Friday, May 2, 2014

Ethiopia return trip Part 6 (back to Addis)

Day 10

Our last morning in the Ethiopian countryside was in Amaro. Dawitt's family has a coffee farm there, and we had breakfast with some of his brothers and family friends before they headed out to the farm. We also randomly ran into a woman on the street who spoke flawless English and explained to us how to make bulla out of enset.

After breakfast we started driving north. The road climbed and climbed. The view was beautiful.

In Yirga Cheffe we emerged onto the ridiculously potholed main road and took it north back to Awassa. There we went straight to the restaurant where we were meeting our friend Belayneh.

Belayneh is starting a business connecting adoptive families with families in Ethiopia. He is a trained social worker and a wonderful person. If you have a child from Sidama and are looking for someone to facilitate communication with family or help you plan a visit, I highly recommend Belayneh. His business is called Ethiopia Birth Family Connection and you can find it on facebook.

After leaving Belayneh we visited the brother of a friend here in the U.S. and then met four more of Dawitt's sisters and brothers (did I mention there are eighteen in all?). Finally we left Awassa around 6PM. We reached our guesthouse in Addis after midnight.

Day 11

Our last day in Ethiopia. A and I went for a walk from our guesthouse all the way down to Meskel Square. On the way we passed the prime minister's palace, the president's palace, Africa Hall, and great views of the city. In Meskel Square I took photos of the new elevated railroad that's being built. This city is growing fast.

Meskel Square
Dawitt and his sister found us at the Square Garden Cafe in Meskel Square. While we were sitting there sipping our mango juice, Dawitt casually mentioned that the balcony over our heads is where Mengistu Haile Mariam used to give his speeches. Creepy.

There was a big expo going on in the fairgrounds behind Meskel Square (you can see the first few tents at the edge of the photo). We wandered around a bit and I bought six kilos of spicy red crack berbere to bring home with us. Finally it was time to return to the guesthouse and pack up. Dawitt and his sister took us to the airport.

Saying good bye was hard. I will never, ever forget everything that Dawitt did for us. Before, I couldn't even imagine what a visit to our boys' family would be like. Now I feel like we can easily do it again.

And we will do it again. We'll stay longer next time.

1 comment:

  1. That elevated railway at Meskel Square is sort of blowing my mind! It's only been 19 months since we were there and that changes things so much. (We knew the railway was being built but didn't know where or that it might be elevated.) Wow. And that first photo is absolutely stunning - what a pretty area. Thank you so much for sharing about your trip. What an amazing experience for both you and A!