Sunday, June 04, 2006

Visiting AHOPE (this is an email from Thursday June 1)

We are here at the Ghion hotel for dinner. Its
Thursday night. Today we went to AHOPE - this is the HIV
orphanage. It was the most incredible experience and I
was very moved - this is from the person who has been
caring for kids with HIV since 1990 and I have been
to HIV orphanages in romania and south africa. I was
so - well can't explain - its important not to lose
it sitting in this internet cafe. DAGNE called and
asked what we wanted to do today - we said please take
us to AHOPE. We got the grand tour and took many
photos. I then went to the older children campus and
met Kalkidan - Lisa Qualls sponsors her. We brought her
gifts and it was so beautiful and moving I can't even
tell you. Part of my sadness was not being able to do
the same for the kids at CWA- that is the foster home
Maren and Yabesera came from. We are no longer allowed
to visit - and though they may reconsider this decision
very soon- it wil not be decided until after we leave
and we are still very sad about it. Being able to
see AHOPE and not the CWA home is heartbreaking - but
Dagne has been so wonderful I can't even tell you. He
is the man in charge over here - we have only met two
other staff, the driver and his assistant and I cannot
say enough wonderful things about them. I will tell
you more when we get home because there is so much I
can say that I have no time to say it here. For
instance today - bringing us to ahope and then at the
end of a busy day bringing Maren to the doctor (at
Dange's request) for a rash on his head. He cannot get
enough of our children an often insists on holding the
The guest house - its so wonderful - again more
later but for instance today we were hanging out in the
afternon and Kidist said " coee ceremony?" and I siad
sure. It was beautiful (our 3rd) and the best is
watching Maren "bona" and drinks the coffee too...he
is teaching us Amharic and we are teaching him
English. This kid is amazing at what he can say - we
think he probably is really three - and trilingual...he
already says so much in english and because the ladies
at the guesthouse speak his language they interpret
for us and its been so nice. Yabsera is the happy
baby that everyone gushes over and when he cries they
all come running because what does a faranji like me
know about taking care of a beautiful ethiopian baby!
:) Not really. They are actually so wonderful - tonight
we are eating traditional ethiopian food and watching
some dancing...tomorrow we will go get their visas and
I will return to ahope at their request to talk with
their nurse and check out the kids. That pleases me a
great deal- and Heidi i got a new photo of joanis (sp?)
i took several - and many of the kids in kalkidans
So many stories to tell - please pray for health and
pray for rest. We are tired all the time...and also for
Maren. Today he was sad at points very sad and he said
this morning "ama eshigadu". That means I want
"eshgadue". This is the nanny that has been with him
since he came to the home...Dange will probably bring
her to us so we can meet and they can say good bye. That
will make us all cry I am sure - its his old mama...

Cal, maddie, phoebe- we miss you and cannot call
easily. We love you all so much and can't wait to
bring you back here one day to visit with us. Today
Maren learned all of your names and can point to your
pictures and say your will love these
guys so much--kiss kiss. Yabsera is crying - got to go.
i love you all
em and mark and maren and yabsera

No comments: