February 5

Dear Diary,
We went to visit Merzeneb today in her new home! She and Negasi greeted us at the door with handshakes and many kisses. Negasi’s family home is bigger than ours, but they have a lot more people living in it, so they need more rooms. We brought some lab, the soft cheese Mother makes from our goats, as a present. My parents and Negasi’s parents spent a lot of time asking about everyone’s health and family members and work; Negasi’s grandmother and aunt live with them, too. I was very respectful, just as Mother told me to be, and bowed to them and to Negasi’s parents. I suppose I should have bowed to Negasi and Merzeneb, too, but that seemed a little silly to me. Merzeneb gave me a big hug and kiss and Negasi shook my hand like I was a grown-up. Then we gathered around the big masob, the round table, and ate a good dinner together. Merzeneb put some of the best pieces of meat in Father’s mouth, to show he was a special guest. This is called gursa.

Afterwards, my sister made and served coffee to all of us, except the youngest ones.

“Is everything well with you, Rahel?” she asked me quietly, as she poured my cup.

“Yes, many things are happening. But I miss you sometimes. You live so far away.”

“I miss you, too, ehit,” she said.

“Is it nice to be married?” I whispered.

She nodded her head. “I am very lucky, Negasi is a good husband. Do not worry.” She handed me my cup. “You are growing up, Rahel. I like your bead collar.”

I smoothed my beads and smiled to remember their beauty. Then Merzeneb promised to come stay with us very soon, along with Negasi.

“You will see then that he is a kind and funny man,” she said.

I hope it’s not too long, Diary! I want to know more about being grown up.

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