Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Ethiopia is not only a large area , about the size of France, Germany and Spain combined, its altitudinal range is from a hundred metres below sea level -- one of the hottest spots on earth -- to over four and a half thousand, the summit of Africa's fourth highest mountain. This altitude range is divided into three zones: daga, woina daga and kolla, corresponding to highlands, middlelands and lowlands.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
When I picked Little Sister up she was so tiny and frail. Her head was about three times the weight of the rest of her. She could barely hold her head up. The number one thing I was concerned about with her was her health. I forgot all of the attachment things I was supposed to be doing and threw myself into getting her healthy. I am sure it played a part in my failing to nurse her. I would have fed her anything she would eat at that moment. I knew she needed food, I knew she needed caring for. I was extremely scared for her. And I was alone. With the other two kids with me too. I put Little Sister is the moby and tried the best I could to balance the three kids.
I had every intention of allowing her to sleep with me - well, with us since there was only one bed and we were all in it. But she did not sleep that way and the wonderful woman who owns the Yeka Guesthouse gave us a crib to help. So, Little Sister went in the crib. Now that is the second thing in my "bag of tricks" to facilitate attachment that I have failed to do. *sigh* But she is sleeping well and within just a few days I can already tell she is gaining weight. This is good.
After just a few more days I start to realize that I need to push her towards doing more than being a lump. This means I must put her down. I must get her some floor time. So, I get all the kids on the floor and I start working on getting Little Sister to sit up. And she DOES!! After just a few tries she gets it. She starts to sit there and happily watch Big Brother and Big Sister play. They, of course, are running around with the mini hockey sticks we managed to get in our bag and a piece of balled up paper. They all seem to be having fun.
I sit back and I watch. And I start thinking about all the reading I did on attachment and how I am doing everything wrong. Breastfeeding fosters attachment but that is not working, Co-sleeping fosters attachment but that does not seem to work, carrying her fosters attachment and okay I am carrying her plenty but I am also encouraging her to spend time playing independently. Each and every one of these decisions feels right individually but when I put them all together I wonder - am I hurting her ability to attach to us?
Time goes on, we come home and I'm still wrestling with these things. I am so torn. I do not know when to concern myself with her overall health and well being and when to concentrate on bonding and attachment. Once we are home Big Sister seems to realize that this fun new baby is here to stay and starts having days where all she wants is me. I have to try to balance the two. I am so lost. It starts to be especially bad when we are out. The minute I pick up Little Sister Big Sister starts to throw herself around and need me to pick her up. It is exhausting.
We have some wonderful friends who are more than willing to take Little Sister and snuggle her and give her some attention and love while I try to calm Big Sister down. I start to notice how frequently Little Sister is being held by someone else. She does not mind. She is happy that way. She likes people. She is super friendly. But does that hurt bonding? Will she not attach to us if I keep letting other people hold her? I try to draw the line. I try to not give into Big Sister as much. It seems to backfire. Big Sister gets harder to handle. She gets more clingy. And this forces me to rethink the whole thing.
I mean I can see Little Sister attaching to us. I can see the bonding. I see the way she now claps her hands when Hubby walks in after work. I see the way she reaches for us. I see the way her sweet face lights up when I smile at her. She did not smile for the first month or so of being with us. This picture is not the first time she smiled at us but it is the first picture I have of her really smiling - and it was taken almost two months after I picked her up. I do not let anyone else feed her. Or bathe her. Or changing her. Or make her feel better when she is upset. Or do any of the most basic care things for her. Those are some of the big things that I have retained from my bonding and attachment reading.
But mostly I have calmed down. All of a sudden one day I remembered something someone said to me when I was concerned about Big Sister. When I thought she would never walk because she was always in the moby someone told me to calm down that we never see kids who are not walking at three because their moms are holding them. So, I decided to translate that to this situataion and cut myself some slack. I mean really if we fast forward two years (which is about the time that most books say it takes to foster a strong and permanent bond and attachment) do I actualy believe she will not be bonded to us because I have allowed other people to hold her? Would that be true if I had given birth to her? Of course not!! And so she will be my friendliest child. She will be the one that is happy to stay with a friend while I take Big Sister to the bathroom or run an errand. And that's okay - it does not mean she loves us any less. The fact that she does not cling to me like crazy and refuse to let anyone else hold her does not mean she is not bonding - it only means that she is friendly.
