We left Yetebon to travel to the capital where we stayed with the Tregos, American doctors working with the American Embassy in Ethiopia. They cooked us AMAZING comfort food (including Mexican and bagels) and had satellite TV (the same TV that military people have overseas), which allowed our many sports fans (mostly males) to watch the Champoinship NFL games.
Our big day in Addis!
Today was so wonderful-- we woke up to a luxurious breakfast, headed out to go shopping with our wonderful driver Tamrat, went out to eat at the Fasika ( a restaurant that serves traditional food), at which we ate, danced, and laughed the night away. I was really glad to have the shopping experience we did, even though I was really scared of the haggling that was required of us. It worked out really well, though, because Trevor, a finance major and business-minded man, was in my shopping group. He is really good at haggling.
Our driver knew all the right places to go, and he got us to each place safely. I bought gifts for all kinds of people, and our last stop was an amazing coffee shop that sells its coffee to Starbucks. We spent such a long time at the coffee shop because everyone ordered at least three bags of coffee and the most was nine bags. Take the average and multiply that by 17 and you have a LOT of coffee. I'm pretty sure they ran out of their stock of beans because they had to call someone in to bring in kilos and kilos more. We got back to the Tregos' house with only a few minutes to spare before dinner. We left to go to the Fasika with all our American friends, although Dr. Trego and Andrea were not feeling well and decided to stay back.
The people working at the Fasika were very helpful (I think they were used to tourists) and were kind in helping us know what to do. First we ordered drinks, then Sam (Marta's son and good friend of our team) came, then we went out to get our food from a personal buffet they set up outside for us. They explained to us what each thing was and were even a little impressed when we knew what some things were called (mit mita for example, which is a spicy powder added to things to make then spicier...as if the food needed that!). We went back inside to eat, and then the band began to play traditional songs. After they played some songs (Sam explained to us that they were mostly secular songs, although they had set some secular words to a sacred tune in one song), the dancers came out and dances three dances from different regions of Ethiopia.
We had been hoping that, coming from Yetebon, which lies in the Guragi region, that we would get to see the Guragi dance. We did, and the second time they performed it, they got Nathaniel and Eric (two of our American friends) to go dance with them. They also came out into our group on another song and told us to "COME" as they shimmied and swayed. We tried our best to shimmy and sway our rhythmically challenged American bodies, and although I am sure we looked foolish, it was a blast. I had a great time dancing and being able to talk with those around me. The day was a very tiring day, although I am more awake than most tonight as I went to bed early last night.
It was like one big sleepover at the Tregos' house!
I cannot believe that we will be on our way back in less than 24 hours. As I have been saying-- I am ready, but I know it will be a crazy adjustment. I am just starting to feel comfortable with the culture and just starting to get the feel for Addis. I feel almost like we, as Andrea, Aaron, and Nathanial are doing, are only taking a weekend away from Project Mercy and that we will return to our "normal" lives with the house kids in a few days. It won't hit me that I am coming home until I am there, similarly to how I didn't feel like I was going to Ethiopia until I stepped out of the airport here in Addis on January 4th.
Being on this trip has further convinced me that I am ready to step out of the incubator that is Taylor University and into the cold, cold world to serve God in a big new way (wow, so cliche, right?). There is so much outside of Taylor, though, even though Taylor life consumes you when you are there. I am hoping I can be less consumed when I live off-campus next semester. The next big question, though, is what is life after graduation going to look like for me? What is my next step? What will the next 6 months even look like for me? I am learning every single day again and again about patience for the will of the Lord to be done in my life in whatever way God chooses to do that. It is extremely exciting!