Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 7: Goodbye for now

To read about our adventure from the beginning, scroll down :)

I got all of the packing done the night before after getting back from visiting Little Boy so that we would have the whole day to spend with the kids. We woke up early to do some last minute packing, then got a ride to Journey’s orphanage. We spent some time playing with her, and were so sad to have to leave. It was a good thing our driver came to get us or we never would have left her! We all gave her lots of hugs and kisses and headed out.

We went back to the guest house for lunch, then walked to Little Boy’s orphanage. We wanted to stretch our legs since we knew we’d be on the plane for so long later, and it gave us a chance to get a few more pictures of the surrounding area. We stopped at a couple of shops along the way, a bakery, where we got a small loaf of bread for 1 birr (17 birr is $1 US), then we came to a tea processing and packaging factory. We had already bought a little bit of Addis tea because we liked it so much, but we bought a few more for gifts and souvenirs. We stepped into a store during a short downpour of rain and found some really cute spiral bracelets. I had seen women and girls wearing them. We haggled a little for a better price, and then went on our way. Little Boy ran right up to us again, and we took him outside to play. The big kids were in school and the other little ones stayed inside so Vivi and Brother had the yard to themselves. We got a lot of good pictures of them playing together. Brother even got Vivi to touch dirt, something she has been refusing to do! Little Boy was picking up little bits of dirt and bringing them to Eric, and Vivi sat and watched for a few minutes, I could tell she really wanted to do it too. Eventually she gave in and was all excited that she and brother were playing in the dirt together.

We went back inside to play and to see the other kids one more time. When it was almost time to go back to the guest house, I tried telling one of the nannies that we were going home, and asked her to explain to him that we would come back. She said something to him, and he looked at us and nodded. I hope he understood!

More hugs and kisses and we were on our way. We ate dinner at the guest house, rice with a tomato sauce with beans and a bit of meat in it. It had a real comfort food flavor to it. Then it was time to drag all of our luggage out to the gate. Abraham came to pick us up, loaded our stuff, and took us to the airport. 
During the drive, Abraham, who likes to talk and seems fascinated by American culture, told us about how he sees the differences between Ethiopians and Americans. He said that in America, everyone knows email and computers, even if you are a farmer. But in Ethiopia, he is a modern city man, but he doesn’t know email. It was really interesting to talk to him about the differences between our cultures. At the airport, Abraham hugged us and thanked us and wished us a safe trip. We took one last glance of Ethiopia, and then went into the airport. 

It was recommended that we arrive to the airport 3 hours early. We didn’t think we’d need that much time, but did it anyway, just in case. We were so glad we did! We stood in line after line, first to get our stuff scanned and walk through a scanner, you know the whole ‘take of your shoes’ things. Then to the airport packaging area, where we got our big basket wrapped for the plane, then in a looong line to check in. Luckily we got to leave our checked baggage there, and were able to talk to another adoptive family while we waited. We had to wait in 2 more lines to show our passports and tickets and customs to claim our stuff. Then we had to go up the stairs and stand in line to get checked in at the gate. We got all the way to the front of the line and the guy checked our tickets and told us we were at the wrong gate. Doh! We ran down to the correct gate and had to wait in line AGAIN! The family we had been talking to in line downstairs came and found us, and were holding Vivi’s ‘Little Tiana’ doll. Having so many other adoptive families in the country was such a blessing! At the gate, get this, we had to take off our shoes again, and go through another scanner! And we though American airports were tough! We had bought a piece of chocolate cake for Vivi while in line at the airport, which they served it on a glass plate with a metal fork (in an airport?!?) so when it was time to go in, we wrapped it in a napkin and returned the dishes. I was stopped and had to open the napkin and explain why I was carrying chocolate cake in my hand through the scanner. They were running everyone through so fast, and the guy who took our passports and tickets from Eric just tossed them on the conveyer belt along with his wallet, and it all went through ahead of him and there was a big crowd of people trying to get their shoes back on and collect their stuff, so he got a little bit stressed about that. And by the time we got through that, it was time to get in line to get on the plane! We were almost to the plane when Eric remembered that he had forgotten to grab a bag of extra souvenirs I had bought in the airport, and had to run back. They still had it, phew! It was such a relief to sit down on the plane!

The ride home was fairly easy. The plane took off at 10pm, and we were exhausted, so we all slept for a lot of the flight. Vivi got a little antsy toward the end, but we made it to Washington DC, then the little plane to Detroit, where my dad picked us up and brought us home sweet home!

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