As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ethiopia - Trip One - Day Six

Saturday, August 6, 2011
At 9:30 this morning, Danny picked us up and took us to Hannah's Hope for the last time on this trip. We played with the boys, cherishing each moment of our time together. We sat with them while they ate their lunch, and then rocked them both to sleep.

We held them for a long time while they slept, and then put them in their beds. After awhile, we woke them up and just cuddled them until it was time to go. Everyone else was going to stay until later in the afternoon, but Chris, Shana and I had to head south to Ziway to meet up with Gary and Peggy Ifft, missionaries who run 3 schools and a home for vulnerable children. We took a few group photos, and then said a tearful goodbye. We squeezed "O" and "U" tightly, whispered "Ewedhalhu" (I love you) about a dozen times, and smothered their little cheeks in kisses. "We will come back," I told them. "Soon we'll be back and we'll take you home with us for good!"

Danny drove us back to the hotel, where we checked out and met Raj, the driver that would take us to Ziway. We loaded everything into his car, and after getting gas, we headed south out of the city. It was a dirty, smelly ride with lots of traffic. Because there was no air conditioning, we rode with the windows down. However, every car and truck we saw that day needed an oil change badly, and we breathed in fumes the whole way. We did get to experience the beautiful Ethiopian countryside, though! We drove through many small villages, and even got to see monkeys climbing some trees by a river! Many people were walking beside the road - some had just come from the market, others were herding animals, and still others were carrying huge jugs of water. In Africa, the people sometimes have to walk for miles to find a water source, and even then the water is not safe to drink. We also saw LOTS of huge termite mounds!

Examples of some houses:

 termite mound

We arrived in Ziway after about 3 hours of driving. After a few phone calls, we finally found Gary. You see, the people in Ethiopia really don't have addresses. You just drive to their town and ask someone for directions from there. We pulled off the road, and Gary came and met us. Then, Raj followed Gary back to his house, where we unloaded everything we would need for the night along with the tub of donations for Gary and Peggy's schools. Raj drove back to the tourist hotel to spend the night. 

Gary and Peggy took us to see the Adami Tulu preschool, and on the way we saw a HUGE rose farm. The greenhouses literally stretched as far as we could see in all directions. Gary told us that a man from the Netherlands operates it, and employs about 12,000 people from the Ziway area. Every night, a 747 jet takes off from Addis Ababa filled with roses, and by the next morning, all of the streets of Europe are filled with fresh roses for sale.
the rose farm

 The new wall that is being constructed at Adami Tulu Preschool. The picture below shows the old wall.

 Adami Tulu Preschool.

After touring the preschool, we toured Samuel's Home for vulnerable children. Gary and Peggy started this home recently, and it is only about a block away from their home. We also got to meet the houseparents that will take care of the children at Samuel's Home.

When we got back to Gary and Peggy's, we visited for awhile before sitting down to an awesome American/Italian meal with African touches. The watermelon and salad tasted so good to us, since we had eaten no fresh fruits or vegetables all week because of health risks. We visited for awhile longer, and then it was time for bed.

Tomorrow we get to experience an Ethiopian church service before heading back to Addis for our long flight home.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your day by day experiences in really puts things in perspective for us as we look forward to one day traveling to Ethiopia to pick up our son!

  2. I'm loving reading all about your trip!! Those last photos of you guys with the boys breaks my heart! Praying October comes quickly for us all!

  3. Your boys are ADORABLE!!! I can tell you love them so much - just from seeing the pictures. I loved seeing the countryside! Ethiopia is beautiful! Thanks for sharing :)