Tonight, the five of us joined some friends for a big, week-long, annual celebration of Ethiopian culture at our local Ethiopian Centre. I'd totally forgotten that it was happening this week and was very grateful that our friends reminded me a few days ago. It is open to the public and is a very popular event - the first performance of the evening, which we attended, was packed. It was terrific. The dancers were fantastic and performed dances from many of the regions in Ethiopia (including the region where our kids are from); the food was awesome (the highlight of the food was sharing a plate with Seth and him scooping up bits of food in injera and hand-feeding me mouthfuls - it was sweet); and the incense nostalgic of the everyday aroma of Ethiopia.
The music, too, I adored. When I first heard Ethiopian music several years ago, I confess that I was not overly enamoured of it; I could handle it in only very small doses. But over the years, having been twice to Ethiopia, having brought home children from that country, and having heard two hours of it during every Saturday's Ethiopia dance class last winter/spring, I've grown accustomed to it and totally love it now. The rhythms and pace, accompanied by the fast and furious dancing, is very addictive to me.
Noteworthy of its own paragraph is mention of tonight's coffee. My beloved Ethiopian coffee. I couldn't believe that when Geoff got our food tickets he neglected to buy me a coffee ticket - I mean, really, what was he thinking?? When my friend Hilary came back to her seat with two tiny espresso cups of black gold, I was so envious. Then, to my shock, she gestured that one of the cups was for me. Seriously? Did she read my mind? (she's done that before) I'm almost embarrassed to say this out loud but her gesture brought tears to my eyes. Yes, really, I was fighting tears and a lump in my throat over a teeny tiny Ethiopian-patterned cup of coffee. Now, while I have to say that the coffee was no where near as strong or as potent (or as sweet!) as the stuff we drank (read: guzzled) in Ethiopia, the flavour was the same and that just about sent me over the edge in my loving memories of, and feelings towards, Ethiopia. The taste made me long to be there. You can imagine that I felt exceedingly magnanimous in allowing Seth to have a few sips of the precious brew...including the sweetest bit at the bottom of the cup. Am I a selfless mama or what?! So thanks Hilary...you just have no idea...but I'll stop here because I'm about to wax poetic about all of your virtues and you truly don't want to be reading my poetry. :)
It was really a lovely evening all together. And it felt both different and incredible to be celebrating the event with all three of our kids this year, given that when we last attended two years ago it was with hopes and dreams rather than children keeping us company.
Next year? Well, next year we'll be celebrating Sheldon's and Hilary's family additions, too, and I'll be bringing them that cup of that coffee (which you will drink Sheldon). I can hardly wait!