Exactly 49 hours after we left for the airport (the first time) in Charlotte we were FINALLY back in our home in Awassa, Ethiopia.
packing up all the essentials
ready to go
It’s now Monday evening (but who knows when I’ll post this…our internet is out of commission) and our bags are unpacked, Elaine is sleeping, dinner’s ready and I feel at peace…even if it’s just for a moment.
Getting here was rough. I don’t think there is any way to make traveling around the world with a new little baby easy. It didn’t help that we had a 12 hour delay right off the bat. But it all worked out and we somehow arrived in Addis in one piece, minus our luggage. C’est la vie.
lots of airport hang time
so excited for her first flight
Elaine was a trooper through the whole trip. Well besides the part when we sat down on the first 9+ hour flight and she screamed like crazy. Maybe it was because they made her wear a seat belt, a very tiny seatbelt. Or maybe it’s because they changed our tickets to US Air and those flight attendants are not very pleasant. She cried enough to scare the other passengers and then promptly fell asleep and slept the whole flight…in my arms. That is a long flight…even longer when you’re holding a baby. We may or may not have put her on the ground between our feet for a little bit. Desperation.
elaine and her first passport
After a long layover in Frankfurt we boarded the final leg of the trip to Addis. We flew Lufthansa and they were like a breath of fresh air after the first airlines. Elaine had her own little bed and could sleep without the fear of me dropping her as I dozed (well that was my fear at least). And the flight attendant brought her little toys and Ben some stronger drinks to make the trip more bearable:) She slept all the way to Addis and even through immigration and customs.
Our bags didn’t arrive, but Elaine’s bag of extra diapers and clothes arrived so we were good to go. Ben and I didn’t even mind that we had to wear the same clothes again- well maybe we minded a little. Our rule of always packing a spare set of clothes in our carryon was overruled as we crammed in Elaine’s essentials. But we did sneak in some clean underwear- score! One thing that didn’t arrive was Elaine’s carseat base. After it was ingrained in my head in the US that it was illegal to drive with a baby not in a properly installed car seat, I felt strange, and somewhat criminal, driving through Addis with her on my lap. Welcome to Africa.
We finally arrived back at the guest house. Took showers (they had water. Hallelujah!) and fell into bed. All three of us slept through the night, minus the few times I woke up to see if Elaine was still breathing- I did not expect her to sleep that well at all!
Early the next morning we hopped in the van, picked up our luggage that had arrived on another flight in record time, and started the very last leg of our trip to Awassa.
Elaine enjoyed the scenery for sure:)
We were greeted at our home in Awassa by our co-workers and friends and a beautifully prepared feast of Doro Watt (traditional Ethiopian food). So, so good. How many people are welcomed home with a coffee ceremony in their living room? We are blessed for sure.
Elaine experiencing her first coffee ceremony with LemLem
So now we’re home and the reality of it all is setting in. On Tuesday Ben leaves for Addis and begins two weeks of traveling. I’m not too excited about being left alone here with Elaine. I’m thankful for good friends here that I’ve been missing, but they sure can’t replace a husband.
Oh, I almost forgot…Mactintosh! He was mucho excited to have us back home. He really isn’t that interested in Elaine. He’s sniffed her diaper and licked her head and peaced out. When she cried he hid under the bed. I think it’ll be a while before I leave them alone together. He’s now an outside dog…other than when we let him inside. Um, ok, maybe he’s sleeping at my feet as I write this:) I’m such a sucker when he looks at me with those puppy dog eyes.
(cute outfit courtesy of Auntie Sherri:)
Ok, I made it through a whole post without complaining about the water situation, but I just have to say….I MISS AMERICAN SHOWERS! The four drips (yes, I counted them this morning) of lukewarm water that come out of our showerhead just don’t cut it. We have got to get that fixed. Ok, I’m done.
Love from the motherland,