Thursday, January 25, 2007

Our Final Day- Shintabet

Well, this was our fifth and final day in Addis. We couldn't see our kids until 5:00 and we had to check out of our hotel in the morning so we figured we'd just explore the Shoa Market some more, eat, check our email, etc. until it was time. If my blog made you cry yesterday, hopefully it will make you laugh today!

It was lunch time and so we stopped at a little restaurant where we sat outside to eat. The waiter used his best English to tell us that he didn't have an English menu. We replied, "Amharenya eshi." He brought it, and while I could read it, this was only mildly helpful since I didn't know what most of the things on the menu were. I'm a very slow nonfunctional literate when it comes to Amharic! We just asked for fasting food knowing that was probably safer than ordering meat. You see, I'm not really a big meat eater as it is and I really have a hard time making myself swallow meat when it's tough, chewy, fatty, or greasy. The fasting food was absolutely delicious though! And we tried a mostly clear soda called "ambo." It seems to be all the rage. Some people mix their regular soda with ambo. I thought it was basically tasteless and when I mixed it with my coke, it just watered it down. But I couldn't leave without at least trying it!

So, after we ate I really had to use the bathroom. As in, waiting until 5:00 so that I could use the orphanage bathroom wasn't an option, as that was 5 hours away! Finding a bathroom hadn't really been a problem all week because we had always just used our hotel room bathroom. Now that we had checked out though and no longer had a room, this was a problem. The restaurant was behind a gate and I could tell that the back portion of the little compound was living quarters with small shacks that all opened up into a central courtyard. As I scoped it out, I saw a sign that read "Shintabet" (bathroom) and I thought that this was so perfect. Just to make sure, I asked the waiter if I could use the shintabet and he motioned for me to go back. I followed the sign and found myself in the family's courtyard, but I didn't see a bathroom. I asked some of the women, "Shintabet yet now yallo?" (Where is the bathroom?) and they pointed me in the right direction. I walked back a very narrow passageway between two shacks. I pretended that the stream of liquid flowing down the passageway was water. Only water. Only water. Only water is what I kept telling myself. So, at the end of the passageway there were three tiled "closets." I could hear that somebody was in one of the "stalls" so I peeked into the next one. It was a tiled room with absolutely nothing in it. Perhaps this is where you just pee? I really have no idea what it was for, so I didn't go in. The floor was wet though. Again, I am sure it was only water! Yes, I'm sure that's it. In fact, they had probably just cleaned and sanitized it and it simply hadn't had a chance to dry out yet! I looked into the third stall and saw that it was a tiled closet with a hole in the ground. Okay. I can do this I thought to myself. After all, I really have to go. Waiting for another 5 hours just isn't an option. It will be have to do this. I decided to go in...until I noticed that a previous person was evidently having a stomach problem and also a problem with their aim. I saw the pile of caca (send me a private email if you need an English translation!) on the floor just before I stepped in. Okay. I just couldn't do it. I quickly walked back through the passage way with WATER running down it. I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do about my own personal dilemma, but I knew I couldn't solve it here! Avery was nice enough to walk a very long way to The Great Rendezvous, a more western-style shopping building. I had carried a tiny roll of toilet paper with me all week, but that particular day we had left all of our luggage, including the toilet paper, at the orphanage. So, much to my dismay there was no soft (toilet paper) at the Rendezvous. Oh well. At least it wasn't a hole in the ground with caca next to it and a stream of WATER leading up to it! :)

Now, since I don't really feel like crying today and since I'm sure my readers don't want to cry every time they read my blog, I'll save our last hour with Yosef and Mihret for another day. I mean, I have real-life obligations such as laundry to take care of and I'm not so productive if I'm crying about these kids! Tomorrow. :)


lily said...

Now I remember why we alway used the hotel restroom. :)

5KidMom said...

I couldn't have done it either (even if it was just WATER)!!!