Monday, April 26, 2010

Thomas' Journalings

Monday we finally got out of the city and drove into the Entoto Mountains. The sights were amazing. We passed the Olympic team training on their runs up the mountain. We also passed many little women bent under their HUGE loads of Eucalyptus branches on their backs making the horrible trek down the mountain road. Melanie wanted so much to take their loads for them just for the one day we were there. Watching them makes you want to cry.

We stopped at the palace of king Menelik II and the first church building in Addis Ababa. We first toured the museum that housed numerous items that belonged to King Menelik II. There were beautiful ceremonial robes, every day clothing, his battle dress, the King and Queen's crowns and beautiful Amharic bibles. The marathon gold medal from 2000 Sydney Olympics was on display there. The runners train up and down the mountain roads and the gold medal winner promised the medal to the museum if Mary would help her run well.

After the museum, we looked around the various buildings of Menelik II's palace. They were beautiful. So simple, and wonderful in their mountain setting. Our experience in the mountains was so peaceful. It was so nice to breathe fresh air after being in the polluted city for a week.

Being with people who are also waiting for HIV waivers has been nice. We have all become good friends and it will be sad to see everyone leave.

Tuesday we enjoyed a nice trip out of the city as well. We made our way to Debra zeit. The drive was suffocating with all the traffic on the road, especially all the big trucks blowing out clouds of black exhaust, but it was worth it. Debra zeit is a much cleaner city than Addis Ababa. The streets are paved in beautiful mud brick. Women were laying brick as we drove by. We visited a brick making facility while we were there and listened to Christian songs projected over speaker to celebrate a Saint I believe. It was cool at first, but got very obnoxious very quickly seeing that we were about a block from the church and said speaker. We were invited into a local home to enjoy injera and experience a beautiful coffee ceremony (even though we don't drink coffee). The court yard was beautiful with flowers and old wash basins. The injera was cooked outside over a fire. There were horse drawn carts for taxi and weird moped bike like taxis.

We went out to more of the country part of town to do some work for the agency and fell in love. If we could have, Melanie and I would have just had them leave us there and pick us up when our visas were approved! It was so beautiful. The air was clean, the roads were free from garbage and the homes were in better repair. They were more like shacks, but still in better repair. There was a beautiful mountain in the distance and the sky was so clear. We could hear the birds and it was such a dream!

Sweet children asking for food

At the church

The beautiful mountain road

Back breaking loads
More church

Some of the palace