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

Monday, July 4, 2016

Our Trip to Ethiopia, Days 10 and 11

Sunday and Monday, June 19 and 20, 2016

Today is our last day in Ethiopia! I miss the kids and am ready to be home again. Our original plan was to head to an orphanage this morning, but the orphanage staff wouldn't allow us in. I was bummed, because there were some girls here who I had gotten close to last year, and I really wanted to see them again. So after breakfast, we went to Tomoca for macchiatos and then visited the palace of Menelik II and the Empress Taytu up on Entoto Mountain instead. 

This is the oldest Eucalyptus tree in Ethiopia. It was imported from Australia in the 1800's, and now they are growing everywhere.

We ate lunch at Lucy's Restaurant at the National Museum, and then headed to the market to shop. We bought more items for our silent auction fundraisers.

When we got back to Ordinary Hero, Phil was extremely ill. His arms and hands were stiff, and he couldn't move them at all. He was going into shock, shaking uncontrollably, and throwing up over and over. Wass soon arrived back from his long drive from Mekele, and he took Phil to the hospital. The rest of us packed up our luggage and prepared for our flight home. Mathewos wanted to take us out to eat at Antica before we left, so we loaded everything in the van. The power was out in the guest house, so it was very hard to see since it was now dark outside. Chris walked up on the front porch one more time to make sure we had grabbed all our stuff, and slipped in the dark. His head hit the plate glass window beside the door, and the whole thing shattered to the ground. He sustained tiny cuts all over his nose, lip, and hands.  

We arrived at the restaurant late, and were a little nervous about meeting our plane on time. Mathewos told us that Phil was doing better, and he and Richard would meet us at the airport. When we got there, we said goodbye to Mathewos and Wass, and went through security. Kiersten went in with us to make sure Phil was ok. He looked awful, so we checked in all of his things for him. On our way to customs, he started throwing up again, so he and Richard decided to stay one more night so Phil could get some rest and rehydrate himself. 

The rest of us waited in the long customs and security lines, and then Chris got picked for a random extra security screening. It took forever, and I was nervous that we were going to miss our flight. Finally, he made it through and we were some of the last people on board. We finally left, and I had a very upset stomach. :( About an hour and a half into the flight, we looked at the flight map and realized that we were headed back to Addis. We had no idea what was going on. Finally, the pilot announced that some equipment was malfunctioning and we had to land.

We sat on the tarmac until 5:00 in the morning with few updates as to what was going on. And of course, no one was allowed off the plane. By the time we left again, the problem still had not been fixed, and we were now 7 hours late. The refueling stop in Dublin took way longer than it was supposed to as well, so there was no way anyone was going to make their connection in Washington D.C. By the time we touched down at Dulles, we had been on board the plane for 24 hours straight. It was certainly a good thing that Phil had decided to stay one more night so he could get the sleep and medical attention he needed. It would have been really bad for him to be on that flight for so long. 

In the Dulles airport, we went through extremely disorganized customs where I was certain people were going to be trampled. We also dealt with some very rude agents, and I felt like we were cattle being herded. Originally, we were supposed to have a direct flight to Indy, but of course we had missed our flight.  We had to book 2 more to Chicago before our last leg to Indy. I was running on less than 2 hours of sleep in the past 48. I was in no mood for anything, and just wanted to be HOME. We had to run through both airports to catch our flights, but we made them both. Of course, we weren't able to get seats together, so I had to breastfeed Quintin between 2 strange men on the plane. It was a little uncomfortable, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!

We finally arrived in Indy, and then made the 3 hour drive home with Alyssa and Rachael. We arrived at about 2:15 on Tuesday morning. I guess we must have fulfilled God's purpose for this trip, because it seems that satan was working against us at every turn at the end and trying to discourage us from wanting to go back to Ethiopia again. Sickness, a stolen phone, a broken window and cuts from glass, a hospital visit, and plane issues made for an interesting week. Oh, and at one point, Quintin rolled off the bed onto concrete, and several people stepped on nails. We had difficulties at the end of our trip last year, too, but satan won't win. We plan to go back again next year!

This beautiful view out of the airplane window reminded me that God was in control and watching out for us. He is so good.

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