Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 192 - Our Surprise Ethiopian Meal...

Let me back up a few days...to Day 184...Independence Day...

A little recap...we started our day with a good ole' fashion 4th of July parade, then back to the hotel for the little ones to nap, lunch and finally the super fun aquatic center! Our plans were to come back to the hotel after swimming and let the kids relax before going to the firework show, but little did we know, there was an unexpected adventure waiting for us later that night!

While at the park, we decided to go to the big pool so Sunshine could practice her swimming skills, or "swim lessons" as she likes to call it :o) So, while we were swimming, I noticed a "dark brown" family walk to the lounge chairs by the pool. Let me just preface this by saying, we have seen NO ETHIOPIANS (except a couple adopted kiddos) since we came back to the states with Sweet Pea. To my knowledge, there are no Ethiopians in our state...that may be a bit drastic, but it certainly feels that way. Anyways, so it has been two years since we have seen any Ethiopians...so honestly, when I saw this family, it felt kinda like a celebrity sighting...haha!

For the record, since there aren't any Ethiopians around our area, African Americans (blacks) and Ethiopians don't look alike...besides the color of their skin. Ethiopians have a very distinct look.

Normally, I am a pretty shy person. I will go up to people I don't know, but it definitely isn't my natural instinct :o) Haha! However, when I saw this Ethiopian family, I couldn't get over to them quick enough...haha! I was SO EXCITED to finally see people from Sweet Pea's birth country that I didn't really care if they thought I was a crazy nut :o)

So, I went over to the the older women of the group and I said, "Are you Ethiopian?" What an opener :o) Haha! She acted a bit surprised by the question (I mean, that would be a kinda weird question if you didn't know I had an Ethiopian kid), but nicely answered, "yes." I then showed her Sweet Pea and explained that she was born in Ethiopia and we adopted her. By this time, another lady had joined "grandma" and they were both so happy to see Sweet Pea. They made a big fuss over her and started asking lots of questions. We exchanged small talk for a few minutes and then parted ways.

I swam over to hubby and told him (he was surprised that I asked the lady about being Ethiopian...ha!) and almost immediately a man from their group came over and started talking. They were SO NICE. He explained that they had family in from Canada and that they were having traditional Ethiopian food that night and asked us to come over.

Can you believe in this day and age, they would invite complete strangers to their house? And that we would accept? A true miracle :o) Haha!

There house was actually about 45 minutes away in a town we had never been before, but because they were Ethiopian, we knew we would be safe...ha!

When we arrived at their house that night, we were greeted in true Ethiopian style...lots of hugs and kisses. It reminded me so much of the time we spent with Sweet Pea's uncle in Ethiopia. Ethiopian are so warm and loving.

We stopped on the way and picked up some flowers...she was so proud carrying them to the door :o)

Btw, Sweet Pea totally knew these were "her people, her Ethiopians." haha! She was so fired up about going to their house and eating Ethiopian food.

To be perfectly honest, I think Sweet Pea might have thought we were actually IN Ethiopia...haha! She knows she is from Ethiopia and we talk about it often, but that is a pretty hard concept for a three year old to "get." While at the house she would say things such as, "I need to go to the potty in Ethiopia" and "Ethiopia is really pretty." Haha!

The family was so gracious and kind to us. They told us a lot about Ethiopian culture and about their life and how they ended up here in the United States.


The grandmother made a traditional Ethiopian meal for us to enjoy.
I have only had Ethiopian food once before...when we were in Ethiopia. Honestly, after the three bites I forced down in Ethiopia, I had NO desire to ever eat Ethiopian food again. I am not an adventurous eater...at all.

But let me tell you, THIS FOOD WAS SO GOOD! Like, really good!!

They made plates for the kids that included rice, fruit and turkey sandwiches, thinking the kids would not want to try the Ethiopian food. Sweet Pea let it be known that she wanted some injera on her plate! Haha! Injera is the traditional staple food in Ethiopian...it is kinda like a large, spongy tortilla. In Ethiopia, you eat with your hands and you tear off pieces of injera to scoop up the other dishes.

After Sweet Pea finished her meal at the kid table, she came and got on my lap. Everyone at the table was so surprised when she started tearing the injera, dipping it in the other food and eating with perfect Ethiopian technique!
And loving every minute of it!
How sweet is that?

Grandma then proceeded to show us how to make ingera!

And she even packed up a to-go ingera bag for each girl! How sweet is that?

I am SO glad we took a {big} step outside our comfort zone and were able to experince such a wonderful evening with our new Ethiopian friends!


The Suri Story said...

what an amazing gift you gave your daughter! I think it is wonderful you have helped her be sooo proud of where she was born. You are a good mama!

The Garners said...

SO NEAT!!! Love the last picture of your new friends holding the kids! :)

Renee said...


The Ritzmanns said...

Approaching random people we don't know is also not in our comfort zone, but we do it every time we see Ethiopian people. To a person, each of them has been so gracious and genuinely interested in telling about themselves and asking about our kids. Glad you gained a taste for Ethiopian food. It is fantastic.

Thanks for sharing.