The Heart of Ethiopia part III.

June 17
The weather has been an absolute gift from God every single day! We
have been treated to beautiful sunshine and mild temperatures. It is
a nice break from the heat at home.... who would have thought that
Ethiopia would be cooler then Virginia. We experience God's love and
blessing everyday we are here. After such a long wait in the desert,
He reminds us every moment and in every detail that He loves us and
never forgot us.

We have grown to love our hotel, Meskel Flower and we are sad to be
leaving this fun place today. When we arrived we were scared but
after just a few short days we feel very comfortable here.

Eleni once again took the day off from work. She and Tedy met us at
Meskel Flower and off we went for our next adventure. First stop -
the Mall. We visited 2 malls today. Inside they looked like an old
city mall, all the stores are very small and the items very expensive.
Most things are imported items such as children's clothing, from Old
Navy. The clothing costs more then the same item in America. Eleni
explained that only very rich people shot there..... we purchased
nothing. :)

Eleni bought us some banana gum from a little boy. Many children sell
packs of gum on the street to make money. We are constantly
approached to buy all sorts of items, maps, belts, CDs, silverware,
tissues. We experience this everywhere we go, our white faces equal
dollar signs. Today we saw someone walking around selling TV
antennas. She also bought some bananas at a road side fruit shop.
Bananas here taste nothing like bananas at home, they are 100% better.
I think it is because they can ripen on the tree.

We then drove through town to an Orthodox church in the middle of the
city, in English: "In Jesus's Name Church". It is very arnate because
it is built in a wealthy part of town. We walked around the outside of
the church but could not go inside due to a service already in
progress. Many people stand outside the doors and listen to the
message. One door for women, one door for men and one door for the
priest. Others stood outside facing the building wall praying. There
is something compelling about their discipline and yet is is sad the
lack of freedom.

We had lunch at at fun restaurant, Yesi Coffee, the injera was
gorgeous.... two different shades of tef (dark and light) cooked in
rings to make it look like a target. We sat on small round chairs and
ate from a coffee table sized round table. I am not sure how larger
people sit on these chairs. My own little bum was a bit uncomfortable
and kept falling asleep. We ended our meal with some coffee. The
coffee here comes in small teacup size mugs, so to drink coffee
several times a day is no problem. Next we headed to Entot Mountain,
which has the same elevation as Colorado. This used to be the city
center of Addis. As the city grew it became too large for the mountain
top and spilled down to the valley. As the movement progressed so did
the city center. Now Entoto is a more rural area of the city.

St. Maryam's church lies at the top of Entoto. This church was made
during the time of King Menelik and is shaped like his crown. Many
people come to receive Holy Water from the church for healing. There
is an area near the church where you can rent a room for only 2-3 birr
a day (1 Birr is about $13 US). This is mainly for the poor who come
for healing. Many of them cannot afford health care and this is their
only option for treatment. Some with skin infections will rub the mud
from the spring over their skin. People will stay here for 2-3 weeks.
The brightly painted church is a contrast to the suffering people
surrounding it.

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