Our Trip to Ethiopia

Day 0:

We have arrived in Ethiopia! It was the night when we arrived, but we can already tell it is beautiful, and the people are very friendly.

God blessed us with safe travel with only minor changes and added blessings! When we arrived in Frankfurt, we walked to the assigned terminal for our connecting flight, went through security and found different questions and inspections than Boston. Once through security, we found that our gate had been changed. Frankfurt is a large airport, and we ended up walking for 2 hours before getting to our gate. Thankful for a 5-hour layover! Went through security, found out, walked out of security, & walked back.

When arriving in Addis, the landing was bumpy (understatement), but entering the country went smoothly. While we were waiting in line for our baggage inspection, an employee asked for our baggage claim tags to match to the luggage. When we checked in in Boston, we each just picked 2 bags from our huge pile and checked them.

When we collected baggage in Addis, we just piled bags on carts and got in line. When we explained then we were a group of 14 and our bags were all together, another employee came up and asked if all of our bags had pink duct tape on them. (They did!) The employees looked at the bags for our pink tape, baggage handlers scooped our bags up on carts, and walked us around inspection! A very welcome blessing from God for a group of weary travelers!
I wish I had pictures of us piling into our vans and loading all the luggage into racks on top, but my phone (really just a camera and notebook this trip due to lack of internet) was dead. (Note to Frankfurt: more outlets around the gate would be nice. 😀 )

Tomorrow (really today as it is 12:30 local time), we will plan our time here, see where we are in the daylight, and meet our kids! We are so excited and can’t believe we are here!

Lesson learned during travel: Not holding the tickets and all details of a trip is really ok. 🙂
(Please forgive any typos. Our phones are a little buggy without the internet or cell service. I am actually typing this about 5:45 am local time 2/14 and we are without internet or power. Oh – and happy Valentine’s day everyone!)

 

Day 2:

My posts Will be more streams of consciousness during the day as things happen. Hopefully, they make some sense!
Land of contrast: new American clothes/old clothes/ET traditional; shacks next to a modern bank building next to nice stucco buildings with marble floors and walls
Took picture of boys’ door at drop in center; young boy invited me to his room and wanted me to take a picture of the back of the door
Visited Hope for the Hopeless’ church; shared crackers with kids; kids followed us in church; reaching out to neighborhood families
Met all the kids, played soccer with them, saw their beds, took pictures, saw the apple tree they each planted, many hugs – hello & goodbye from each child, almost cried leaving for the evening even though we Will see them after school tomorrow.
Habtamu has Zulalem translate our letters and has our picture on his clothing bin. He is shy because he doesn’t know English and can’t talk directly to me. He was very sad when we were leaving as he didn’t know that we would be seeing us tomorrow.
Quote of the day: “Uh, there is a car coming.” “That car is so far away that I am not worried about it.”
How to get whiplash without getting into an accident: drive down an Ethiopia dirt road
Is it this bumpy dirt road? Nope. This bumpy dirt road. Or maybe this one. Welcome to Mexico.
We are going to need a bathroom very soon.

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