We are the Snyder family and ... we are different

This is the story of our journey to our daughter in Ethiopia. God is preparing our family for her and preparing her heart to come home to her family. We chose the difficult road of trusting and obeying God. It is worth every step!

Monday, April 18, 2011

day 3

We spent the morning at the transition home and had a very happy surprise.  When we first met our daughter we gave her a bag with her name embroidered on it and some things inside.  One of the things we brought her was a camera that my best friend had bought for her.  People had told us to bring her a camera because she just loved them and kept pretending the binoculars we sent her were a camera.  When my best friend was home we were shopping and found this pink Fisher Price camera, I was making a big deal about spending $35 on this camera that would probably be lost so she bought it.  It was so nice of her to do that for us.  Anyway, our little girl played with it all that first day, put it in her bag and took it with her when she left for the transition home.  Now I refer to the transition home as a black hole.  Once something enters it, you don't expect to see it again.  So the next day when she returned to us with her bag but no camera in it I assumed it had been lost to the black hole.  Well on the third day she returned with nothing but one of the older boys gave us her camera back.  We checked it out and they had taken over 200 pictures on it.  It was so awesome!  We had pictures taken by many different children and even some of the nannies.  These were pictures that we would never had gotten if the camera hadn't gone to the older transition home with the kids.  In fact, some of these pictures were some of our favorite from the whole trip because it showed a child's perspective and a sort of behind the scenes view.  Every day after that some of the boys would ask me for "picture" or "photo" and make a camera gesture.  I would let them use it while we were there and then one of them would make sure we got it back before we left.  By the end of the week we had over 500 pictures from this camera.  The oldest boy at the transition home even opened the bottom of the camera, pointed to the USB plug and wanted to know if we could download the pictures so they could see them on the transition home's computer.  I thought it was sort of funny how he knew all of that.  We didn't get a chance to do that (I don't think the staff really wanted us touching their computer) but a family that is headed over there right now did offer to take them.  I hope that the kids get to see all the cool pics they took of themselves.  Some of the pictures were really good and some of them were not, but they had a lot of fun with it.  I wish I could show you more pictures but most of them have kids in them and I can't show you any of their faces because of privacy issues.  Anyway, this was such a gift :) 

After lunch that day we also went shopping in the post office district.  I wish I had pictures of that but we didn't have very much time there and there were quite a few things that were on our list to get.  Not to mention when you have to barter for everything, shopping takes much longer.  On the yahoo group someone had once suggested that they got a present for their child for each one of their birthdays until they were 18.  I thought this was such a wonderful idea so that was my intent.  I had also been told to buy some toothbrushes because they are so cool.  Well we bought scarves, a couple outfits, bracelets, some things for the boys and a couple of coffee pots.  I wanted to buy one coffee pot for us and one for our daughter as a wedding present.  Granted it is a long ways away, but thought that would be something really cool to give her.  The shops are all pretty tiny, they are about 3ft x 3ft.  Some are a little smaller and some a little bigger.  There were a couple we went into that were more like 12ft x15ft so were more like a real store.  I bought just a few toothbrushes from a kid off the street with a tray of them and wish that I had bought the whole tray.  We were so rushed and I was trying to do the math and well I just didn't buy as many as I should have.  The toothbrushes are made from sugar cane.  They are basically a widdled piece of wood that you either soak in water or chew on until the end starts to fray and then you brush your teeth vertically with it.  Dustin used one and said his teeth felt clean after he used it, he liked carrying it around in his pocket.  The only bad thing that happened on the shopping trip was that one of the families got left behind.  We had a very large group and there were 3 vans all full with people, this couple had not been with the group when we all got back together and in the vans.  We left for the guest house and no one even knew they were missing until they showed up a little while after we had gotten back.  They apparently had looked for the vans, couldn't find us, tried to get a taxi but when they tried to tell the taxi driver "Yebsabi guest house" they were met with blank faces.  By God's grace a couple boys heard them say "Yebsabi" and just happened to have been there before and had met a couple of the people staying there.  These two 14 year old boys rode with the couple back to the guest house to tell the driver how to get there and all they asked for were some shoes.  It was so unfortunate that no one had brought any shoes that would fit these young boys so when the couple goes back for embassy they are going to bring back some shoes for them and pray that they can find them again.  The moral of this story is to STAY WITH YOUR GROUP!  lol :)

After the shopping excursion we were treated to a spa treatment.  Dustin and I picked a one hour massage each and they let us do it as a couple's massage.  This was a very nice spa and was obviously in a very rich part of town.  As we waited I watched the people walk by the front window and if I wouldn't have known any better would have sworn we were on Michigan Ave in Chicago.  The atmosphere of the people and the cars driving by reminded me of a posh little spot in America.  It was sort of ironic that we were in Ethiopia and we were treated to a high end spa.  Anyway, after waiting for quite some time we finally had our turn.  It was fantastic!  We had deep tissue massages that certainly helped to work out all the kinks of traveling and stress.  Dustin swore it was the best massage he ever had.  The cost was about 500 birr or $30 US so Dustin tipped our girls a $20 US bill each.  Everyone thought he was crazy but we figure even at $70 US for two people for an hour massage that is still a steal.  Hopefully we will be going back soon.