Saturday, September 22, 2007

She's a Beach Girl!

After a night of driving six hours, checking into our hotel, getting a young toddler settled into an unfamiliar crib, and sneaking out the hotel's pool towels (of course we didn't think to pack our own), we were ready to head to the beach. Armed with oh so cute swim attire, Miss Addison finally had her beach debut.

The verdict...She loved it and took 1st prize in the swimsuit competition. This babe wasted no time digging her beach ready feet deep into the sand

and had a blast building sandcastles with us.

Yes, we have discovered that our sweetie is a beach girl. After awhile, she tried out her beginning walking skills. That didn't work in the thick sand so she did what she does best when the walking thing gets too complicated --- crawl!

Miss Addison was a little more reserved with her excitement about chillin' on a float navigated by her daddy. She was somewhat unsure about being in what must have felt like a giant bathtub without bounderies. After a couple of minutes of taking in the sights, smells, and sounds, our beach babe relaxed, smiled, and allowed her hands to glide through the salty water. Of course she took this opportunity to sample the water by licking her hands. I guess she was thirsty from the free sand samples! After about fifteen minutes of floating, our beach babe almost dozed off! I think this girl understands what vacations are all about! Watching Addison perched upon that bright pink float in that beautiful blue-green water was such a Kodak moment.

By the second day, Addison had to admit to herself that sand isn't so palatable so instead she devoted her time to sifting, pouring and rubbing sand over her skin. Well it's never too soon to learn the benefits of exfoliating!
During those two days at the beach, I couldn't help but think about how far we've come as a family. My thoughts bounced between wondering what Addison would be doing if she were still in Ethiopia, to wondering what Aaron and I would be doing if we didn't have this darling girl in our life. But there's one thing I know for sure. Florida's beaches are wonderful, but watching Addison discover new things brings pure sunshine into our lives regardless of where we are.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ethiopia Celebrates their Millennium!

Miss Addison took part in a very important celebration last week. She was in the mix celebrating Ethiopia’s Millennium. O.K., so I’m about a week late with this post, but I wanted to share a report from the BBC News in Addis Ababa explaining why Ethiopia is just now celebrating their millennium. People in Ethiopia celebrated the New Year on September 12th. It was the start of the year 2000 and the beginning of millennium celebrations. The reason why they are celebrating more than seven years after the rest of the world is rooted in Ethiopian history and in the beliefs of its own Christian Orthodox Church. Educated Ethiopians live comfortably in two calendars. Prior to September 12, it was still 1999. However, there is the complication caused by the leap years in the two calendars being out of sync. But even if they are quite at home with the Western calendar, Ethiopians show no sign of wanting to abandon their own. Thirteen months is part of their national identity, not to mention allowing their tourist industry to boast that they can offer visitors 13 months of sunshine.
The short 13th month is just one of the tell-tale signs that Ethiopians took their calendar from ancient Egypt. Another is the date of New Year, originally linked to the annual flood which brought new life to the Nile Valley. But none of this explains why the millennium is seven years late; why Ethiopians think that it is 2000 and not 2007 years since the birth of Christ. Conservative culture Ahmed Zakaria, professor of history at Addis Ababa University says the reason is that the Roman Church amended their calculation in 500 AD - adjusting it by seven or eight years. The Patriarch says Ethiopia became isolated from Europe"So we are seven or eight years later than the Roman calculation, so that's the difference that came in." The recalculation of the birth of Christ was just the first of a number of changes in the rest of the world which the Ethiopian church ignored. It is partly because the country was so remote and isolated, but also, says the current patriarch, Abuna Paulos I, because Ethiopian Christians are intensely conservative. "People are not inclined for any reformations, especially when it comes to religion. "They are very much loyal - to change one sentence is a betrayal as far as they are concerned."So because of this, they have been isolated. They have been loyal to their faith and they have maintained their own traditions." So there you have it. Happy Millennium Ethiopia!
Above are photos of Addison celebrating the Millennium at Meskerem - a great Ethiopian restaurant. In the first photo, she's enjoying the attention of two waitresses. In the next one, she's doing what she does best...striking a pose for the camera.