Martin's sister and her family have been visiting from Thailand. We've enjoyed lots of good food and general hanging out with them, and it's been good to see a bit more of Martin's parents than usual while they've been here.
|L-R: Martin's sister Sandra and her husband Chris, their daughter Michaela, Martin's dad|
|I love this picture Chris took of Dad and Sandra|
Whilst they were here, we (belatedly) celebrated Martin's 42nd birthday.
|The birthday boy with his parents|
Next time I'll be putting some yellow food colouring into the filling though... The flavour and texture of the (tofu-based) filling were fine, but it just didn't look right without the yellow eggs and butter would have given it!
The highlight was an early celebration for Martin's parents' 50th wedding anniversary :-) All their siblings were there, along with two of their children and both their grandchildren.
|Mum (on the right) with her sister, Elspeth.|
|Martin's sister Sandra|
|Dad's younger sister, Marion, with her husband Murray|
|Most of the crowd.|
|Martin's nephew, Nathan|
|Martin between Uncle Mike (Mum's sister's husband) and Lorna (Dad's eldest sister)|
A friend of Sandra's did a fantastic job decorating the cake.
|It's been a while since they last did this!|
And Martin enjoyed learning about wood-working as he sanded and polished this kauri tray we found on TradeMe for them.
The lunch was held at Cafe Abysinnia, an Ethiopian restaurant in Mt. Roskill. I loved its vibrant decor!
And the original artwork covering the walls.
|I was particularly taken with this one: how's that for normalising breast feeding in public :-)|
|although this was my actual favourite|
|and I think these dancers were Martin's favourite (apologies for the lamp in front)|
We ate a number of delicious stews, served on a spongy flat sourdough bread called injera. And, as Ethiopian Orthodox people are vegan on their many fast days, there were perfectly familiar with Michaela's dietary requirements.
|My favourites were the dark reddish chicken stew with the egg in the front, and the greenish vegetable dish in the centre.|
We were delighted to see that Cafee Abyssinia supports the Hamlin Fistula Hospital - an Ethiopian charity we've also supported for many years now. The Fistula Hospital provides surgery for women who have holes in their vaginas from babies getting stuck during labour; plus they train midwives who can spot obstetric problems early so that fewer women will be injured in the future.
|The women in these photos made the adjacent bowls as they awaited fistula surgery. Similar bowls made by other patients were available for sale at the counter.|
We're both exhausted, but it's been a wonderful time!