A week ago was Martin Luther King Jr. day in America. In Addis, although the American Embassy was closed to observe the holiday, the Ethiopians were preparing for Epiphany by hanging colorful banners above the roads. For me, it was the day I finally got to go to the orphanage and collect one small child, and take her with me.
The first thing she did was to confiscate my camera case, calling it her "boorsa" (purse).
Inside the camera case were six AA batteries. She removed and counted these many times as I held her on my lap in the sunshine.
Like most of the children, she adored the "machina" (car), although there are so many things wrong with this image, I really had to chuckle.
People from my town donated vitamins and toothbrushes to the orphanage. They are always grateful for donations, however small. In this case, ten bottles of vitamins will go toward helping little people stay healthy.
Our driver, Yosef, a favorite of the kids, took pictures of the orphanage for me. Someday, we'll look at the pictures together and remember where she used to live. I feel so blessed that she got to live in this orphanage in particular. The nannies taught her many darling little songs, and how to count, both in English and Amharic. They fed her meals and snacks, and tucked her into her little bed.
They played with her and hugged her, and told her that Jesus loves her. Although she won't remember them, their contribution to her life will last for the rest of her years.
Then, oh joy! I climbed into the car, and instead of saying goodbye, I had her beside me, chattering away. We went to the guest house together, exploring and getting to know one another for the rest of that wonderful Monday.