We had a great time at the Ethiopian Restaurant Ras Dashen. The food was wonderful! We could smell the strong scents of berbere and shiro in the air as we were seated. (We were even able to go to the little Ethiopian market next door and purchase these unique spices for H and I to have our own Doro Wat "Throw Down"!) As soon as we walked in, H's eyes twinkled as she heard the first notes of Teddy Afro and called out, "Mom! I know this one!" And the people...my husband came home from Addis raving about the grace and beauty of the Ethiopian people and their sheer hospitality. Apparently, coming to America these things are not lost in the translation. Everyone was kind and cordial. The waitress tried cajoling Baby T, who is a bit of a momma's boy, I admit (selfish grin!), but he wanted no part of it. H, however, ordered for the whole table and before we left had made friends with the people at the table next to us and was making plans to go back again. We were even invited into the back of the restaurant (to a large, party sort of room) to meet the children of the waitress and the owner's husband. (The owner herself was already out front with our ever-increasing group and trying, without success, to make friends with Baby T.)
We were also given information about the Midwest Ethiopian Adoption Reunion held this past summer in Wisconsin. This event was sponsored by the Ethio-America Community Service Agency (EACSA) who develops and support opportunities for cultural and educational exchanges between the population of the USA and Ethiopia. We left with their flier as well as the name of three local contact people, who have also adopted from Ethiopia and are involved in the planning of this event.
We're already planning to go back! It was so wonderful to see H in her element, as it were. She even said to me once we were on the way home, "Mom, I think so everyone there is from Ethiopia. They all speak Amharic." (Ed. note: I'm fairly certain that the young Asian couple a few tables away was probably not from Ethiopia, but you never know, right?!)