Wednesday was a very full day. We visited Yezelalem Minch, Nesibu and Birtukan's amazing ministry that includes an orphanage, a child sponsorship program, a women's income-generating program, community meals and so much more. YM's dedicated staff truly touched our hearts. Later that morning we visited some of the women in the YM income-generating program. Through personal loans, YM makes it possible for women to start businesses of their own to support their families. This group of women sorts, roasts and packages coffee beans for sale. We bought 15 kilos of coffee to take home! They also make a variety of Ethiopia spices. We also bought some berbere, shiro and lentils for when I get ambitious enough to make some Ethiopian dishes at home. (If you've wondered how you could help Ethiopian women and children but don't feel ready to make the ongoing commitment of sponsoring a child, you can make a one-time donation of $100 to YM's IGA program and help one woman start her own business. Let me know if you'd like me to send you a brochure with more information.) The women held a coffee ceremony for us in their chapel. We've been home for two months and we're truly enjoying the Ethiopian coffee, but it's not even close to being as wonderful as it was there. There is obviously something in the preparation that we're missing.
Later we visited Gelgela, one of the larger orphanages that Bethany works with. The children were sweet and curious, and we took about 300 pictures. They enjoyed seeing the pictures of themselves, and Spence kept them entertained for about an hour.
In the afternoon, Birtukan gave the girls a cooking lesson. We made lentils and shiro and something else I forget. Somewhere I wrote down the recipes, and I will share them here when I remember where I put them.
Later in the evening we went to an Ethiopian restaurant for dinner and traditional dance. Dawit was not happy about us leaving and I felt guilty, but Birtukan insisted that he would be just fine in 5 minutes. Later, she said he did just fine and fell asleep easily, but I had lingering guilt over leaving him. The music and dancing was amazing and the food was to die for, but Spence and I were sharing with three guys who didn't mess around: Mekonnen, Milkiyas and Tendaye, so we had to dig in to get our share. Oh, how I miss the food!
We got back to the guest house pretty late, and Dawit was snoozing on his tummy. Birtukan said most Ethiopian babies sleep on their tummies, so hey, who are we to change traditions?
Here are the pictures in a bit of random order. Can I just say that putting pics in Blogger is a pain, and resorting them is even worse.
Hanging out at Gelgela: