But first….CHEESE! by Cassie Brown

We woke up today smiling because we were in Addis Ababa, at the Nexus hotel. We were able to sleep in today, because we didn’t have too much planned. The rest was VERY much needed. We skipped happily down to breakfast and feasted on freshly squeezed orange juice, banana bread, toast and peanut butter, fresh watermelon, and various traditional Ethiopian dishes. The two of us that are sick and have no voice sipped on the “special tea” that the restaurant served. It was filled with honey, lemon, ginger, black pepper, and some other special ingredients. It will clear you up! After finishing our coffee, we headed off to do some shopping. First we went to a HUGE supermarket. This place was so nice and had basically everything that you could want! Many of us got new hair products and facemasks. We also bought chips (we were TOO excited for these,) coffee beans (we actually bought the store out of this particular brand,) cheese (don’t even get us started,) the biggest bottles of water that you have ever seen, teff powder, and even more shiro mix. We all really scored at this store!

Our awesome hotel, The Nexus!

Our awesome hotel, The Nexus!

Next we headed off to do a little shopping at a few small stores in Addis. They had everything from soccer jerseys, traditional shirts and dresses, coffee pots, honey wine glasses, tiny handmade baskets, maps of Africa, and intricate scarves. After spending a while here, we were all pretty shopped out! We headed back to the hotel to spend our afternoon drinking coffee, writing our journals, and napping. We were definitely not mad about this relaxing day!

Soccer

Our Ethiopia soccer jerseys.

Today was a special day for a member of our group. A wonderful person named, Taryn, had a birthday today!   Yesterday we talked to the hotel restaurant manager about making a cake for her. We were really excited about surprising her with this! Tonight, at the beginning of dinner, one of the employees wheeled out a cart that had two cakes on it. One chocolate cake and one vanilla cake was delivered to us. The cakes both had “Happy Birthday” written on it, and we even had them write her name in Amharic on each of the cakes. On the cart, along with the cakes, were candles, roses, and even a banner that said “Happy Birthday.” It was perfect! She was surprised and we were really happy about eating cake. It was a win-win! We finished dinner, ate some cake, told Taryn again “Happy Birthday,” and headed back to our rooms to pack and go to sleep so we could gain the strength for our 5-hour drive tomorrow!

Taryn's wonderful birthday cake!

Taryn’s wonderful birthday cake!

Taryn and her birthday cake!

Taryn and her birthday cake!

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