"Every child deserves a home." --Harry Holt

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ethiopia Travel Memoir: Travel Day 1 5/13-5/14

**These are based on my thoughts and feelings while on our trip. Some events may come across clouded and foggy due to our high emotional state while encountering each event. **

I left work 30 minutes early (no small feat when you work in a middle school). I rushed home. K had already taken Diogee (D.O.G.) to the kennel (aka doggy hotel).I checked the mail to discover correspondence from our adoption agency. It wasn't a card wishing us a great and safe trip. It was an invoice for our homestudy update. The enclosed note explained that we should have our face to face completed by 5/20 (the day of our court date in ET.) Ummmmmm, that isn't going to work! We won't even be in the country! We quickly called our social worker to clear things up, to find out it was just a misprint. Whew!!!! We packed the car and left for the airport (this is exciting so far, isn't it?!) We checked in for all of our flights without a problem. We tried to check-in 24 hours earlier, but had no success. My suitcase was the heaviest, but weighed exactly 50 lbs. :)

Flight to Chicago was delayed an hour when we got to the airport. Of course, it was "on time" when we had checked it before leaving the house. Altogether, we took off about an hour and fifty minutes later than planned. We did have to rush through O'Hare to make it through security at the international terminal and onto the airplane.
By the time we got onto our flight to Turkey, I was already exhausted. I was tired from work, getting ready for the trip, worrying about every detail of the trip, etc. Normally, I struggle to fall asleep in cares and airplanes. This time, I don't even recall taking off! We were in the air around 10:30pm. When dinner and drinks came around (after midnight), I was still sleeping. K and the flight attendant poked me awake (and this was probably the last time I slept for any length of time on the trip). I still can't believe I at airplane pasta after midnight, while half asleep. Our plan had been to eat dinner at O'Hare because we were supposed to have a 3 hour layover. However, with the delays we missed dinner, so it was good to get a little something.

I did fall asleep again, but as mentioned before, it wasn't very restful (I think gut-rot from eating so late had something to do with it.) I woke up after about 20 minutes. K seemed to be conked out, and while I was happy for him, he was on the aisle and I desperately needed to go to the bathroom. Sorry, honey!
We were served breakfast on our flight to Turkey as well. After the 11 hour flight, all I wanted was to shower and brush my teeth. We made it to Turkey, got our transfer tickets and headed through security again. We bought 3 "Coke Lights" (sooooooooo not as good as Diet Coke). It tastes like Diet Pepsi...blech. We had 2 Coke Light and bottled water confiscated at the next security point. (I wasn't thinking about going through security again when I bought them). The very "nice"security worker offered to stand with me while I chugged the beverages. I tried, but I had just had an entire can of Coke Light. I ended up throwing them away. It hurt me...

We hpped our flight to Addis with no problems. We were both tired and were able to fall asleep (briefly). I started to feel a little nauseated from the lack of sleep and airplane food. I ended up reading most of the flight. I wholeheartedly recommend, "No Biking in the House Without a Helmet" by Melissa Fay Greene. I was stifling laughs.
We landed in Addis at 12:05 am. 22 long hours of traveling. We were able to get our visas quickly, exchange some $ and get through customs without difficulty. When we got to baggage claim, 3 bags were there, K's bag missing (so very glad it wasn't my bag! Sorry, honey!) We weren't the only ones with missing baggage. We hopped in line to make arrangements to find it. Things were moving at a snails pace, and I was tired (understatement). After an hour of waiting, it was our turn (we were only 4th in line). We were able to fill out the appropriate paperwork. The kind lady explained that bags aren't considered 'missing' until 5 days has passed. Hmmmm, I'm telling you it isn't here, I guess I thought that was the definition of missing? (I get snarky in my head when I'm tired). Finally, we were on our way to the guest house. We arrived around 2:30am. Driving there was peaceful. Not much action in the city that late/early. Just hard to believe we were FINALLY in Ethiopia!!!!
2 of our bags. These were all of the donations that we took to the care centers. (Diogee not included, as he would try to hump all of the children. Yes, hump. I said it. He is naughty). Thanks again to all those who donated!!!

 For the most part, we went straight to bed. Bonus of being hearing impaired? When I took out my hearing aids, I didn't hear the crowing rooster, mooing cow, barking dogs or 5am 'call to prayer'. K said this all kept him awake off and on. Oh well, I still woke up about every 30 minutes, because I just couldn't get my stomach to settle. Excitement, exhaustion, both?

Jemimah Guest House, Addis Ababa. I need to learn to use my camera properly.
 **Photos below of rockin' room 35. The stairs are brutal in this elevation... I'm going to start training for trip 2 in case I am carrying a baby up all of those stairs :) Yeah, you're right...probably won't happen.

1 comment:

SaraLyons said...

So happy to hear about your trip! I've been stalking your blog waiting...hahaha!


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