Our third day in Ethiopia was Sunday and our friend, Bonnie, had invited us to go to the International Evangelical Church with her. The pastor introduced himself to us before the service started and it turned out he was from Azle, TX. SMALL world!! It was an AMAZING morning of worship. The message, the music, the overall experience. I think I cried through most of it. We didn't have our camera with us on Sunday, either, but fortunately Bonnie had hers so we have at least one photo to document the day:
After church we went to lunch at Avanti, a VERY nice restaurant. I would highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Addis.
After lunch we took Bonnie and the kids back to their guest house, and then had a lazy afternoon hanging out with the other families who were at BJoe. We loved our stay at BJoe. The best part was the hospitality of the staff. By the end of the week they felt like family. And of course, the rooms were very clean and nice.
And the grounds - because of the weather, everything is green and lush. Just gorgeous!
Later that evening we walked to a restaurant a block or two from BJoe called, Cloud 9. It was in a small-ish mall, so we walked around and looked in the stores for a while before we headed back to BJoe.
On our way back to BJoe, we ran into the "tissue boys." We had been warned about these boys. They sell individual boxes of tissues that they carry around in a shoe box lid. However, they're really looking to pick your pockets by pressing the lid into your waist as a distraction. When they approached us, they initially asked for food. Rob had some granola bars on him, so he gave them each one. Then they started asking for money. Rob told them NO, and they immediately focused on our friends. The sad thing is that they weren't even any good at it. The one kid looked directly at my friend's pocket, and then went toward her with the tissues. They also knew what they were up to, so they just kept saying NO, trying to keep their distance and eventually they left us alone. At the time I thought it was funny and slightly annoying, but I got to thinking about those boys the next day. I asked our driver about them. Did they have families, or were they street kids? Street kids. And I immediately became so sad. They have no choice. It's steal or die. Living in America all of my life, I had no real concept of what extreme poverty looks like. I will share more of our experiences in future posts, but that experience really helped me begin to see that there was so much more to poverty than I had ever even imagined.
We slept well that night, knowing we would be seeing Lottie Mastewal again the next day.