Days 3 and 4
Early wake up call this morning so that we could be on the road to Durame by 7am. The trip was to last about 6 hours with most of the road paved. This was the same road that led to Hossanna when we went 2 years ago so I was really excited to get out of the city and see the country again.
The ride there was terrific. I was so happy we got to see this country during dry season (last time) and rainy season (this time). It is even more beautiful than I remember. The trip surprised a lot of our travel mates because most people think of Africa and think of dessert for miles and miles. Ethiopia is not like that at all. It is green and lush and just absolutely beautiful. Zach took some amazing pictures with the camera but it really is hard to capture.
Passing through Shinchicho was perhaps the toughest for me. This was Tariku’s home village. It was hard picturing our little guy who was probably consuming his weight in pizza at that moment, playing naked soccer with his friends. Or carrying younger siblings on his back. It was hard picturing him running to the car yelling “ferenge” (white man) and waving frantically at the car. But that’s exactly what he would’ve been doing, if he wasn’t dead, if he wasn’t with us. This is a really tough concept to wrap my head around. But I see Tariku’s eyes in all of these kids and it makes me miss him so much.
When we were getting to Durame we were amazed at the view. We were pleasantly surprised at the hotel in Durame. I’d heard such awful things (people told me to think of it as camping) but it was a nice hotel. The bed was definitely hard, we thought perhaps we were sleeping on the box springs, and the toilet didn’t flush unless you poured the water from the red bucket in the toilet. But, it had a toilet, it had a bed, it had a TV and a fridge and ours had a balcony with a view we would pay hundreds to see in the States.
We had time for lunch before meeting some special people. Meals here take fairly long as they make each meal one at a time. Very delicious though. We were all anxious to meet the special people so we struggled when lunch was running late to not press our American anal time deadlines on the Ethiopians.
After we met the special people we came back to the hotel to kind of release a little steam (i.e. drink some St. George’s beer). Zach and I were happy to see another Ethiopian we had been waiting to see was already at the hotel. We talked to him for awhile, which was definitely one of the best parts of the trip.
After dinner we just went up to the room to process a bit. Zach and I had some great moments trying to figure out the toilet (which we didn’t until the morning). Our travel group slept surprisingly well but that could’ve been because of the emotional stuff we had all been through or because we had all taken advantage of Tyelenol PM/Zanax. :-)
Up early again to head back to Addis Ababa. We had split our group with one group (the one who had brought kids from home) in one van and the other group (kidless for now) in the other. Our group (the kidless) had a lot of fun with the driver and media guy. We taught them lots of American things. Their favorite was by far the beef jerky, their least favorite might have been poptarts. :-) After eating the poptart they were begging for water. ;) Mesfin, the media guy, turns and says, “We love this group, we will always remember you.” Mesfin was great at answering all of my questions and pointing out different things about the country, a blessing to be sure.
We got back to Addis and had just a few hours to take showers and prepare our rooms to bring the kiddos back to the hotel with us. Zach decided to lay down and I decided to go shopping. We went to a little bead shop. This shop was terrific. Over 30 women who used to live on the streets now make the stuff in the shop. All proceeds go to them. One of the women was very proud that none of them live in the street anymore, they all have homes and are able to eat finally. I was more than happy to buy lots of goodies from them. :-)
Then, time to pick up the boys. Zach and I were both half excited, half nervous. I remember the first night with Tariku when we had nothing to do but look at him. We had toys, sure, but we couldn’t communicate with him so there was a lot of staring and then giggling. This proved to be true for us and the boys as well. We gave them a few thing, which they hoarded and counted a number of times. Then it was downstairs for dinner. Tomas eats like Tariku, which is to say, more than any little person should probably eat. Binyam barely ate anything but did enjoy the granola bar I gave them when we returned to the room.
Sleep was actually pretty great. We put them down a little after 7 and they had no problems falling asleep. At one point I heard them talking in the middle of the night but then Tomas scooted down to the foot of the bed and fell right back asleep. Everyone slept great until 6am which I think is pretty amazing.
Now to breakfast.
Today we hang out a lot and then head to our embassy appointment which is the final step to the boys becoming ours. We are incredibly excited about this. I find myself wanting to come home now that the boys are with us. They got to talk to our 3 at home and it sounded like everyone was excited. Makes me want us all together so badly!
More later. Much love to you!