Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Things I Don't Want to Forget

Using all 5 senses, I wanted to jot down some of the things I want (or need) to remember about our trip to Ethiopia. Since smell is the most potent "memory jolter", I will start there.

Unforgettable Smells:
exhaust from the blue buses
roasting coffee beans at the coffee ceremony
shea butter after bathtime

Unforgettable Tastes:
rich, chocolaty ethiopian coffee
sour injera
spicy wat
potent honey wine
bitter, hoppy ethio beer
tasty ramen noodles
dairy-free choc. b-day cake for nicki
chalky pepto tablets

Unforgettable Sounds:
pterydactyl crows outside window
screaming babies
barking dogs/howling cats
crowd cheering in middle of night (running)
steady, relaxing rain
car honking at gate, carrying our son for our first meeting
children's sweet voices singing for bread and for Ethiopian New Year during coffee ceremony
african drum beat at traditional dinner/dance
ipod music to put me to sleep on plane
first time Gabriel said "momma" and really meant me
first time Gabriel said "daddy" and really meant husband
first time Gabriel said siblings' names
first time Gabriel said extended family's names

Unforgettable Sights:
Gabriel's face in person
all the poverty
children begging on streets
black exhaust
blue buses
beautiful red & green plants at Bejoe House
beautiful people everywhere
beautiful art in the gallery and at gentleman's studio
circular mall
u.s. embassy
Gladney Care Centers
children's clothes hanging on lines and laying on pallet
boy's orphanage
"yard" of beer
dancer's unbelievably flexible neck, doing the head swing
traditional dancers
joy & hope amidst the poverty

Unforgettable Touch:
Gabriel's smooth buttery skin the first time I held him in my arms
the wettness of his leaky diaper on our first encounter
the cool dampness of the Ethiopian air
the cleansing rain
the gentle touch of Gabriel's "special mom" as she dons earrings and necklace for me as a gift
the pain in my heart for the beautiful people and the innocent children
the warmth & giddiness in my heart when we were reunited with our family at the airport

I praise God for all 5 senses and for Him allowing us this amazing, heartbreaking, life-changing experience!


  1. So glad we could share in it vicariously and in the future. Thanks for sharing all of it with us and everyone who reads this. Love you!

  2. Love it! Beautiful writing, Tanya!