Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mesgana Dancers

Every now and then the girls will ask me to bring up You Tube and find something Ethiopia. Today we stumbled across this dance troupe of young Ethiopian girls. As we watched, Marin began narrating to me............

" I know that song. We used to do that one to get food. We sing and dance and tell the people our belly is hungry."

" That girl is saying she misses her Mommy. When she does this (moves her hands and arms a certain way) she is thinking about hugging her Mommy"

" This dance is about asking for a drink. The girls is thirsty. Very thirsty."

" These girls are playing a game like baseball. Not baseball but like baseball. The bat is not round." (I think she is saying Cricket but does not know the English word for Cricket)"

" These girls are planting seeds to grow food and then they are singing to the sky to make rain for their food."

The detail and nuance Marin went into as she continued really caught me by surprise. She was very calmly narrating the action. The fact that she spoke in a continuous stream without any pause to think about what she was saying added to her credibility. Now I wonder whether she and her friends might have done some street performing/begging to get food.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Genet Asefa, Awassa, 2-07 Kebele Ethiopia

The girls have an older sister, Genet, who they have never mentioned until this week. Now she is all they want to talk about. We cannot fill in any of the blanks for the girls because we know nothing about Genet, we did not meet her when we travelled, and we have no photos of her. So Genet is this big open canvas that the girls invent and reinvent as the days go by. Some days Genet wears a dress, other days pants, long hair, short hair, braided, not braided, etc. etc. .

The girls include Genet in their playtime now. For example, when they are playing kitchen or tea party, they make a meal for Genet or they set a place for her at the table. It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.

Colleen and I make up little sing song rhymes about the girls, and now the girls sing the songs about Genet. For example:

I know a girl named Genet
She is a beautiful girl
She has a beautiful smile and
She has beautiful curls.
laaa lala laalaalaa

I think the message here to parents adopting older kids is - you never know when the next layer of the onion is going to peel back. Our girls have never mentioned Genet and we were certain they had either never known Genet or had totally forgotten her. Now, 21 months into the adoption and over two years after being relinquished to the orphanage, Genet is alive and well in their minds and imaginations.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

High School Mascot

I took the girls to their first high school football game today. Our mascot is the Windham Eagle. At half time I took the girls down to the sideline to watch the cheerleaders, the band, and to get a photo with the mascot. Emmy and Marin wait until we are face to face with the Eagle to ask me......

Emmy: "Daddy, why is he looking like a penguin?"

Marin: "Daddy, what is that turkey thing right there?"

How embarrassing.