Disclaimer: This post was created by Seth due to Apryl's current need to feed baby JoJo and her mildly upset stomach.
After departing from the Transition Home we made our way to a traditional Ethiopian restaurant. This experience put a new spin on our classic "dinner and a show" concept. Although it had been a really long eventful day everybody mustered the energy or at least put on a good game face for the evening festivities. Duni and Robel (AW's new in country travel coordinator; he's a wonderful guy I must add) teamed up to get the party started right, by ordering a combo platter of sorts that added up to a "taste extravaganza", a "flavor explosion", or if you're an American, mystery animal stomach with sauce. Mmmm, I may have been the only one to savor the flavor, and I must say, not bad, a little chewy but not bad. There was actually a tremendous variety of choices laid out before us on three giant platters of injera covered in a variety of combos of sauce and beef, lamb, etc. I think everyone was satisfied. Even Apryl found enough to stimulate her buds.
There was actually a pretty long period of time spent waiting for drinks and dinner to be served, which was great because it gave the four families the opportunity to unwind, discuss the days events and rejoice together. By the way, future families may be a little grumpy about not taking the kids home (back to the hotel) the first day, but I think by the end of the day we all agreed the restaurant was not a place for kids and it helped us ease into "taking custody" today. The traditional meal was followed by a traditional coffee ceremony sort of. Normally I think they take the beans and roast them while participants sit round about and observe the technique. This is followed by drinking three SMALL (like espresso size) cups of the freshly roasted and ground coffee and eating popcorn. There is usually a light aroma of incense in the general area (don't worry this is not some pagan ritual). I believe the three cups some how relates to the Trinity, it was lost in translation but the native Christian assured me it was ok. Our version consisted of a small brush fire (incense), one small cup of coffee and a handful of popcorn. Fortunately as a coffee abuser, I was happy for any quantity they could place before me. It was fantastic. On that note, the coffee here is out of this world. I must say this has been surpassed by the fellowship and company we have enjoyed with the others who have come with us to adopt on this trip. They are all sincerely wonderful people and I'm so glad we got to experience this with them.
The coffee ceremony was followed by some (again "traditional") Ethiopian dancing. This consisted of lots of really fast shaking and some kind of jerky neck/shoulder movements. This was all well and good, and fairly entertaining (I can enjoy just about anything following a good stuffing of native food and a belly full of coffee (well sort of)) until the dancers took to the crowd. Somehow my wife must have had Dancing Machine written across her forehead, because the moth went straight for my flame (Apryl). She lived up to her "reputation" and was (a little too easily) persuaded to throw a couple of slick neck and shoulder moves her way. This seemed to appease our host, so she moved on to the next victim in our group. At this point all the men in the group had sweaty palms. PTL I don't have the dancing gene. One guy, Marshall grabbed the video camera to avoid any possibility, one AW worker suddenly "had to use the RR" conveniently, I hid behind Robel (Mr. Polite here) and the other guy Bob would have simply refused. The rest of the ladies and Robel got their groove on (briefly), meanwhile the place was starting to heat up with some wild Moroccans so we all agreed it was time to go.
The evening concluded with sweet peaceful rest at 2 am. Apryl and I were up trying to figure out the finer points of removing video from our camera and turning it into bit sized pieces this system can handle so we can send and post a video. All that, and now it won't send. Oh, well; you're just going to have to wait.