As many of you know, last weekend was Ethiopian New Year. It is now 2003 in Ethiopia since they follow a different calendar than we do. As part of my love for Ethiopia and commitment to teach Jacob about his birth culture and history, we celebrate the new year every year. I try to arrange for us to do something related to Ethiopia where I can teach him a little about his birth country and culture.
Saturday the boys and I went with our friends, Lana and Andrea, to the Milwaukee zoo. I hadn't been there in about three years so I decided it was time. We had a great time looking at the animals and talking about what part of the world they live in. We talked about the animals that originate in Ethiopia and a little about the land and how people interact with the animals there. Jacob enjoyed looking at the world maps and pointing out where Ethiopia and America are while I showed him where the animal we were looking at was from. It was fun to see him start to realize just how big and yet small the world really is.
Sunday we went to a gathering with the local Ethiopian community and Ethiopian adoption community. One elderly gentleman came over to say hi to Jacob and M. Jacob casually smiled, held out his hand and said hi just like he has been taught to greet adults. The man immediately got tears in his eyes as he bent down, whispered something in Amharic and gave Jacob a hug. Jacob hugged him back and thanked the man. I'm not really sure why the man was so touched by Jacob's simple gesture but I know we made his night and brought him a moment of happiness. I saw the man later just sitting and watching the children play. He didn't seem to speak much English and just enjoyed watching the children have fun. Of course, we also ate Ethiopian food which was delicious and Jacob got a chance to mingle with other Ethiopian Americans, young and old.