Sometime in mid-August, doubt crept in. Could we do this? Would anyone come? Can we get it all done? Does the community really want this? and more and more frequently, Why am I doing this? bounced around my otherwise empty noggin.
As mentioned before, I’ve been privileged to serve on a wonderful committee of people to plan an Enkutatash celebration for our community. For the better part of the last three years the committee has labored to create an amazing annual celebration. After an optimistic spring, by late summer, planning is in full swing–money gets spent faster than it is replenished, and there is still an enormous amount of work to be done–vendors to sign, publicity, decorations, entertainment, and as always, a search for volunteers.
This last week has been particularly frenetic. Lots of shopping, and calls, and hours of set up on Friday followed by an early start on Saturday morning. But by the time the celebration started at noon, all was well–the volunteers had arrived (including a very enthusiastic and helpful troop of girl scouts), the music was on, and the hall smelled like incense, and coffee and wat. During one of the 11,000 trips I made across the hall, I took a minute to look; to really see what we had crafted.
I was amazed to note that the work we had done created a sense of community, not just for the adoptive families in attendance, but for the hundreds of Ethiopian guests who now call Ohio, “home.” People ate, and danced, and sipped coffee, and relished being part of something greater than themselves. As I watched the clapping audience cheer on the dancers, I stopped thinking about the bottom line, stopped worrying about the time in took to make this all happen, and instead began to enjoy myself. My own sweet Ethiopian girl was deliriously happy–she danced with vigor, played with friends, ate an obscene amount of gomen and tibs, and melted in to the crowd of hundreds of people who look like her. Her glee (and that of the crowd) was infectious. What an amazing start to this new year.
Melkam Addis Amet!