This morning we had a great trip up Mountain Entoto. There is so much to see as you go up the mountain. Donkey's carry heeps of firewood and women do the same times 10. The amount on some women was so much I thought they might snap in half. The women here are very strong and many do this all day. When we got closer to the top we got out and hiked up the rest of the way. On our hike up the hill I waved at a little girl and she came to shake my hand. She was excited to shake my hand and I was kicking myself for not bringing any suckers to hand out to the people along the way. From now on, I am going to make sure I have little treats with me.
When we got to the top of the mountain we went to the museum there. Abel gave us a great tour and hisotry lesson about the country. Much of it was about Menelik II and Christianity in Ethiopia. We saw many of the royal clothes, old bibles, money, and photos of the emperior. We also saw a gold metal from the Sydney Olympics - from a runner. They often (the runners) train on Mount Entoto. Next we walked around the church and took photos. Finally we went to the Emperors first palace, when he was a govener. Abel taught us more about the history of Ethiopia, including how Menelik was tricked into signing a colonizing contract with Italy (the wording of the two contracts were different) and how the two nations went to war which ended in a Ethiopia victory.
After the mountain we went to lunch at a really nice place. Right now we are the only family through our agency that has people in the country so we get Abel the agency "tour guide" all to ourselves. It is nice to be able to ask him whatever and really get to know him more. We love the amount of knowledge he has shared with us and feel comfortable asking him anything.
Another thing I don't want to forget is our driver. His name is Benjamin (Benium) and he is really nice. We have shared a lot of laughes because he doesn't know that much english and we don't know that much Amharic. We try communicating the best we can and when things get mixed up or we get frustrated we all just laugh. Like when we asked him how long he had been driving and he told us 100 years..... he knew he didn't get the question by our reaction and we knew he has not been driving that long since is probably only in his 20's. We all started laughing, it is the best medicine. Although we rarely understand each other we are becoming friends and we love this guy. He is also a strong Christain and one of our first conversations we understood was about being a Christian. He is protestant Christian, so are we.
Very soon we will be leaving to go back to the orpahange and say goodbye to one of the families. We are very happy for this family, the dad is here by himself and we are excited to see the pictures of their whole family together in the states. We feel honored that we get to go watch his goodbye ceremony at the orphanage. We are absolutely blessed to be here at the same time.