Friday, March 31, 2006

San Diego-Washington DC-Rome-Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

We left our house at 5:00am. We had slept a grand total of three hours before we left for the airport. That didn't seem to matter though, as the adrenaline rush came over us with the realization that it was really time to go. Lisa was kind enough to drive us, and with only one wrong turn, we made it to the airport without incident. All went well at the airport in San Diego. It was a little bit of a bummer to find out that our flight was completely full (no room to stretch out and sleep), but no big deal. We grabbed some breakfast before we boarded the flight, and then, it was off to DC.

Using Ethiopian airlines had its' pluses and minuses. The first minus came shortly after we arrived in DC. They don't have a regular ticket counter. You just go to the gate (along with everyone else), and wait in a very long line to check in and get your seat assignment. After hanging out for quite some time, it was finally our turn. We immediately found out that we had been seated separately. Seems strange since we bought our tickets together, and our itinerary listed both of our names. The real problem lies with the fact that the computer seems to be used very little, and the flight was completely full. We had originally hoped to upgrade to Business Class, but the flight was too full for that to be an option. Our goal now, was just to be able to sit together. We went to have some dinner as we waited to hear the results of the gate agent's efforts.

I had heard that Ethiopian people were very kind and gracious. I have to voice my agreement. We met many people as we were waiting at the airport (most of the people on the flight were Ethiopian), and every one was so sweet. They were all very excited to hear about our adoption. When dinner was finally over, and the time for boarding was fast approaching, Will went over to the gate to see if our seats had been moved successfully. After waiting in the never-ending line for twenty minutes, we found out that we had no such luck. We were sitting closer together now, but I was still two rows in front of him. One of the agents suggested that we ask the passengers near us if they would be willing to change. We lucked out. A very nice lady was happy to be able to change her window seat to an aisle. Things were looking up now! Unfortunately, that didn't last. The seating and throng of people had so overwhlemed the staff, that we ended up leaving two hours late.

Once in the air, I found out why so many families had recommended this airline. The service was outstanding. We were fed two meals between Washington DC and Rome, and the drink carts were almost always in the aisles. The flight attendants were very kind Our stop in Rome was uneventful. The plane was refueled, cleaned and restocked. We waited on the plane for about an hour, and then we took off again. This time, the destination was Addis Ababa. Yeah!! We had one more meal and caught a few ZZZ's before we landed. We were definitely starting to feel the physical affects of sitting on an airplane for so long.

Our journey into Bole Airport in Addis was interesting. We had to head straight over to get our entry visa's. It was another long, slow line. Chatting with the other people that were waiting, helped the time pass quickly though. Will had time to go get some of our money changed to Birr. We knew we would need it for the taxi ride to our hotel. Once the visa's were in hand, we were off to get our luggage. It took FOREVER!!!. I have never seen so much luggage in one place in my entire life. People do not pack light for this trip. We finally gathered our bags, and then went to the line to wait to have them x-rayed. Another knew experience for us. Once that was done, we were finally free to find a taxi and head over to our hotel.

The taxi ride was interesting. Traffic laws and signs seem to merely be suggestions here. Our driver straddled the white lane lines and honked at anyone that was in his way. Overall, it wasn't an unpleasant ride, but he surely wouldn't last long driving like that on our streets in America.

The Ghion is a big hotel. It sprawls across quite a bit of land. For the first night, they had us stay in a suite in the main hotel. The room was decent. It reminded me very much of being at my Grandma Ray's house as a little girl. It was decorated circa late 1940's USA. We went down to have a quick sandwich at the bar. The whole bill for 3 cokes, 2 big waters, 1 beer and two meals was about $10. WOW!!! After we ate, we were ready for a shower and our bed. The exhaustion had finally caught up with us.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Welcome Friends

Just thought I would take this opportunity to say hello to my friends from work. It is Monday night and we are still preparing for our trip. We leave really stinking early Wednesday morning. I am looking forward to sharing our adventure with all of you when I get back to work. Until then, you are welcome to follow along on this Blog and see what we are up to. Hopefully, the cabbies are liscenced to drive, the chefs are trained to cook, the beds are fit to sleep in, and the rebels are drinking decaffinated coffee! See you all soon! Will

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Here's the latest addition to our family. Justin informed us yesterday that we could leave now to go get Grace. I think he's had enough of the waiting too!





Here's a picture of our family. We had it taken in February 2005. I know we shouldn't need an excuse to get a family photo taken, but we did. We had to have a family picture and individual pictures of each one of us for our Home Study. So, maybe we're goofballs for needing a reason to go get pictures taken, but I'm glad we have them now. The next family picture will have Grace in it! We leave in 3 1/2 days!!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

This is Only a Test!

Blogger tells me that I can send posts to this blog from anywhere, as long as I use this special address and "secret word". It all seems rather covert to me. Our own little form of espionage. I'm hoping it works because we would really like to use this forum as a way to share the details of our upcoming trip to Ethiopia with our friends and family. time like the present to give it a try!

1st Time

I have been reading all kids of blogs for a while now, and I have to admit, I'm an addict. Maybe it's just some voyeuristic tendency in me that I never knew about. I find myself cheering on victories and crying at sorrows. Most of all though, I love that blogging gives us all the opportunity to share our stories. Let's face it, life is hard. It's wonderful to be able to go from blog to blog and see that we are not the only ones.

Will and I are leaving for Ethiopia in 6 days to bring home our baby girl. We have been working on this adoption for almost a year and a half, and I must admit, there were many days that I wasn't so sure this time would come. Part of me can't wait to get on that plane (although it is leaving at a most unGodly hour), but part of me is a little bit nervous about taking this trip. We have never gone on a trip where we needed passports and didn't speak the language. What if something terrible happens, and we don't make it back to our kids? What if Grace struggles to attach to us, or is horribly sick? In the long run, I know I will be glad that we are taking this trip. We will probably see things that will touch us deeply. They will be hard to see, but we will be changed for the better.