We visited the big kids house this AM. Meron came running out of the sun porch and across the courtyard to me. She had this great smile going and we played for awhile.
Then, suddenly, Meron was scared to death of me. She went into a panic, screamed hysterically, and curled into a fetal position. This was immediately after one of the Nannies said something to her in Amharic. I believe the Nanny said something about the guesthouse and that set Meron off. So we left to give Meron some space.
This afternoon we commandeered the van, Mulat the driver, and several of the nannies to take the older kids swimming at the Hilton. It was supposed to be Yohannes and Rowina, Abrahm and Rahel, Abdit, and Nathaniel. Lidet's mother said 'No'. Then we had, Tsehaye, this little stowaway hiding between Yohannes and Abrahm. Nobody had the heart to kick her out.
The kids had a ball in the pool, and Pete and I had a ball playing with them. They are so well mannered and well behaved. They really enjoy each other and they really appreciate having opportunities to do cool stuff.
I'm not sure the Hilton was happy with us bringing a vanful of orphans to their pool, with its deck littered with socialites and jetsetters. One snotty guard looked down his nose at us and asked who was going to pay the pool membership fee. Believe me, next time we are bringing six vans full of kids and we will plan to stay longer than an hour and a half. In fact, we may stay for lunch or dinner.
Back to the big kids house. This is the last night before we leave to come home. We have to get the girls to spend the night with us. Meron is just totally bummed, like a zombie. We take her into a den and start talking to her. No response. The social worker comes and speaks Amharic to her. No resposne. We offer her cookies and soda. No response. We are just heartbroken trying to imagine all the thoughts and confusion racing through her little head.
Finally the social worker suggests bringing in one of Meron's girlfriends, Rowina, to speak with her. Rowinia comes and tries to get Meron to sing or dance. No response. To play cards. No response. Finally, we ask Rowina to ask Meron what is wrong. Meron slowly looks up at Rowina, rolls her eyes, and says (in Amharic) "I am so bored in here. Why can't we just go outside and play?"
I was so happy with relief that I didn't even care. It's killing me to think I've known Meron for less than a week and she already owns me.