Monday, December 26, 2011

Last Day in Ethiopia - Day 10!

Shopping - Packing
Saturday  November 26, 2011

Lazy morning.  Great breakfast by Aster.  Omelet and fresh, homemade biscuits with jam.  Just coffee for me and a bite of Frank's biscuit.  Haven't had much of an appetite since I got sick on Monday.

It's so nice to hang out with everyone at breakfast.  See the babies play.  Great to see the bonding happen between the babies and their new forever family.

Koen was loving all the daddy time he was getting on this trip.  Love watching them play super heroes and pretend.

Beky picked us up about 11 am.  We had a few last minute things to do.  We stopped at a church to buy wood crosses.  The crosses in Ethiopia are really different and there are crosses for each region.

I really wanted one last macchiato so we went to Tomoca - so good!  We bought some more books at the book store and a map of Ethiopia from a guy on the street.

A lot of beggars today approaching the car.  Moms nursing their babies, little children, disabled - so sad.

We then returned to the Post Office Market to buy the puzzles we saw last week.  A wood puzzle of Africa and one with all different animals - stamped "handmade by the disabled in Addis" on the back.  Also bought a silver cross.

It was neat, awesome really, to see the little boy again that sold us the root toothbrush last week.  Once he saw me he got the biggest smile of recognition on his face and his eyes lit up.  He just kept shyly waving at me.  Loved it.

Back at BJoes we had about 45 minutes to wait for Nate from Connected In Hope to pick up some scarves.  In the meantime Becca and Kirk got home and said the Wood Carriers Shop was closed for some bazaar and she really wanted scarves.  So Becca and Kirk rode with Nate to the shop and helped get scarves ready and picked up a few for themselves :)

Gave baby M his last shot.  Such a good little baby :)  He let me hold him for about 10 seconds then wanted Daddy.  He started really laughing today - loved seeing that!  He is doing so much better now.

We said goodbye to baby M and his mommy and daddy around 4:30 pm.  We plan to keep in touch - at least through Facebook :)

Packing wasn't as hard this time around - thank goodness! 

We all ordered an early dinner from Makush and had our last dinner at BJoes.  Genet and Marta were there tonight.  Marta is just the sweetest.  Genet is wonderful. 



Genet walked us over to the art gallery across the driveway.  Five artists have studios in this real cool house.  Very artsy.  We met 4 of the 5 artists and walked around their gallery and in each studio.  Just beautiful.  I mean eye-catching pops of bright color; amazing talent.  We bought one piece that I knew was meant for our house as soon as I saw it.  It screams Ethiopia.

We said our final goodbyes, paid our tabs, took last minute photos, hugged and said goodbyes again.  Beky drove us to the airport and had help this time with our luggage - needed 2 cars because we do not know how to pack light.  He knew some of the porters when we arrived and they handled all of our bags and raced us right through to the terminal.  Tipped them 100 Birr each - about 6 USD.

goodbye photo with Becca, Kirk and Mollie

goodbye to Beky

As soon as a child is spotted in lines they are whisked right up to the front (at least in our case).  This happened both trips with Ethiopian Air.  The children are served first on the airplane too.  No waiting in lines for visa or immigration with Koen :)

So now we are sitting her at the gate waiting to board.  It's 9:40 pm and Koen is sleeping on the bench.  I'm hoping we all sleep most of the way home.  We are scheduled to land in DC at 7:40 am.

Side Notes

Book World - bought Ethiopian Traditional Games for 15 Birr.  Has a great story behind it.

Other things I observed during our stay: 

1.  No road rage.  There are no traffic signals and cars/taxis/trucks/animals everywhere but did not see road rage once.  Everyone just takes turns.  Nice.

2.  No smoking.  I told Beky that I didn't see one person smoking anywhere (and there are a LOT of people).  He told me it is very shameful to be seen smoking, especially for women. 

3.  Very affectionate.  Men often walk holding hands and ladies arm in arm.

Sunday  November 27, 2011
My Birthday

We arrived in DC on schedule.  Shuttled our tired bodies to the hotel - checked in - dropped our bags - freshened up - and met Cary and Kaylin for a late birthday lunch.

When we met Yoftahe - one of the drivers in Ethiopia - he told us his brother had an Ethiopian restaurant in Alexandria.  We decided then that we would be having my birthday meal with the kids at this restaurant.  It was perfect really - close to where Kaylin lives and Cary was traveling through DC heading back to Duke.


Food was amazing.  His brother knew who we were since Yoftahe took a picture of us with him while in Ethiopia and sent it to his brother.  It really was great meeting him.

Yoftahe's brother in his restaurant

outside the restaurant with Cary and Kaylin (Koen is sleeping in the stroller)

We about passed out as soon as we got back to our hotel.  Heading back home in the morning.  Can't stop thinking about my little girl we had to leave behind :(

Present day - December 26:  I'm going back!  Koen and I leave on January 1st to take custody of Beza!  Excited, nervous, anxious!  We will be living in Ethiopia until the US Embassy says we can bring our little girl home.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!


  1. oh, i loved reading all that! Thanks for doing such a good job at recapping. So glad to share so many of the same memories with you guys. Just got home and opened the photo/recipe book for the shiro wat! Made my day!! That was the best little gift ever and so thoughtful. Thank you! I'll try to call this week before you leave. Praying!

  2. I loved reading this. When we go, I want to be a piece of art. How big was the piece you bought? I'm wondering if I buy a big piece, how do I get it home? If you don't mind me asking, how are the prices on the art?

    Jenkins Journey to Ethiopia Adoption

  3. Your blogs have been so helpful...I have been taking notes! We may be meeting soon. We will be in country Jan 5! Thanks for all the insight!

  4. Yay! You're going back! So excited for you and happy that you'll get to start really bonding with B!

    I also made a comment to my travel buddy about the no road rage thing. Amazing :)

  5. Wishing you and Koen a safe trip and hopefully you will be able to return quickly with your little girl. We cannot wait to meet her.

  6. Kathleen,

    I just caught up on your posts from your trip. Thank you for so much detail! I can't wait till we get to go (hoping February). Praying you receive your Embassy clearance soon and have a great second trip!

  7. Have you guys gotten an embassy date yet? I'm hoping you are home and united as a family of 4 very soon!

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