Sunday, October 4, 2009

Last Day in Ethiopia

Our last day in Ethiopia was also jam packed with adventure. After some mis-communication and the manager of the guest house missing church (which she told us later), we arranged to be taken to the Thomas Center one last time before we left that evening, and we planed a trip to Debre Zeyit. We spent the morning packing and generally just hanging around the house. Just before the trip to Debre Zeyit, we went to the Thomas Center. We arrived unannounced but were warmly welcomed by the staff. We went to T's room and romped around with her for a while. It was so much fun. She especially liked A's sunglasses.

We took some pictures and then after about ½ to 1 hour we got ready to leave. It was as hard as we had anticipated, leaving such a wonderful daughter there, not knowing when we would be back to bring her home. For me it was heat breaking. And then T realized that we were leaving and she was not going with us. She began to cry. Not like the first time where she cried some, but this time it was full tears and sobbing. I had some tears in my eyes when I walked down the stairs.

We planned a trip with the help of our Guest House to an area known for their beautiful “crater lakes.” Unlike the day before where we went to a place that seemed interesting to us (the water fall and the baboons), our guest house and tour guide insisted that this was “nice” place. Well, nice apparently meant a place that was developed with resorts, restaurants, and prepared activities such as boating and a swimming pool. While it was a nice place, it seemed to me and Vanessa that is was just another resort type hotel. We have found through our marriage that we prefer to see people how they really are and not how the rich tourists see them. To me the real Ethiopia was in downtown Addis Ababa and in the countryside town and villages. Nonetheless, we had fun canoeing in the lake and eating the resort quality Ethiopian food. Of note, when we ordered the Ethiopian food at the resort they said “Are you sure?! That IS traditional Ethiopian food!” Once we assured our waitress that we knew what we were doing she took our order. I got a lamb stew mixed with this really sour Injera bread and Vanessa got this amazing chicken dish with a side of Injera. We had a lot of fun and then we drove back to Addis Ababa to get ready for our flight home.

The resort

On the lake

We got to the airport at 11pm and had to scan our baggage right when we went in the door going into the building. After checking in we had to go through passport control. We had to fill out these little cards that looked exactly like the cards we filled out to get into the country only they said something like “Leaving” on the bottom. We stood in line for about 30 min and A was so tired that he fell asleep while I was holding him in line. This was a good thing because as I was standing there one of the security personnel saw this and asked our family to step to the VIP / First class passport line (go A, fall asleep on me any time). The funny thing was that he woke up almost the instant we finished at passport desk and did not fall asleep again until a couple hours later. Our plane from Ethiopia to Turkey was delayed an hour (we ended up getting on the airplane at 3am) and our connecting flight was also delayed two hours on the taxi way. Over all we arrived in Venice 2 hours late with Vanessa's sister, Erika, and her husband waiting for us (they landed 30 min before our original land time).

Overall a wonderful trip with some interesting moments and some heart wrenching moments. We cannot wait to go back and make T a permanent part of our family, never to be left behind again.


Bella said...

Your daughter is so beautiful! Congratulations!! Do you know when the adoption will be complete and you will be able to bring her home? It was so fun reading about your life and stories!!

The Giffords said...

She is so beautiful!!