Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ethiopia return trip Part 4 (second day in Burji)

Day 7

Teenage boys make the best babysitters, especially if they like soccer, are really tall, and can easily pick your kid up and carry him around. A had a lot of fun with Dawitt's younger brother Y all day, and I was thankful to have him around.

It was Saturday, which is market day in Soyama. After breakfast, Dawitt, Y, A and I walked around looking through the stalls set up along the road overlooking the market itself. I bought some soccer jerseys for the boys and T.

Then we met up with A's people again and they took us to see the orphanage where our boys had lived in Soyama. It is now a family home. No one was there, but we went in the yard and looked around. A had little memory of it.

From there we walked to the market itself. We bought some fruit and retreated to the shade of Dawitt's sister's stall to eat it.

After lunch, we were in the van about to leave for the village when a relative came to find us. Within minutes we were surrounded by relatives, old neighbors, and curious onlookers. I helped A greet the relatives one by one and I made a little speech. Then we got back in the van and drove to the village.

At the village, we were walking toward a shady spot where we could sit and talk when I realized that A wasn't with me. I backtracked to the van and found him playing soccer with the village kids. I was thrilled that he already felt so comfortable and left him to play with Y and the kids while I went off with a small group of adults.

That day we had a long conversation about life in Burji and life in America, with Dawitt doing a wonderful job translating as usual. I took notes on the yearly planting cycles, weekly and daily routines, and gender roles. We talked about the effects of climate change. I explained some of the ways life in America was different, and described our family's daily routine. They thought it was very strange that we don't grow much of our own food, that T cooks better than I do, and that the average American woman gets married in her late 20's. We laughed a lot. The whole time we were talking, A was having a blast playing soccer. He said it was his favorite part of the whole trip.

After a very nice afternoon, we said our goodbyes and went back to Dawitt's house in Soyama.


  1. I love that A playing soccer was his favorite part of the trip. That goes to show how comfortable - how "at home," so to speak - he was, and that's just amazing!