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

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Our Trip to Ethiopia, Days 1,2, and 3

Sunday through Tuesday, May 25-27, 2014

Sunday afternoon, after getting our kids and their luggage where they needed to go, Chris, Ashton, and I tried to get some sleep. We knew we would be up all night and wouldn't really have much sleep for a couple of days. We were too excited, though, so we finally gave up. Chris and Ashton went to town and brought home Subway sandwiches, and after eating, we all showered and got ready to leave. All of the team, with the exception of Larisa, met at Lester's house at 11:30 on Sunday night. After doing some last minute packing and rearranging, we loaded up and drove to Indianapolis. It took awhile to get all 18 totes of donations plus our luggage checked in, but nothing was overweight and we had no extra fees! Yay! A little after 5 am, we boarded our flight to D.C.

Once we got to D.C, we met up with Larisa, ate breakfast, some of the team members got a little sleep, and then we boarded our flight for Africa!

Getting settled in for our LONG flight:

I can't really sleep on planes, but I did doze on and off. It seemed like the flight attendants constantly came around with food. At one point, Ashton walked through the kitchen to get to the bathroom, and the flight attendant said she would only let him through if he gave her a kiss. So he did! I was once again reminded of how much Ethiopian people adore children.

We flew over the spot where the Titanic went down:

Getting closer!

We finally arrived into Addis, and everyone clapped as we touched down. As soon as I stepped off the plane, I was hit with the smell I attribute to and spices mixed with dirt. We went through customs and collected our baggage, which took awhile to locate all 22 pieces. But every item made it! Yay! Then we headed out into the sunshine to find Wass and make introductions. It was an experience loading that many people and pieces of luggage into the van, but after a while of wrangling we were on our way to Hannah's Hope.

We are here! Tired but safe.

Wass is the man! And all of this stacking stuff on top of vehicles is perfectly legal in Ethiopia. As Wass always says, "In order to drive in Addis, you need to know how to break the rules." Except that I'm not sure there really are any traffic rules there. The driving is crazy!

When we got to HH, we spent time playing with the kids, deciding who was going to sleep where, sorting through the tubs of donations, taking naps and showers, etc. I got to meet my little buddy who is coming to live near us in Ohio, and gave him a photo book from his mom and dad. Can't wait to see him home with his forever family soon! 

The kids loved grabbing my phone or camera and snapping pictures. Needless to say, I ended up with some interesting ones! The following two aren't too bad, but I also have lots of the sky, the wall, the floor, and close-ups of people's nostrils and teeth. :)

Across the street from HH:

It was so good to see all the special mothers again, and they all asked about our twins. Mathewos asked about Shana. He wondered how she is doing in school and laughed about her short emails. I gave him the bag of chocolates that she sent him. The special mothers then prepared a coffee ceremony and popcorn for us.

We walked to New Look for lunch.

After lunch, some of us walked to the new Safeway grocery store. It was interesting to walk around and compare Ethiopian and American prices. Chris bought some of his beloved Coffee Coke, which no one else on the team liked. Back at HH, we played with the kids and napped, and then Wass took us to Aba Guben, a very nice Italian restaurant, for dinner. 

Back at HH, we had devotions and then went to bed exhausted! Tomorrow we head to Mekelle!

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