Let me start this post by saying that 99% of our days here are so very normal.  We do similar things to what we would in the US, i.e. cooking, taking care of little ones, homeschool, etc.  We have a lot of fun and make a lot of noise, but nothing too wild and crazy.  Today, though, was one of those 1% days.

It all began with a simple appointment.  I needed to be at the doctor’s office across town by 2 pm.  No problem.  We planned to leave our house mid-morning, have a yummy Ethiopian lunch, and then head over to the appointment.  Well, it just so happened that the Lord had a more important schedule for our morning!  Through a series of circumstances, we ended up with a very broken, young African girl as an overnight guest.  After some discussion this morning, she decided to follow the Lord in a serious way.  Praise the Lord!  So, “Pa” (who knew her best) began to teach her some basics of the faith while I was putting on shoes and getting things together for our outing.  Then, we were able to baptize her in our backyard (using large water bottles since we have no tub!).  🙂  We rejoiced with her, blessed her, made an appointment to see her later this week, and headed out the door! 

On our very first bus ride, we sat near a very chatty, however, tipsy African man.  He began by guessing our country of origin–Sweden, France, UK, etc.  When he found out we are Americans, though, he had many, many interesting questions for us.  He wanted to know how long it takes to travel from Kansas to California, how you travel mostly in the US, if Hollywood was a real city, if the buildings in the movies were actually blown up in real life, etc.  Then he wanted to know about the difference in taste in Coke from here and there.  He was also very insistent that we greet Obama for him and his country.  When Pa made it clear that we don’t know our President personally, he was equally insistent that we “put it on the web.”  When it was time to “alight,” or get off the bus, he got  off in front of us.  Another man (we’re unsure where he came from) then procedes to “jump” this guy who had been talking to us.  There was a whole lot of yelling in another language, some slamming on the ground (actually in the middle of the street), more yelling, a head butt, more yelling.  Pa kept trying to find out what was going on.  Apparently, it was thought that he had stolen something.  In such situations, mob justice is common here.  Finally, the man drug the drunk guy and put him back on the bus and got on with him.  We stood there for a few minutes, dumbfounded and saddened by what we had just seen (while the whole time I was trying to get the girls to look at something else!).  Then, we had to move on since we had been stuck in traffic and were a bit behind schedule. 

We got on our next bus, which was fairly uneventful, except for being rather scrunched.  We sat, all 6 of us, in a space meant for 2.  Traffic was again a problem and we began to realize we were not going to make it to lunch before the appointment time.  Sadly, we had gone way out of the way of the hospital in order to get to the restaurant.  So, we had to take another bus to the center of town.  From there, we grabbed bus #4 for the day to go straight to the hospital.  The girls were real troopers, especially since we had left the house 2 hours previously and still had not given them anything to eat or drink.  It was past lunch time and nap time before we ever got to the appointment.  Thankfully the visit to the doctor was fast, easy, and normal.  Pa took the girls to a cafe in the hospital for a snack while I was there, so by the time I was done, we were all happy and ready to move on to our happy Ethiopian restaurant.  None of us was ready to get back on a bus, though, so we chose the much more expensive taxi to get there.

We had a great “linner” as “Mary” kept calling it.  We love this little restaurant, it’s so yummy and really fairly priced.  So, we enjoyed it and then prepared for the adventure of the trip home. 

We hopped the next bus, which was bigger, much more comfortable, and “roomy,” which means that we actually got 3 seats instead of 2.  🙂  This one took us back to the city center so that we could catch the bus home.  As we were “alighting” from this bus, “Laura” was in front of me, with everyone else behind.  Someone helped her off, and, as I hit the last step, the bus began rolling forward.  As it continued, I watched Laura get a look of terror on her sweet little face as her Mommy (and the rest of her family) began to leave her on the road with some random African man.  I tried to comfort her as the bus began to stop again.  During all this, Pa was stuck in the aisle with the other girls and could do nothing but yell, “HEY!”  I am thankful for that random African man, though, because it could have been very dangerous for Laura had she stepped off and just stood there waiting for me (he had carried her a few steps beyond the bus).  Finally, my heart (and hers) settled and we could move on.   

The final bus was also uneventful, but, again, scrunched, and we sat in traffic for a long while.  We were one happy family to finally stumble in our front door, get snacks, and get the girls to bed.  Praise the Lord we made it!!

As crazy as the day was, we love these memories and will definitely be telling them for years to come!