Monday, March 15, 2010

Travel Journal (slowly but surely I'll get it on here)

2-3-10. At the Guest House. Laurel.

Yesterday we tried to lay low because we were tired and Ephraim is sick - a lot of congestion in his nose and chest. But we needed to go to the Hilton to exchange some more money and get Ephraim some medicine. This week has been an interesting week to come to Addis because there is a big meeting among African leaders here this week. So soldiers with huge rifles are all over and random roads close temporarily without warning...and the Hilton was closed to non-guests we discovered when we drove over there. So our driver/guide/interpreter Tesfaye took us to the bank and the Ethiopian Airlines office to confirm our flights home.

It was hot, Ephraim was stuck in the Baby Bjorn the whole time, he had a dirty diaper and we couldn't change it, we were all hungry and dehydrated, and we went to a bad part of the city where people looked at us very interestingly, especially with an Ethiopian baby. We just felt uncomfortable. Had we known we were going there, we wouldn't have brought Ephraim. We thought we were going to the Hilton where lots of adoptive families stay. Anyway, add Ethiopian driving onto all that and we were all carsick, too.

As we sat in the Ethiopian Airlines office, I was holding Ephraim, and an Ethiopian woman sat next to me. She smiled at Ephraim and said, "Your baby? No." (Like it couldn't be.) I said, "Yes." She said, "Your baby?" I said, "Yes." She looked away. I thought about explaining, "Adopt", but decided it didn't need an explanation.

A little later, another woman at the office was admiring Ephraim and asking us his name and age. She said she would like to adopt one day because she thinks it's important to "give good love" and adopt, but she told us Ethiopians don't really approve of adoption. We thought that was interesting.

At lunchtime, the guest house put on a traditional coffee ceremony for us. A woman dressed in traditional garb ceremoniously roasted the coffee beans, ground them with a mortar and pestal and brewed the coffee. It was the freshest and most intense cup of coffee I've ever had. They served popcorn with it. This is a great place to stay!

2-3-10. Evening. Chris.

We took Ephraim to see the doctor at the orphanage because of his congestion and she basically said it wasn't serious and to keep doing what we're doing.

Then we had the afternoon just us at the guest house...but we were all kind of tired and irritable. I couldn't get Ephraim to lay still so I could do back-to-back diaper changes, so I was getting frustrated. Laurel came up from lunch and saw my state of mind and immediately started helping. Then within a minute or two Ephraim crawled over to me on the bed, propped up on my legs, and looked at me with a huge smile.

At the orphanage, the nurse said that Ephraim looks like me. Woohoo! And a man working there thought I could lift 200 kilos, which is 440 lbs.

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