I will post a general update soon, but for today I want to add some photos from our trip to Soddo last March. During our time in Addis, we took two days to travel to Soddo, the area that our boys are from. Our purpose in going was to see the area where they were from and to connect with any living family members we could find.
Here are some photos of our trip.
We stopped at a grocery store to buy a case of water and some snacks for the road. In the back of the store there was a beautiful bed for sale. The ladies working in the store kept saying, “God bless you” and gesturing toward the boys. They also told us how lucky our boys were to be going to America and one woman jokingly asked if we could adopt her too.
A dreaded “squat toilet” at a gas station. Russ was quite proud of me for using it, but frankly, I had no other option! At this same gas station, an old woman spit on Little Man which is a way of blessing a child, although rather shocking to me.
Before departing for Ethiopia, we hired a driver for our trip to Soddo. We had heard great things about Yosef and his knowledge of the Soddo region. He seemed to have connections with many people and knew lots of interesting details to make the travel interesting. The day before we left Addis for Soddo, Yosef came by to tell us that he would not be able to take us due to a family member being very ill. However, he promised that Solomon would take good care of us, even driving Yosef’s car. He said, “He will be just like me, only look different.” This did not turn out to be quite true since Solomon spoke very little English and had never been to Soddo, but he got us there and back, so all was well.
ldren, so I ran back to the car, which was loaded with donations for the orphanage in Soddo, and grabbed a handful of Matchbox cars. As I began to hand the cars to the children, the men gathered in closer to see what I was doing, and soon they were yelling and holding out their hands for cars too. When they began to grab them from my hands, I quickly dropped the little cars and hopped back into our vehicle. That experience was my only bad moment in Africa. After that we limited ourselves to passing out toys and treats only when we were stopped along the side of highway waiting for herds of cows or goats to cross. The children were so excited and it was great fun to see their faces when I popped a small car into their outstretched hands.
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