We decided to go to the Nesbit Blueberry Plantation and pick some blueberries. We were amazed at how plentiful and LARGE they were. They are extremely tasty too! We've got visions of blueberry cream cheese muffins. We picked over 3 gallons in 30 minutes. Ana had a great time and picked a full 1/2 gallon by herself. Amazing! (Karla we're bringing some for you!)
My mother got it into her head that Ana needed a motorized vehicle. And, to be fair, there is a huge backyard to ride it in. (Fred and Betsy this will be coming to Indiana too--so be ready!) So after Wednesday night prayer meeting they went to pick it up. It had to charge for 18 hours--so she couldn't use it until the afternoon. It was tough keeping it a secret that long! We left it in low gear at first, but once we saw she could steer it, etc. we let her go. You should have heard her laugh as she took off! Tomorrow I'm putting her to work hauling hedge clippings! After Grandma got done mowing they played a rousing game of lawnmower tag. (Sorry the photo is so far away, I had my fixed lens on!) Pretty funny to watch!
My girl is a strange one! Here she contentedly played with play dough (using chocolate molds and star wars stampers--what a combo!) while wearing a hair dying cap. In fact she wore that awful thing all day and then forgot about (thank goodness)!
She's been asking frequently to "climb" the tree. This really means pick me up and set me on the branch. She does set there for a while!
One thing I love about being out in the country is that you can explore nature everyday. We try to show Ana nature in Singapore (and Singapore has a lot of gardens/parks). But, it's just not the same as being able to go into your back yard with a magnifying glass and look at the different parts of a plant. So, hooray for summer and lots of time outdoors!
We've been doing different things to get Ana outside (even though it has been around 100 every day!) She had a great time at a local playground with a pirate ship playground. She tried all the difficult climbing things (which scared her grandma) and went down all the slides. We also took a short walk on a paved path.
She just discovered today that she can ride her tricycle down the hill with no effort. She did that about 15 times. It's nice too because the drive is almost always shaded by the large trees in the yard.
Ana had a lot of fun with the great grandparents. When she's around anyone who is louder and crazier than herself, it's always a shock to her system! While Ana was taking a nap we cut down dead trees/branches, had a fantastic bar-be-que lunch, and then talked a while before they began their three hour drive home.
Ana got to spend a morning with Aunt Meg and Uncle Jeremy. They managed to keep her pretty busy (which was nice!) She had a great time blowing bubbles, being pushed in the stroller, chasing Uncle, and talking her head off. Thanks for coming to visit.
Ana is driving!! We were doing some yard work and Grandpa let her steer the tractor. After a while I think she had it pretty much figured out! I'm trying to keep her outdoors as much as possible. It is quite warm here, but no where near as humid as Singapore!
This was a difficult day. We spent just 4 days with the kids and then already had to say goodbye. China and Mitike have already experienced so much loss in their life, it seems like this system just causes more fear and a sense of loss in their lives. Anyway, Abebe, the guest house guy, read and explained our letter to them. They didn't cry, but wouldn't look us in the eye. Abebe said that they were holding their feelings in. I cried. It is so hard to wait for two years, have a taste, and then walk away. Some mothers of some of the younger children are even planning to go back and stay for three weeks or so before their visa date. It was tempting to stay! Afterwards, we went shopping with Abebe and his classmate. We paid him a fee and then he bargained for us and took us where we wanted to go. We went to a local market, a coffee shop, a silver store, and then too lunch. Ana and I share a pizza, Matt had an egg sandwich, and the guys shared a hamburger, ingera, and lamb. It was another great place that we wouldn't have experienced if we didn't have a local guide! We had a peaceful afternoon packing and then ate dinner with the family at the guest house. Then, it was off to the airport. The airport is quite nice, but you do have to wait in some long lines and be scanned a couple of times! We had to wait for quite a while in a contained seating area. I would have liked it much better if you could go out to the bathroom! Ethiopia is a fantastic place. The people are warm and friendly and sincere. We hope to spend a lot more time there in the future!