We go to the Ethiopian church once every two or three weeks. The last few visits have been wonderful. Have I mentioned that religion is never, ever spoken of outside of the sermon? Here's what we've been getting out of it: Beautiful music, friendly people, delicious food, Ethiopian-American children modeling how to straddle two cultures, and a growing reconnection to Ethiopia. The boys barely complain anymore about going. Today I took A back to the "bible study" room for first time, and guess what?!?! There was no bible study!!! It was an Amharic lesson!!! This church is awesome!!! And while A was in the back having the importance of preserving his language skills totally validated, D was with T stuffing his face with vegan fasting food (in a memorial service and I'm sorry for someone's loss and thank you to that someone for the food). Then we met a woman who lives near our house, a new potential friend... and it was just fun. Feeling grateful for the Ethiopian church.
An aside: I've realized I have a double standard when it comes to Ethiopians and everyone else. Ethiopians can ask, "What happened to their family?" and I have no problem with it and answer honestly, but if anyone else asks it feels intrusive and creepy. It's all about what's appropriate in the speaker's culture.