Author Unknown

Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it. But I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.

Mother Teresa

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Ethnological Museum

While we were in Ethiopia, we took a few trips around town to learn more about our children's heritage. If you are visiting Ethiopia, I recommend this museum if you have a good driver. I have to add this special plug for an incredible driver named Solomon (Muhaba Suleyman). He drives a little blue and white taxi and his telephone number is 0911-56 23 71. Unlike some of the hotel drivers, he loved taking us to new and unusual places and spent a lot of time explaining the customs around Addis. What I really appreciated was the way he made sure that we found our way into the right place and paid the correct fees. He was fun to hang out with.

One day, we went to the Ethnological Museum. This museum is located in Haile Selassie's former palace and surrounded by a university and beautiful gardens. It gives colorful displays of the different cultures in Ethiopia. When we arrived, our driver asked for a guide. He was a college student who worked there and studied history. I loved being able to ask questions when we didn't understand. The stories are all displayed at the museum, but it was much more interesting to have somebody to show us around.

We learned interesting facts - like the reason the Mursi people used large lip and ear plates to discourage the slave traders from taking them away. We also learned about the cow jumping ceremony in Hamar. Each man would jump over eight cows or oxen, four different times, before they were able to marry. It also had the original rooms and clothes of Haile Selassie and his wife, including the original furniture where the assassin tried to take his life. On the top floor was the art gallery and a display of musical instruments used around Ethiopia. Oh - here's another interesting fact we learned. If you see a painting and the eyes are big and facing forward - that is a good person, like Jesus, St. George, or any Ethiopian. If the head is sideways and you only see one small eye - that is a bad person, like the Italians would tried to take over the country.

Here is a picture of Mussolini's steps that in front of the museum. One step for each year Mussolini reigned. Of course, the lion was placed on top as a symbol of the Ethiopian victory.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Africa Park

While we were in Ethiopia, we checked out the African Park, across from the Hilton Hotel in Addis. This is a great place to take the kids to run and play and get rid of all the extra energy from spending the week in a hotel room. The long, skinny park is really close to the Addis View and you feel very safe because it is gated and watched over by several guards.

All week, Liyone was very shy and super quiet. He has a giggle that he keeps inside. I'm not sure if he's ever been to a playground before, but when he realized he was allowed to climb and run, he took off!! Maybe I should say...he went up! That boy can scale any playset and was not only at the top, but on the roof. He also likes climbing trees and light poles. At the time, we thought he had just turned four years old. (Now we think he is probably five or maybe even six.) The thought of him being way over my head where I couldn't reach him really scared me. I didn't see a Care Now in Ethiopia and I'm pretty sure they don't take insurance for broken arms :) So, I spent the afternoon chasing him around the park and trying to keep him closer to the ground. The guards thought it was hilarious! I'm sure we were the entertainment for the afternoon.

If you're interested in visiting there, I copied the information I have gathered about it. I also heard they might close more often during the rainy season. They also have a little cafe to buy refreshments and the bathrooms are super clean.

Hours 10:00am - 6:00pm
Closed on Mondays

10 Birr - ages 10 and under
25 Birr - over 10
50 Birr - to take pictures

It was totally worth it! There aren't many places in Addis where there is an abundance of green grass and places for the kids to play safely. I loved getting a sneak peak of Liyone's giggles and laughs while he had the chance to run and act crazy.