Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our first trip to Ethiopia...

Days leading up to trip...
~Packing, packing, packing - for parents to go to ET and for 4 kids staying in 3 different places 2 states!
~Getting snacks together for us, for kids in ET, and gifts for ET nannies and guides. 
~Finalizing arrangements where the kids would be staying each day (many thanks to family and several friends). 
~Buying some supplies with money donated for orphanage.

Wednesday, November 3rd - Thursday, Nov. 4th
~Went to Mobile airport for 10:30 am fllight but were able to leave on 9:15 flight because there was room on the plane and we were there early. 
~Mobile to Atlanta.  Short and boring flight... just the way we like 'em!
~Atlanta to Dulles.  Seated next to Kim S. from Starkville, MS.  About a million things in common:  both went to MSU (at the same time but didn't know each other), both have 3 boys and one girl, both home school, both on our way to Ethiopia!  (She was going for a medical mission trip.)
~At Dulles.  Long layover.  Met the Grants!  :)  Met Ethiopian woman who told us what our kids' names meant.  (Both mean "blessed".) 
~Dulles to Addis.  Long flight.  Long, long flight.  Stopped in Rome for fuel.  Flight from Rome to Addis was fun.  A "party" on the plane!  People everywhere up talking and visiting.  Answered many questions and shared Jesus with some Muslim guys who just happened to ask Michael what he does for a living! ;)  (Then the guys in front of us who were on a mission trip to Malawi were asked the very same questions, so those Muslim guys got to hear the Truth twice!)  Were able to introduce the man behind us to the medical mission team so they could work on setting up something in Somalia. 
~Arrived in Addis @ 8:15ish Thursday night.  (26 hours...) Went to Yebsabi Guest House.  Met Gowins, Davidsons and Flemings.  Then to BED!  Heard dogs barking and roosters crowing all night...  thankfully, we were super-tired. 

Friday, November 5th
~Breakfast at Y.G.H. Some ET breakfast foods and coffee.
~Transition Home for "Meethcha Day"! 
~ Photos and videos of Grants meetcha.
~Met T and B for first time!!!
~Gave and received the hugs and kisses we've waited so long for.
~Gave them fruit snacks. T called all his friends over to share with them.
~Played on the playground, kids got our cell phones and took pictures of everybody and everything.  They had a great time taking a photo and then showing their subject the pic.  Everyone else seemed to enjoy having their photo taken, too.
~Lunch at Metro Pizza.  VERY good!
~Went to ET museum at University of Addis Ababa.
~Back to T.H. for more play time and meetings with doctor, psychologist, and social worker.  All went well.  Great reports from everyone.
~Michael and T played soccer.  T was very good and whenever Michael would pretend to "cheat" or tell him the wrong score, T would always call him out on it.  It was SO funny!  Michael would say, "7 points for me!" and T would say, "No, 6 for you! 6 for you!" 
~Delivered care packages and took photos and videos for other waiting families.
~B fell asleep for a few minutes in Michael's arms, but that didn't last long because T woke her up trying to get the cell phone to take more pics.
~A VERY good first day!
~The Grants and us walked to dinner at Zebra Grill.  Much fun visiting with them.  Power failure.  Sat about 10 minutes with no light.  Generator started up... power!  Lots of visiting.  Good food.  Cat wandering around inside the restaurant.  Electricity still out when we went outside to walk home.  Very dark - only light was passing cars' headlights.  Not afraid of anything but tripping on uneven sidewalk.
~Met the Whipples!

Saturday, November 6th

~Breakfast at Y.G.H.
~Trip up Entoto Mt.  Very steep drive.  People and mules carrying things (sticks, eucalyptus, dung, firewood). 
~Met the VanCleaves!
~Lunch at Lucy's.  YUM! 
~Went to T.H.  Photos and videos of meetcha for VanCleaves and Whipples.
~More fun visiting with T and B.  Michael flipped them again and again.  They had so much fun.
~Dinner at Avanti. 

 Sunday, November 7th
~Walked to Devon photo shop with Grants to get photos of kids and us printed for kids to keep by their beds.
~International Evangelical Church.  Pastor is from North Carolina.  Great to worhsip with people from ALL over the word!  Like heaven...
~Lunch at Lime Tree.
~Visit T and B.  More fun.  Saw their rooms and beds at older kids' T.H.
~Shopping.  Kids came to van trying to sell gum and other things.  We asked them to sing a song, and they sang, "This is the Day"!
~Dinner at "traditional" restaurant.  Ate traditional food and saw traditional dancing.  VERY interesting.

Monday, November 8th
~Coffee factory.
~Meeting with birth mom.  Difficult and heartbreaking, but well worth it.
~Opened window in Y.G.H. room and heard Justin Bieber singing "Baby, Baby" coming from outside! 
~Lunch at Amsterdam.
~Grants, Pierces, and Whipples to Kaldi's Coffee then COURT! (None of us passed that day, but Whipples received word Tuesday that they passed. Grants have Dec. court date. We have another court date set for Monday, Nov. 15th.)
~Visiting the kids at the T.H.!
~Back to Y.G.H. for a "quiet" evening. We went up to the Grants' room for popcorn, movie-watching, and snacks. Fun! Joined a while later by the VanCleaves and Whipples - CRAZY fun! We had the best time. Laughed harder than in a long time. We love our new friends!

Tuesday, November 9th
~Visited orphanages: KVI and Kids Care. 
~ Shopping.
~Lunch at Makush.  Met Jeanine J. and O. and A.  (She had just picked up A. from T.H. for good!)
~Last visit with T and B. 
~More photos and videos for other families.
~Loved on T and B.  Went back to Older Kids' T.H. for last time. 
~Kept from crying until I made it out of the gate!  (Yay, me!)
~Back to Y.G.H. for quick shower and packing. 
~To airport with Grants and Chad F. 
~LONG plane ride to U.S.A. begins. (27 hours travel time!)

Wednesday, November 10th
~Arrived at Dulles
~Ate lunch with Grants.
~Almost missed our flight to Atlanta because we talked for too long with the Grants!
~Dulles to Atlanta.
~Atlanta to Mobile.
~Arrived in Mobile 5:45 pm.
~HOME (with a surprise delicious dinner waiting for us from our friend T!  Thanks!)


Me said...

What a great recap! Thank you so much for sharing.

Carmen D

Janet said...

awesome recap and pictures!!!!