Monday, March 22, 2010
This will serve 10.
3 pounds of beef cubed
3 large onions chopped
5 tsps minced garlic
vegetable oil to simmer onion & garlic
2 tsps minced or powdered ginger ( I prefer minced!)
1-2 tsps of turmeric
2 tsps of Alicha Kimem (I purchase mine from EthiopianSpices)
2 tsp salt
Enough water (depending on how much meat you use) to make it a thick stew.
In a large pot, simmer onion and garlic with oil till lightly browned. Add turmeric and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes at low heat. Stir occasionally. Add beef and water and let simmer until beef is done. When done , add Alicha Kimem and salt. Serve hot with injera!
Next time I make it, I’ll add a picture!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
- Generic ibuprofen or Advil for the nannies
- School supplies
- Toddler clothing
- Kids DVDs
- Baby soap, baby shampoo, lotion and hand sanitizer are used alot and hard to come by in Ethiopia
- Selsun Blue to help control ringworm
- Toddler clothing
- Fresh fruit bought in Ethiopia
- Bring a scarf to cover your nose and mouth while driving when the pollution seems worst.
- Pack over-the-counter allergy medicines to potentially take daily
- Allergy medicine to help with pollution
- Motion sickness medicine (Dramamine) for stop/start, jerky car rides
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Ethiopian coffee ceremony is one of the most enjoyable event you can attend at an Ethiopian Restaurant. The coffee is taken through its full life cycle of preparation in front of you in a ceremonial manner. Coffee is called 'Bunna' (boo-na) by the Ethiopians.
The ceremony starts with the woman, first bringing out the washed coffee beans and roasting them in a coffee roasting pan on small open fire/coal furnace. The pan is similar to an old fashioned popcorn roasting pan and it has a very long handle to keep the hand away from the heat. At this time most of your senses are being involved in the ceremony, the woman will be shaking the roasting pan back and forth so the beans won't burn (this sounds like shaking coins in a tin can), the coffee beans start to pop (sounds like popcorn) and the most memorable is the preparer takes the roasted coffee and walks it around the room so the smell of freshly roasted coffee fills the air ...
As you sip your first cup of coffee, you've gone through the full process of watching seeing the coffee beans being washed, roasted, grinded, boiled & now the culmination you're drinking them. By now the process is finished at most restaurants, but traditionally Ethiopians stick around to get at least a second serving of coffee and sometimes a third.
The second and third serving are important enough that each serving has a name, first serving is called "Abol"; second serving is "Huletegna"(second) and third serving is "Bereka". The coffee is not grinded for the second and third serving, a portion of coffee powder is left on purpose for these two ceremonies.
Monday, March 15, 2010
- Musical instruments (like a drum)
- CDs and DVDs
- Books written in Amharic
- Traditional outfits
- Ethiopian bed pillow
- Ethiopian rag doll (sold in the Mercato in the clothing stalls in large baskets on the floor)
- Fabric (to make pillows, cover photo albums or journals, headbands, etc. once back home)
- Silver jewelry (which is weighed to determine the purchase price so when you find a design that you like, ask the salesperson bring out several of that same design to compare the weight before purchase). If you ask, the salesperson will place the jewerly in a tiny yarn woven basket which is a gift itself.
