Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ethiopian Coffee...SoooOOO good!

Last Sunday, we attended church at what I'll just refer to as our Ethiopian Church. The last 2 times, David has brought his acoustic guitar and sang worship songs for all 3 of the classes of kids from 2 to 11 years old. Now when he comes, their eyes light up and ask him if he is going to sing today. David replies that he is going to sing and they respond, "Yesssssss!" It is so cute. I volunteered in the toddler class with about 20 boys and girls. I had 2 girls ending up attached to me by the end of the class and you know I loved it. They would be the ages of our girls. The frilliness, the dresses, the shoes....they are just so adorable. Just any girl stuff to me is so new and fun. Their personalities are so much fun.

After church, we took up the offer of our friend Mesfin and his wife to have lunch at their home. She, Genat, had prepared traditional Ethiopian food which was really good. Chicken in a dark sauce, spicy vegetables and of course the infamous injera bread. It felt really strange to eat with my hands. I was doing what I'd been taught NOT to do for 40-something years. The boys had no problem with that...gee? Ya think? They also ordered pizza in case the boys didn't like the food, but they did like most of it.

Mesfin's wife, Genat, is a nurse. Very modest and easy to talk with. We really enjoyed talking with them after lunch as the boys played with their 2 girls the same ages as our boys. Really fantastic conversation about many things. They came here 13 years ago. They also have a 2 year old little boy. It was neat to see how well the 2 older sisters took care of their little brother. I was hoping it would rub off on the boys. As we talked about lots of things after lunch, we felt like we really connected with them on a spiritual level. This was no surprise to me. When I think back to the very first time I met Mesfin at our local post office back in November, I knew what kind of a man he was then.

He apparently LoooOOOves pizza!

...and he'll show it to you too! Loves it!

I asked Genat if she uses Ethiopian coffee. She said yes, which led me to ask if she could make some while I was there cause I'd been reading and seeing so much about it. I asked her if she made it like they do in Ethiopia. She said yes and offered to make some. A resounding YES was my response. I watched intently as she prepared this for us. She gave some to me to make at home too, so I took these pictures so you can see the beans. Not dark like ours are they?

She took these beans that were very light green in color, roasted them in a pan on the stove, ground them, then brewed the coffee in a small metal coffee pot on the stove. Incense was burned in the living room where we would have the coffee. As I've seen in many Ethiopian videos, the "Coffee Ceremony" is just what I've described. It's all fresh, the beans are sometimes picked right off the plant that sometimes people have very near their home, and it is always brewed totally fresh from the bean to the cup. When she roasted it, it didn't smell like coffee, rather just the burning of the bean. I wasn't sure if I'd like it and I'm a very big coffee drinker, but without adding cream, just sugar, I found it to be REALLY good. It reminded me of a really good Starbucks espresso. I had several cups actually, the cups are small, and I felt bad cause she had to make some more. I guess I really liked it! She is so sweet and lovely. We could have spent hours more with them, but we wanted to be invited back, so we did actually go home at a decent hour! We will host them at our home next time and we'll make Australian pasties (we'll leave out the vegimite!) and pavlova for dessert. YummmmmO!

I might have to have their 13 year old help us here to translate or teach us Amharic. This is my biggest concern when the girls get here is how will we communicate. I'm thinking of making flash cards or ordering some so we can all learn together. Not just for novelty sake, but because I hear that that is one of the most stressful parts when you bring your new child home...trying to relay things back and forth and yet...everything is so new to them anyway.

Ohhhhhh...I just felt like life is so rich when I meet people like this. What a blessing they will be to our new little girls when they come home. What a blessing...I thank God! Really.


Anonymous said...

wow, what a lovely lunch! I love cultural experiences like that. Your girls will have an amazing extended family and it will be such a blessing for them.
Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Anonymous said...

so awesome...we broke down and bought an ethiopian coffee pot while there, best purchase of my life!!!!! and it was very some of the un-roasted beans, haven't been brave enough/or had enough time to roast them...hopefully soon! so happy you have these beautiful people in your lives!

Lisa W. said...

Hi Caleb & Becca,
I'm so glad you stopped by my blog. I think yours was one of the first ones I started reading back in November. Your daughter is absolutely adorable. What a journey you two have had. Let me know what you think of the coffee. I should probably pick up an ET coffee pot too. I'd like to know what kind you have...perhaps you can post it? Visit again!

Sherry said...

Oh how blessed you are to have such a wonderful community right there to help you celebrate the girls' heritage. I am slightly envious!

Lisa W. said...

Yes...we are blessed to have that. I guess I've just taken it for granted that everyone would have this in their community. I feel so fortunate!