April 14, 2009

Friday Jonah had a Birthday. Our Cousin Ansley who had arrived from Chad to volunteer as Head Matron at GAH also had a birthday April 10. We had a fun Birthday party for the two of them. One of the games we played was Ethiopian Piñata. Farangi staff donated candies sent to them by loved ones and soon we had a nice little box full of “Carmellos” (as they call them here in Gimbie) to batter blind-folded with a stick.

Sabbath morning during church Jonah snuck in quietly to the kitchen. Unbeknownst to his parents, he found the beaten up Piñata box on the table. He discovered it still contained Carmellos. He stuffed his pockets with them. Showing his age- he kept quiet. At two, he would have showed what was in his pockets the next minute. But now he is three, and apparently, his we are in for a whole new world of parenting.

Soon it was nap time. Quietly and happily Jonah went to bed. Not a request for a drink, not a need for the bathroom a second time, nor the plaintive yearning for a favorite stuffed animal, no, none of the usual. His naïve mother went back to listen to a sermon next door, walkie talkie in hand, and not a peep was heard from Jonah. She felt a sense of accomplishment as she commented on what a good little boy he had been to his father. Maybe three would be easier? After all, wasn’t he out of the so called “terrible twos”?

But alas, an hour later, his unsuspecting mother found him fast asleep in a large pile of candy wrappers, blissfully covered in stickiness from head to toe.


Novice Thief

April 14, 2009

From the kitchen Jonah and I heard banging on the window. We peeked around the corner. There was an empty bird’s nest gathered on a previous walk resting on the sill, but nothing else. Suddenly two furry white and black hands grabbed for the nest, hitting the glass and falling away. Again and again the hands appeared. We started to laugh.  Soon the two furry hands grasped the outside of the window sill, and doing a pull up, the curious face of a large male Colubus monkey appeared at the window. He looked about 40 lbs. He did not appear amused. He had been working very hard, jumping on his hind legs from the ground in hopes of getting the nest and presumably, the treat he hoped was inside.


April 2, 2009

Over a month ago Mark bought five brown hens. Though in America we had been vegans, here in Ethiopia we had added eggs to our diet because of the sometimes limited selection of protein foods for vegetarians. However, the eggs for purchase in Gimbie tend to be expensive, very small and pale yolked, so Mark decided the healthiest option would be to raise our own hens. It’s likely the chickens around Gimbie are somewhat malnourished since the price of grain has risen considerably; making it difficult for local people to feed themselves well let alone their livestock. 

Our hens grew fat and happy as we gave them plenty of sorgum, wheat, and kitchen scraps as well as all the water they could drink. There was just one problem! They didn’t lay eggs. Our Ethiopian friends said we needed a rooster to help the hens lay eggs. We procrastinated on buying a rooster, imagining the addition of yet another voice to the early morning choir of howling Hyenas, hooting Colubus monkeys, and melancholy calls from the local Orthodox Churches and Muslim Mosques echoing through the hills. 

Early the other morning, Bagalech, our helper, brought in three large beautiful brown eggs. “Mark!” I said, “Look what Bagalech brought from the henhouse!” Mark smiled and to my surprise, tears welled up in his eyes. “Trudy,” he said, “last night I prayed that our hens would lay eggs”.