Monday, December 08, 2008
a happy anniversary
Rick and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary in Ethiopia. It was a regular day, making beads, hanging out with the kids, rinsing laundry in the bathroom sink, but it was still special. We don't give each other gifts for anniversaries. We have each other. That's the biggest gift. But we were out walking, down by the cows and goats, and spotted this heart-shaped rock in the dirt. It's "ours", and it will always be there, waiting for us.
Later in the afternoon, when we were relaxing on the porch outside our tukle, Marta personally delivered a gift tray for us, with cookies, a bottle of wine, and a hand written note of good wishes from her and Deme. This was so touching and wonderful and significant, given the fact that alcohol is strictly forbidden inside the compound. Too many kids. Too much potential for trouble. We could have been rebels and smuggled in a personal bar stash, but that just wouldn't have seemed right. Still, I have to admit to missing my evening cocktail... We had taken to mixing up a healthy dose of Emergen-C at 5:00, and calling it "cocktail time"...
Marta left us to our romantic little celebration, and we sat outside next to the hibiscus bushes, relishing every taste of that lovely South African red. Just a little glass full though. We wanted to take it to dinner to share with the rest of our little "family". Visitors, volunteers, and guests eat all their meals together in a separate dining room from the compound kids. Three wonderful meals a day are served buffet style, and everyone gathers to eat and talk. In a few short days, we'd all gotten to know each other pretty well, and even though our religious philosophies differ - a lot - we all liked and respected each other the way healthy families do.
So we shared our anniversary dinner, along with sips of wine for everyone, with Marta (Deme was away in Addis), Scott, Kaitlyn, Abbey, and Erin, who was a short term volunteer, about to continue her travels and go on to Greece. Now I don't want to get anyone in trouble, so I'll clarify here... Kaitlyn and Abbey each took a tiny sip of their wine, and then handed it over for the rest of us to finish, mumbling something like, how can you drink that stuff? Not that there was enough for anyone to get soused, but honestly folks, we were not contributing to anyone's delinquency. Just sharing a happy celebration.
Speaking of anniversaries, this might be a good time to tell you a little bit about Scott. He's looking for a wife. And he's such a nice guy, I want to help him find one. He's been at Project Mercy for about three years, as a volunteer teacher. He wants to start an orphanage in nearby Butajira, and he wants to build a little house outside the compound and start a ministry there. He's had a well rounded, interesting life, he's intelligent, and he's a really nice man. So put the word out. Scott needs a partner in this next phase of his life in Ethiopia. I know there's someone for him out there somewhere! Here's Scott, with the girls, and some of the kids. He's cute, and he always has a twinkle in his eye.
Anyway... after dinner, we went outside to see the most beautiful full moon ever. If that's not romantic, well, nothing is.