After two days of travel we woke up in our suit at the sadula lodge. Rich had gotten a few hours of sleep, but I really only got two or three hours. There is something about the altitude that makes some people unable to sleep at such a high level and I am lucky to be one of those people who can’t fall asleep. The sounds of rosters and guard dogs fill the air through out the night. There is also two other people in our group that have the same problem. We are now 6 of 8 couples, with one couple in Dubi and another couple still in route.
Our room is lovely by Ethiopian Standards. In america it would be very much like a honey moon in Howard City. I requested a suit which means there is a large sitting area, a bedroom and a bath. We have lots of space which we need because we have so many items to sort out for the different orphanages.
We skipped breakfast to get the donations and gifts ready for the staff of AAI. It was big wrap job because we wanted them to look nice, but could not pre-wrap them or we would not be able to get through security. Rich had a slice of cold pizza that was left in our room along with brown bannas from Alemu.
With a hand full of peanuts and back packs we were the last to arrive down at the gates of the courtyard. We pile into two vans with our drivers. Rich and I seem to gravitate to a driver by the name of Sami. He is about 55 and very well dressed. A few key words like toilet and help me are clear to him and he is very much like a protector of sorts.
We head to the bank for smaller bills. We exchanged some money at the airport the night before. For a 1,000 American dollars (which Racheal and I guessed would be our budget), we received 13,000.00 in Bir. That looks like 130 bills in a big brick. Not many people can take a 100.00 bill so we changed 1000 bir into 10 dollar bills. Now we have another “brick” of tens to hid and stash among our items.
We headed of next to a tour of the city. For some they were emothionally moved by the poverty level and the beggers. With my experience in some other areas, this was something I could handle. Many of the men in our group were focused on thoughts of safety and the women were finding hard to overlook the starving mothers carring babies and the children with missing arms or other issues begging for change.
We headed off to the university museum. A student there took us through the historical information and other highlights of Ethiopia. History, crafts, homes, toys, tribes, cuture, art, music and other topics. The guide was good, but the crowds were showing major signs of jet lag. He did not think we were very bright.
Then we moved on to the national museum. We saw Lucy. She is a 3.2 million but not ape or chimp. We were shocked at the size of her. Very tiny. Look her up on line for more details. We also saw a young child who was recently futured on time magazine. Did you know that are brains were bigger at one time? Our tour guide was showing everyone how the Ethiopian finds prove out that the bible is right about creation and the therory that we came from Apes was wrong. They explained in detail how they believe that Ethiopia was the beginning of mankind and backed it up with a lot of facts and data.
The group of 6 couples then went out to lunch. The resturant had an english menu and everyone mostly got pizza and a few got fish or chicken. We got chicken. The waiter did not take Rich’s order for some reason so he had half of mine.
We then went back to our hotel and met Tesefaye’s wife. We took a taxi about ½ hour to their home. Rich’s first internation taxi : ) It was our pleasure. We both were overwhelmed with the hospitality and kindness you all have shown us. Now I can see why Tesaye is so proud of his family and friends. We had such a wonderful time and both feel forever connected with all of them. We had such a good time that I kept thinking over and over what a wonderful day it had been and how much fun it was that I could not even sleep when I went to bed that night
Tesefeye’s wife is Samrawite and thye have raised two very beautiful, smart and loving childern. Both her mother and Tesefeye’s mother were there and the kids too. They also have an IE of their own and she was there too. Also a frend of Tesfayes was there too. He is a single guy and he speaks English very well. Samrawite’s mother also speaks some English and Samrawite can understand it but say small phrases. Her sons can also understand and speak a little. Tesfayes’ mother not so much.
After meeting both mothers I see she has many people looking out for her!
Tesefeye’s wife is very pretty and smiles a lot. She has good fashion sense and is a good mother to her boys (keeping them in check). She welcomed us in to her home with open arms. I was amazed at how wise and insightful that Samrawit's mother was. A true women of faith and knowlege. If I lived in Addis we would surely be friends. And Tesfaye's mother has a heart of gold. Always looking to make sure everyone feels welcome and happy. I can not wait to describe the feast that was prepared for us to Tesfaye. The only thing I can compare it to is a wedding. During the entire night, Tesfayes friend Afework was the main translator. I have to say that the time really passed quickly and we had a great time. There was a lot of laughing and deep conversations. We had a traditional coffee cerimony and Rich is IN LOVE with Ethiopian coffe!!!! Later I learned how to roast beans and make it too. We made a video of the family for Tesfaye.
I hope they will be able to join us Saturday in the hotel and we will bring back to Tesfaye a full bag with some of his books and give Samrawite some items left over from the trip that she could donate locally.
Now it is a mad rush to get everything wrapped and packed for our trip to the south. This will take a few hours of time working and figuring out what we need and don’t need. Our un-needed items will be packed and stored. Tommarrow we meet the birth mother of Tara, so a lot of planning will be needed. It ended up being a very emotionally charged event. We hope to tell you more about day 4 later today. We are a day behind on our posts. We are just now waking up to day 5 and I have not blogged day four let.
Richard and Kristie