Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010 - CHRISTMAS DAY

Celebrating Christmas in Ethiopia
Lunch and the "mall"
Visit to KVI orphanage
Christmas dinner

We got up, got dressed, and ate breakfast downstairs at the Guest House. Afterwards we went back to the room and began our Christmas celebration. First, we read the Christmas Story from Luke 2. Then, Mattea read The Tale of Three Trees for everyone. We read it every year. We LOVE that book!

Mattea reading Tale of Three Trees and her sweet big bro Eli holding it open for her

Next we watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas” which Steve and Lorena let us borrow. (They are a couple from the US staying in Addis for 6 months. He works for Pfizer, which is donating millions of dollars in medicines and resources to help with some health and disease issues in Ethiopia. We met them on our first trip and were glad we were able to visit with them again this time.)

Note: Ethiopia uses the Gregorian calendar which has 13 thirty-day months plus an additional 5 or 6 day month at the end of the year. It is 7 years “behind” our calendar. It won’t be Christmas in Ethiopia until January 7th on our calendar, so this is just a normal Saturday here.

We went to lunch at the Lime Tree and then walked over to Friendship City Center for some shopping (mostly looking). Friendship City Center is a multi-level “mall”. It’s very modern with lots of stores. In the lower level is a store which is likely the Addis equivalent of Wal-Mart. Some food, personal care items, household goods, furniture, jewelry, a few toys, etc. Wyatt bought some hot sauce for Lorena because she used it every morning on her eggs, and he noticed she was running low.  (That's SO Wyatt!)

Friendship City Center
Sisters at Lime Tree

Deke at Lime Tree

Deke's pizza with 2 bites out of a slice - it made a heart, so we had to have a photo
When we arrived back at the Guest House we loaded up all the red bins full of donations and headed over to KVI orphanage for a few hours. We took diapers, wipes, clothes for all ages, shoes, blankets, sheets, soccer balls, American football, jump rope, and a home-made version of cup-ponk. We joined T’s youth group from the International Evangelical Church there for fun with the kids. (T works for America World, is the youth pastor at the church, and is attending seminary, as well. Such a great guy! ) We made bracelets with the kids, painted fingernails, played soccer and football with the kids. However, kids in Ethiopia aren’t that interested in playing with American footballs because they’ve never seen football played on TV and don’t understand the game. (Honestly, what good is an American football if you haven’t seen that crazy sport? The ball is just weird and not good for much if you don’t “know” what to do with it. So, American footballs are not such a big hit with the kids!)

Making bracelets

A student from the church painting nails

The kids swarmed us for bracelets. They were pushing and shoving, and grabbing beads and hoarding them. It was chaos, but no one was hurting anyone else – they just all wanted to be sure to get one. Deke and some of the boys from the International Church played soccer and tossed the football around. Mattea, Eli and Wyatt helped with bracelet making then just spent time playing with the kids. It was a great experience for all of us. All the kids called me “Mommy”, and I was so heartbroken for them. I pray they will all have a real mommy of their own soon. We didn’t go inside to visit with the babies and toddlers because it was nap time. I didn’t see what the conditions were this time, but I do know that lots of people have taken donations recently so they should be better. Plus, with all of ours they should be doing a little better. I also know that others are planning to take more in the future. Hopefully, the kids are able to have their basic physical needs met now. Now, to get them all families…

In the evening, the Guest House hosted a Christmas party for all the guests. Michael told the kids there was a Christmas party that we would be going down to for dinner and tried to get Brielle to say “Christmas party”. She tried really hard, but all she could ever come up with was “Christmas FARTY”. Oh my goodness, we laughed SO hard! I’m sure that is one that will forever be a part of our Christmas vocabulary! We went to the party, the food was DELICIOUS, and we had a great time visiting with all the other families who were there.

The kids' table at the Christmas "farty"

It was a special Christmas day we will never forget. We gave no gifts to each other. We only gave to Jesus today. BEST celebration ever!

Facebook posts from today:

Merry Christmas from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! :)

Celebrating Christmas in Ethiopia today: Breakfast. Reading THE Christmas Story. Reading Tale of Three Trees. Watching Charlie Brown Christmas. Gifts (AKA candy bars!). Lunch at Lime Tree. Delivering 6 full bins of donations plus a big bag of toys to KVI orphanage and playing with the kids this aftenoon. Christmas dinner at the Guest House. An awesome day, indeed!

Just came back from a couple of hours at KVI. It was fun to see the excitement of the kids, but so sad to think that there are so many children in the world today - not just those we saw today - who have no family, no one to love them and keep them safe, and no happy expectation of wonderful things on Christmas day. "To whom much is given, much is required." Lord, let us be good stewards of YOUR blessings.

When offered some goldfish crackers, my newest daughter just said with her cute little accent, "I don't want no fish!" while laughing hysterically. Then we all were laughing hystertically! :)

Just came back from the Guest House "Christmas Farty" (as Brielle called it). It was great - amazingly delicious food and fun visiting with new friends - a really fun farty, indeed!
Well, our Christmas day is coming to a close now... hope your day is blessed and filled with worship of the King of heaven and earth!

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