Friday, March 03, 2006

Lookout Starbucks!

Our third day in Ethiopia (first morning with the boys) was pretty low-key (and began with the same chanting as the day before.) Kevin, Scott (family friend of one of the families there) and I walked over to the internet cafe late morning, about a ten minute walk, where we spent wayyyyyyyy too long trying to send an email to my parents letting them know we were still alive. The internet connection was just terrible.

(Sorry for the bad picture, but this three story building was the cafe. While inside Kevin made a friend, Zecharias, that he now emails back and forth with. Zecharias is a Christian and is studying at the theological university there in Addis. He took a liking to the boys and an interest in us. He, like all of the other Ethiopians we met, was so genuinely friendly, kind, and open.)

There are no sidewalks in Ethiopia, just gravel and dirt. People are walking everywhere. It smells like exhaust all of the time and it is a little unnerving what with the way people drive.

Scott headed back to the guesthouse ahead of us (we were taking forever) and we hailed a cab outside, to take us to Fantu, a very nice grocery store. We needed to pick up some food for us and for the boys. It wasn't a huge store like the ones here, but for Ethiopia it was big and probably considered very fancy. I was amazed to find Ethiopian versions of all sorts of things, like candy (Skittles, for example, with the words written in Amharic on the package. I realized that those companies have got to be making a whole lot of money, having their products sold all over the world!) We bought some REALLY yummy yogurt, better than what we can get here. The groceries weren't super inexpensive, surprisingly. We got some baby food and formula for the boys (milk is extremely hard to come by in Ethiopia) as well.

(On a side note, when you push your little shopping cart up to the checkstand, they fully unload your groceries onto the conveyor belt for you! Talk about service. Sure beats me bagging my own groceries at Food Maxx! And then they even carry your bags outside for you and hail you a cab.)

We went back to the guesthouse and we all took a nap. We woke up feeling overwhelmed and just bummed out in general. The boys had diarrhea pretty badly, which we assumed had to be giardia (or some other parasite, we should be finding out soon), and for some reason we just felt so helpless and discouraged. It was hard being so far from home, with these two boys that were sick. The other families there were so encouraging and one of them invited us to dinner with them.

That is how we ended up at Kaldi's. Now Kaldi's is a pretty cool place. And here is why: it is a full-on Starbucks knock-off! Everything there, from the decor to the green aprons to the coffee they serve! I knew about Kaldi's before we even traveled, as I had read this New York Times article a few months ago. I have to say, I think Starbucks needs to get over originated in Ethiopia, not Seattle! At any rate, we ordered gourmet pizza which was REALLY good. They also serve hamburgers and sandwiches, etc. The boys stayed happy most of the time, and just going out and having fun with other people helped us to feel a lot better. This is us and the boys outside of Kaldi's--we got so much use out of our Baby Bjorns on the trip!!!

I'll share some more pictures from the day as well. First, there is a picture of Urusalem, the girl being adopted by the family we had dinner with that night (her brother was also adopted by them. She is holding Biniam in this picture.) She adored the boys and was always wanting to hold/play with/feed them. She and her brother Messele were just precious (they're in Wisconsin now. Talk about a climate change!) Then there are of course pics of the boys.


Rachel said...

Just reading your post made me crave a white chocolate mocha! Too bad for me I have to wait about a year for one. What a neat experience you guys had. It is awesome that you felt to safe in such a foreign place!

Brianna Heldt said...

There's always decaf, right? :)

Also your prior comments on the lice cracked me up! Yes I find myself itching my head absentmindedly...I am so paranoid!

We did feel very safe in Addis, and I think we really were safe. Violent crime is very rare there; I think pick-pocketing is the most common thing you would find, and that wasn't a problem.


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