Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Journey Back To Addis

March 15, 2015

We've spent the better part of a week in Kombolcha. It was a fantastic time. I love watching the kids at Meseret growing and flourishing. A few of the kids are preparing to leave the program, as they have finished school. One of them came to me on Friday to talk about all of her great plans. She was getting ready to work as a waitress, but also wanted to start her own business. She was very proud (rightly so) of her accomplishments. As one of the goals of the program is to help the kids become self-sustaining, she is definitely a success story.

We were awake early to check out of the hotel and begin our journey. The plan had been to leave at 6:30, but we weren't ready to pull out until 7:00am. We posed for a group photo in front of the Sunny Side.

Our team. Don't believe everything you see!

So, this photo is kind of an illusion and would never be able to published in a newspaper. We wanted the whole team, but didn't have someone to take the photo. So, this photo is actually a composite. Myndi took one picture and then Rob took another. Through the magic of Photoshop, everyone was combined into one picture. If you look closely, you can see who was edited in.

The trip was pretty uneventful. In fact, it seemed to be the fastest we've taken the trip. We had to stop once for a bathroom break, and stopped to see the baboons. There was one stretch where what seemed like 15-20 baboons were lining the road. However, there is one hillside that reguarly has baboons walking around in an open field. A group of us walked up a steep hill (away from the baboons) with a spectacular view. A few locals followed us up the hill, hawking various handmade items, including a hat with a tuft of baboon hair sticking out of the top. Benjamin and Ty each purchased one.

Ty and Benjamin sporting their baboon hats, along with the guys who sold them to us.
Note the spectacular view behind us!

Our only stop was for lunch, about two hours outside of Addis. It was a spectacularly sunny day, and (knowing how cold it was back home) we enjoyed the time outside, soaking in the warmth.
Once we returned to Addis, we unpacked our now empty suitcases. I was anxious to start posting my blog entries, but learned quickly that not only did we not have Internet, but we also didn't have electricity. No way to recharge our devices! What would we do? How would we survive without Internet? :-)

I also needed to purchase Addis Tea, so Benjamin and I walked down to the corner to see what we could find. A sign of our comfort here is that we are willing to take these treks on our own. When we came the first time, we didn't go anywhere without a translator.

Benjamin was wearing his Ethiopian soccer jersey, so many of the kids were yelling "Ethiopia!" at him as we walked by.

At the store, I managed to convey to the store clerk what we were looking for. I needed ten boxes, but because Rob Tennant had beat me to this store, there were only five left, which I purchased and bagged up. I needed five more boxes, so we wandered from store to store. We walked into one store, and me, thinking I was being clever, held up a box of what I had already purchased, thinking I was indicating what I wanted. The clerk shook her head no, so we walked out, only to be chased down by the clerk asking us to return. A new woman, dressed in head to toe in black, with only her eyes showing, spoke perfect English, asking us what we needed. I explained to her I needed five boxes of Addis Tea. After some more explanation, it seems that the clerk thought we were trying to sell her our tea.

We walked back to the guest house (still no electricity), had a nice dinner, and sat around talking. Most everyone was pretty tired, so wandered off to bed. Neither Benjamin nor I were tired so we sat in the living room and played cards (he clobbered me). The electricity and Internet came on for about ten minutes, which gave me time to check in with Lori. Unfortunately, it went back out and would stay out for the rest of our time in Addis.

Tomorrow will be a very special day. Benjamin is being baptized. He spent some time tonight talking to Rob. It will be a memorable day.

1 comment:

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