Sunday, February 8, 2009

Meeting Boko

Since we now knew that we could not meet Boko because it was nap time - kind of a trend when you are there, never really told in advance what the schedule/plan is. Just find out as you go, we went back to the hotel for a couple of hours to freshen up and grab some lunch.

Unfortunately, what I was afraid of happening has started to happen. I am losing some of the details from our days here. Nothing major, but maybe just can't remember exactly what we did each day. Where we had lunch, how long we waited to do certain things.... I'm going to have to start asking Cory, but I don't know if he'll remember any better than me.

Apparently he does, jogged my memory. We went back and ate out by the pool. We shared french fries, french onion soup, a pizza and a couple of St. George beers. We didn't have a lot of time so it wasn't a really long leisurely lunch. Plus we were maybe just a little bit antsy for it to be 4, so we could go back.

Our first time at Horizon House, we pulled up out front of two large metal garage doors at a building up the street from the guest house. It was very nondescript and the doors were the size and shape of a garage that you would see in New Orleans - where you pull into a court yard, and from the street, really have no idea what is back there. We pulled in and there is a teeny tiny grass area in front of a small house and enough parking space for a small bus and a couple of cars. You walk along side the house and the stone wall on the opposite side and in the back is another small building that looks kind of like mini barracks. The yard in front of them is all asphalt and concrete, and there are 3 or 4 doors facing the yard.

At one of the doors, was Boko. He was the first kid up from nap time - which would not be the case most of the days moving forward. The other parents who had now arrived were there as well. All but one set of parents who were part of our travel group, were there to pick up children in the 4-5 year range. Only one couple was there for an infant, so did not come over to the big kids house.

Honestly, he was smaller than I expected. We had measured things in his rooms, mirrors etc, to be around his height as we knew it. I'm sure that he was the size that they had told us, but for some reason, I just had bigger in my mind.

Let me tell you, it was immediately apparent that this kid is NOT a morning person. He looked annoyed for being up. Annoyed slightly that anyone wanted to talk to him. He was very tentative in coming near us. Especially me. It was also obvious pretty quickly that he was more attracted to Cory. I spoke with another mother who was there to pick up their 4 year old boy as well, later in the week, and she was having a similar experience. Their little boy wasn't too concerned with her, not compared to his dad. We figured that it must have had something to do with them being without a mother for so long. Boko at least had lost his a year and a half before. I can only imagine what he was thinking when Cory went up to him, and he had to get used to the idea of him being his dad, but who was this superfluous adult? A spare just in case?

Still though, it even took Cory a bit to get him to come to him. We of course came armed with mini candy canes and foo fuhs (sp???) aka balloons. We were quite the hit with all the kids. And for the most part, Boko was not too concerned if I just played with the other kids this first day.

We hung out and played with the kids, throwing around balls and handing out candy, until it was dinner time. The other parents were taken back to the guest house by a guard - I still don't understand this one - and we stayed while we waited for Mulat to come and take us back to the hotel (this would be one of the few days that Mulat drove for us, usually we were with Yonas). So we hung out with the kids.

There is a room, where they take the littler kids in during the day to play and sing songs and this is also their dining room. Snacks are had outside on a blanket, but dinner is in this room. There is one big round table where the older kids, at this time that was the 4-7 year olds. The smaller children sat on the floor and the nannies and the older girl who was there to help spent most of their time with these kids. Making sure that they ate.

A lot of the nights that we were there, the kids had injera with a bean wat. This was also the first time that Boko showed interest in me, when he tried to feed me his food. Okay, not exactly tried, since we were trying to bond, I of course took it when he handed it to me. As you may or may not know, they eat with their hands in Ethiopia too. I realize now though, that he did this more to get the food off of his plate than just to share. He was not a fan of this dish. At the time though, we were thinking that he was just a difficult eater, I mean come on. Injera? Its like the national food of Ethiopia. All the other kids down it, even the 2 year olds are just shoveling it in. Not our kid though.

This is one of the first times I was really happy about staying at the hotel. We realized that we could come and go as we pleased, while the other parents were on the schedule of the guest house. Where by the way, there was no wine, no cocktails, no mommy and daddy drink of any kind. ;)

When we left that night we went back to the room and were beat, so we ordered up some room service and this was the first time that we tried Ethiopian wine and found a lovely white wine, called Cristal (I think that was the spelling) and since it tasted good and was about $8 a bottle, of course we became fast friends.

And that is the end of another day. I will try and be a better blogger from now on and finish up with this.

I'm telling you, balloons will buy you love with these kids!!!!! Take LOTS of balloons with you. Beach balls are good too, but for a cheap way to bribe your child, you cannot beat the balloons!!!!


Jenny and Troy said...

My goodness, he is so adorable. I can not wait to meet him. Tell him I am a picky eater too. I love the creativity of giving away food, will have to try that myself next time someone serves pork or fish. :)

Carla said...

He is adorable. I am excited for what is to come for your family.