Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Little Things...

Okay, now that I’ve written about our crazy-difficult struggles, I thought I would brighten up things a bit with some of our favorite things in Ethiopia….well, at the very least, they are things that bring rest to our weary souls in the midst of a very trying adoption process.

Last week we went to the pool at the Sheraton for the first time in the 10 weeks we’ve been here.  Wow.  Talk about getting a little R&R.  It was AMAZING.  I know it sounds silly to say it was amazing.  I mean, it’s just a pool with some palm trees right?  Oh, but it is so much more!

When your daily walks are composed of pollution filled streets, cars and traffic everywhere, crowded sidewalks, people begging for money, people trying to sell you everything under the sun, picket pockets, etc. etc….well, if your daily walks were composed of that, you would understand what a day at the Sheraton can do for you.

The Sheraton is a seriously nice hotel in the middle of Addis Ababa.  It is nicer than any hotel I have ever been to, and it is outrageously expensive.  If you had talked to me 10 weeks ago, I would have been embarrassed to say I went there, because it seemed like such an overly opulent hotel in the middle of extreme poverty.  Well, as an American staying in Ethiopia, once you’ve been here for a while, that hotel is a welcome respite from the every day life in Ethiopia.  It feels like a little slice of America, and the air is fresh and clean (I think this might have to do with all the flowers, trees, and green grass they have there).  There are some fantastic restaurants with delicious club sandwiches.  And then there’s the pool.  Oh the pool.  We just basked in the glory of the pool.

It was Alex & Eliana’s first time in the pool and they loved it.  They just splashed and played.  Alex had absolutely NO fear.  We were in this really shallow part of the pool, but he kept crawling/swimming deeper and deeper.  We kept having to stear him away from the deep waters.  I think he’s going to be an excellent swimmer.

 After a little play time, the twins took a nice hour-long nap poolside, as the adults relaxed and swam some more.

I don’t want to leave out the wonderful Mann family!  They were with us too, and what would we do without them?!  I can’t imagine having done the last 6 weeks without them.  They live in the room next door to us, and we spend at least one meal together a day.  Usually, that meal is a meal at Kaldi’s.  But the other day (Thursday) they treated us to a meal at the Sheraton in celebration of their documents being submitted to embassy (may they go home soon!!!).  It was a huge blessing to us, as we definitely needed some cheering up.  Well, the Sheraton worked.  We ate lunch, and then decided to splurge on a little poolside fun.  I just can’t tell you how relaxing it is, and how tempting it is to just want to stay there forever.  Fortunately, I think it costs a minimum of about $400 a night, so the temptation is nothing more than a sweet imagining.

We left the Sheraton around 5:30, and decided we might as well get dinner at Kaldi’s.  Oh sweet Kaldi’s.  Once again we must thank the Mann’s for really getting us into Kaldi’s.  And then the mango juice…and then the strawberry juice (holy crap it’s amazing!)…and then they introduced us to the French toast…..oh….my….goodness….some of the BEST French toast you will find in all of Ethiopia…maybe even the world.  It is AWESOME.  I would probably eat it at every meal if it was across the street.

So here’s to sweet times in Ethiopia, and sweet times with generous friends.  May we all go home soon, and may all of this some day be but a sweet memory.


  1. Sounds glorious! I look forward to the book you will write one day. Will you please? May you come home soon...yes! I will drink strawberry juice for you when you are home and remind you of the sweetness that I imagine it is!

  2. Wow they have grown so much. Have they learned to say any more words other than bestemor

  3. Yes you will have to write a book some day. You have a way with words AND pictures! Good combination for a good book. Praying you hear good news tomorrow. Thanks for sharing your story with me.

  4. Nina-
    You are on our daily prayer list and our Sunday School also prayed for you and your family today. Praying this week you get encouraging news on coming home.

  5. Oh the memories from the pool at the Sheraton. Thanks for bringin back such fond memories.

  6. Glad to hear you guys had a nice relaxing time. I am sure you needed and deserved every moment of it! We are here praying for your safe, fast and happy return home. :)

  7. Oh Nina, I am so sorry that things have been so trying. You guys are in our prayers for sure. I definitely remember how much we longed to come home and how emotionally trying things were. And we were only there for 7 weeks, with a relatively smooth process.

    Here I sit on this side of things though, over 2 months later, and I am so, SO homesick for Ethiopia. Absolutely heartsick, and I don't know what to do with it. So drink a strawberry juice for me, feel the sunshine on your face, and take a picture of donkeys in the road. You are amazing for trying to find the good in all the stress and emotions! I promise it will be a lovely, lovely memory someday!

  8. Hi Nina & Wes,
    I've been reading your blog since I first saw your youtube video about adopting. (Way before you went to Ethiopia) I'm so glad you had a nice afternoon with the twins and your friends. :)

    Praying for yous!

  9. I'm glad to see that Eliana is doing a bit better than she was in the video the other day! Praying that it won't be long before we get to see another video from your car- but with 2 carseats in the back! Also praying that they will be good travellers, and that you will all do well adjusting to the time change and life back in America.

  10. LOVED THE PICTURES AT THE POOL!!! The babies are really growing, they are so beautiful!!! LOVE YOU ALL!!!