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When Ethiopians Met Us

The other morning at Legoland, we heard some Russians, “привет” we said. They nodded and did a “Russian smile” which is mostly kind eyes and a head nod, but totally nice. THEN some Ethiopians met US.

The father saw Poppy and ran over to us, and in the same manner of humility we saw while in Ethiopia, he laid down on his stomach at the edge of the pool at her feet to greet her, “Beautiful girl, hello beautiful girl!!!! Oh hello sweet girl!!!” His warmth and humility reminding us of our friends, and every stranger back in Ethiopia. He waved his family over, overflowing with joy of his land, of Poppy’s land, and his smiling children and gorgeous (of course) wife came over, grinning, eager to meet us.
His smile was electric and he kissed Poppy on both hands while she looked away in her Princess way she did with the people in Ethiopia, but grinning, knowing she’s loved. “Salam!” we told them, we were so happy to see them and talked for a long, long time. We told them we were in Addis (pronounced ‘add-ees’) and how much we love Ethiopia. He put his hands together and bowed a little bit, “God bless you for what you have done for this little girl, she is so beautiful, so happy. She is a princess, you will see. When you come to Las Vegas (Where they live), come find us, we will welcome you!!” he said with his stadium light teeth and smile, his outstretched arms to us and our children, our boys grinning back and watching him in awe. As we all waved and walked away, I told Maria, “Maria, that’s how everyone is in Ethiopia.”
“NO WAY!!!!” she looked at me smiling.
“We should go there!!”
“We should,” I agreed.
My kids looked at Poppy smiling her smile, as if they see why her spirit glows as it does, like it all clicked into place.

That just made my whole day. What a blessing, what an inspiration.

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  • Hannah H. August 28, 2015, 2:20 pm

    I’ve always wanted to visit Ethiopia to meet our Compassion kids, and you’re making me want to do so even more! What a fun way to introduce your other children to Poppy’s culture.

  • Shauna August 29, 2015, 7:38 pm

    Such a warm, beautiful story…. Love your writing.