So back to those updates. Day 2 was another emotional roller coaster kind of a day. We started the day with some pretty amazing, overwhelming, difficult, yet hopeful meetings that are stories for another day.
Our beautiful girl!
Then we got to spend the afternoon with Rahel's family again. They invited us back to their homes for lunch. The family had moved a few years ago from Rahel's home, so this was a whole new location for her. When we arrived, a feast had been lovingly prepared for us and we were treated as the guests of honor.
I wasn't kidding about the feast. It is Ethiopian tradition to insist that your guests eat and eat and eat, so even when you are full, they think you haven't eaten enough. We had the most delicious slightly sweet bread that we were told was a bread specific to the Tigray region, so yummy, as well as super tasty doro wat.
Then it was time for the coffee ceremony. The coffee ceremony is traditionally performed for guests or visitors as an act of hospitality. We were offered coffee in most of the homes and organizations that we visited while in Ethiopia. Rahel's mom Kidan seemed especially happy to prepare this for us.
Rahel even took a turn fanning the flame that roasts the beans.
A little family bonding over pictures from the day before. Our guide Fekadu suggested that we have them developed so we could bring them for the family. I'm so glad we did this.
The area surrounding Rahel's family's home.
One of the coolest things about this visit was looking at some of the older photos that the family had. This is Rahel's dad who passed away when she was a baby. It is the first time I've ever seen him. We are so lucky to have this. You can definitely see the family resemblance here.
Rahel brought clothes and gifts for her family. They were all so excited, but none more than Rahel. She was absolutely beaming as she watched them open up the things she had brought them.
The baby doll was a big hit with this sweet little one.
Then Rahel suggested they try them on and we took one last family photo.
These two were a huge help while we were in Mekele. Mulugeta on the left was our driver and Bedalu was our translator who spoke Tigrinya.
Just before we left, a soccer game started up in the open field across from where we were visiting. It was so peaceful and wide open in this area.
And this little neighbor stole the show. While Rahel and I were inside talking, Heidi, Aimee and Jeanie were entertained by this precious child.
Those eyes. So distinctly Ethiopian. So beautiful!
I am so thankful for these girls.
They embraced this visit and were so helpful
and such a comfort to have with us on this day.
We ended the day on the rooftop of Mulugeta's (our driver) Guest House that he wanted us to see.
An amazing view indeed.
I am in awe at how at ease everyone was. Being with Rahel's family was like visiting distant relatives at Thanksgiving. You don't really know each other or haven't seen each other for years, but you're family, so you eat, drink and are merry.