detail to us. There are many paintings of Haile Selassie on the walls and ceiling and many paintings and depictions of saints.

The Cathedral

The priest who wanted to be paid for his photo

A domed ceiling in the Cathedral

One of the stained glass windows - "Noah"

After the tour of the cathedral, we went to a small building which housed the “museum” part. About the time we went in there was a power failure (very common in Addis), so the guide used a scepter, which later he told the great significance of, as a rod to reach the curtains to open them and let in sunlight. There were many solid gold items covered with precious jewels, many historically important clothing and fabric items and several books and other delicate items. Even those in cases were not in air-tight cases, and many were just sitting out in the open with little more than a string as a boundary to keep people from touching. We were shocked at the lack of security, the lack of appropriate protection from elements, and the allowance of sunlight which could quickly destroy the aging objects. I just hated that their important historical items were in the process of decay before our very eyes because of the lack of proper preservation techniques. It was so sad.

A funny billboard next to Metro Pizza

The sisters at Metro Pizza
  We went to the Hilton to exchange some money and then joined other AWAA families at Metro Pizza for lunch. Afterwards, we went back to the Guest House for some rest and play time. Then we walked to Kaldi’s for dinner. We were seated in a dark corner at two tiny tables, and we were short one chair. Mattea and I moved our chairs together, and Brielle sat on a corner of each of them. In spite of not even having a chair, Brielle fell asleep at the table while waiting on her food. And being the true “brother” that he is, when she woke up TJ made fun of her for falling asleep and told her he ate her food while she was sleeping! After dinner, we went back to the room for baths and bed. Whew… long day!

Facebook post from today:
Things we take for granted: Kids playing in the tub. Tonight is the first night that TJ didn't rush to get done and out of the shower. He sat down, then laid down on the bottom of the shower and giggled, giggled, giggled! I'm sure he never got to do that when there were dozens of other kids waiting to get a shower, too. Can't wait until we're home and he can play in the tub - wonder what he'll think of that! :)

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