- Beads (to make bracelet or necklaces once back home)
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
- Lots of packages of baby wipes (what you don't use, you can leave with the care center)
- White noise machine
- Flashlight or headlamp (in case of power outages at the guesthouse)
- Kid's backpack with new toys
- Bottles with disposable drop-ins
- Liquid formula for the flights home
- Realize that the guest houses won't have bumbos/swings/high chairs, etc...I think that if you have room fitting some kind of bumboish chair in your luggage would be great advice....especially if you are picking up more than one child or are only one parent
- If switching formula, know that there will be blow-outs and you do not have access
to laundry like you do in the US. Diapers and formula were the only things we
bought that were fairly comparable to US prices...so take that into account when
planning money if you are planning on buying them there
- Take probiotics before you leave and while you are in Ethiopia. Check Whole Foods or GNC and look for ones that do not need to be refridgerated
- Also consider Grapefruit Seed Extract which is a nutribiotic
- Have help ready to stay the night for 2-3 days after you return home. Don't underestimate jet-lag and possible travel stomach bugs that could affect you (and your child's transition) once you are home
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
- "I used the cell phone that the Ethiopia Guest Home gave us. We set up an account back home (direction on the EGH website), and we had prearranged times that my husband would call me. It worked fine. It was incredibly expensive for me to call the US, even using the Ethiopian cell phone."
- "I researched getting a loaner/global phone for my Verizon account, but it was also VERY expensive. I think others did that successfully and the service worked pretty well."
- "I had my phone turned on so that I could call and receive calls on my regular cell phone. It was absurdly expensive but I wanted it in case of an emergency. I recommend doing that just in case. You just call your carrier and let them know where you are going and when."
- "Once I was there I used a cell phone that Mittin (Abebe's assistant) provided me - the guesthouse helped me get calling cards. Although what was cheapest was for my family to call me. They got calling cards (from http://www.afrikacard.com/) and called the guesthouse - this way we were only paying one way."
- " We were able to email and skype our family at home. (when the power was not out. -that really only happened our last few days-Addis is on a rotating outage, meaning that it rotates who will be without power) We also called a couple of times on skype just for a few minutes, I can't remember how much it cost for the skype phone call-the video skype is free. We had never skyped before, but it was very easy! When the power was out, we were able to use a cell phone from the front desk at the Yebsabi to make local calls."
- "We took our daughter with us, so the only people we contacted back home was our parents, and we did this through email and texting. We found out that it was VERY expensive to call on our cell phones, but texting was only .50 for outgoing and incoming is free if you have texting on your plan. It worked very well for us!!"
- "I brought my laptop. I brought a converter. I used the internet at the guesthouse on the guesthouse computer though."
- "WE WERE UNABLE TO USE OUR LAPTOP FOR EMAIL, BUT DID USE IT TO DOWNLOAD PICTURES. WE DID NEED A CONVERTER. WE USED THE GUEST HOUSE COMPUTER AND IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH."
- "We did take our laptop and converter/adapter. It worked well in our room and we were glad we had it to download our pictures and videos to as a back up. The computer in the lobby at the Yebsabi works well too."
"We took our laptop but was unable to use it at The Yeka. You will need a converter though, if you plan to use it for anything else.
The computer at The Yeka was sufficient, however there is only one for the entire guest house, so it may not always be available."
- "I was able to load blogger without a problem. I updated my blog from there several times. I did set up the email function beforehand because I had heard I would not be able to get into blogger but I never had a single problem."
- "I did set up the publish from email to be able to post on my blog. I just attached pictures to my email and it worked! You can only post one or 2 pictures on each blogpost when you are doing it from email."
- "WE SET UP PUBLISH FROM EMAIL AND IT WORKED GREAT. WE DID NOT SEND PHOTOS UNTIL WE GOT HOME."
Monday, March 8, 2010
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
2 cups cooked Chick Peas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 tsp. Tumeric
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Ginger
1 1/2 - 2 cups Water
1) Cook Onions in Oil until clear.
2) Add Chick Peas, Tumeric, and 1 1/2 - 2 cups Water
3) Cook for 20 minutes
4) Add Garlic and Ginger
5) Cook until soft
6) Mash (or use blender or food processor to process until smooth)
Thanks so much to betumi.com for providing lots of parts of this recipe!