Yesterday afternoon, after a HUGE nap, Alex and I returned to the Big Kids' House. We were slightly refreshed after the nap, though a little groggy, and a bit apprehensive. The greetings and partings have been so wrought with the boys, it's hard to be gung-ho all of the time. We had a sustaining sort of snack, as Pooh would say, and were off down the street to see Habtamu and Lire.
It was bath time, and Lire was in the bath and Habtamu was about to have his turn. I heard Lire's screams coming from the bathroom -- apparently he was not enjoying the experience. Habtamu was very happy to see us, gave us both hugs and went off obediently with the nanny to have his bath. All the while Lire was complaining loudly, though I saw him spy us through the door and he stopped briefly. But then he took up his cries again, definitely not finished with his very public complaints.
The boys came to us clean and scrubbed, oiled and happy. They sat on our laps outside and we drew a bit, talked, shared water, played silly games, etc. We heard someone call "Lire!" so we went back into the house to see what was what. Ethiopian pop music was playing and the nannies had set some of the preschool-aged kids up together to dance. Habtamu stood up with Alex and they danced with two little girls, one of whom was an amazing dancer, by the way. H has his own way of dancing, where he gets a serious look on his face, puts his palms up by his waist, and bounces. Lire refused to stand up, being perfectly happy to sit on my lap, so we bounced and clapped hands to the music.
I can't tell you how wonderful and amazing and any other of those other types of words this experience was. Imagine a room full of kids from around 2 yrs old up to 11 or so, three or four nannies, and us, all dancing to Ethiopian pop music. Singing, clapping, and dancing. Incredible. I hate to sound soppy, but Alex and I agreed it was one of the most beautiful experiences we have ever had.
The parting was tearful again, but not nearly as intense as earlier in the day, so leaving was not so difficult.
We had a nice surprise this morning in that the call to prayer didn't happen again at 4 am, in fact it didn't happen at all. I'm not sure if there was a special holy day over the weekend, or if it is only done over the weekend, but it was nice to get to sleep until 6 am for a change.