Ethiopia, Day 3-Afternoon

The Embassy was quite an experience.  We had to park a little down the road and walk.  As always, some boys met us at the car asking for money.  They followed us for a little ways before giving up.  While waiting to go through security to get into the Embassy there was a man there harrassing the security guard.  He kept telling her how she was evil, working for the devil and ruining Ethiopia.  How there were no jobs and the people were suffering.  She very calmly continued to do the job while also talking to him.  She kept telling him he could get a job.  That standing there talking to her was not helping his situation.  He could be working if he would just leave and go find a job.  He definitely was not buying that story.  Once through the initial security check we went into a small courtyard that contained rows of people waiting.  I felt guilty as we went ahead of them, but this was because we had an appointment.  Once inside the Embassy there were even more people waiting.  We waited awhile and Baby G managed to fall asleep for a little bit.  It was nice being with the other families and sharing experiences.  It was definitely hard being the only ones at the Hilton, I really did not realize how much being with these other families helped.  We were the first ones to be called upstairs.  Baby G slept through the entire thing.  I was sworn in, asked a few questions, signed a few lines, and presto–we were done.  We waited for the other families to finish and all headed back to the Hilton, as they were going to reconfirm their flights and exchange some money.  When we got back to the car, Nate, the volunteer who drove us handed a few birr to one of the boys who was waiting for us.  The other boy quickly became upset and Nate asked the first boy to hand some to the second.  The first boy refused, walking away.  The second boy was now very upset and distraught looking.  Nate pulled out a few more birr for this boy.

Once at the Hilton we rested up and headed for dinner.  I very highly recommend the Pizzeria.  It was very delicious brick oven pizza.  We later discovered you could also get it in your room, pure heaven 🙂

Our lost luggage was due to arrive at the airport this evening so around 8 my dad and I headed back to the airport on the Hilton Shuttle, a trip I was DEFINITELY not looking forward to.  The shuttle driver went into the airport with us and showed me where to go.  I was headed in when he told me to give him the baby and he would wait while we went to get the luggage.  I had a definite moment of mother panic.  My dad read my face immediately and whispered, “do you want me to stay out here with them”  I just found myself thinking, what happens when I come out with my luggage only to find my baby is gone.  Perhaps this is only an American fear, but I could definitely not just leave him with a stranger.

So my dad stayed behind and I ventured in to fight for luggage once more.  While waiting at the carousel I was approached by a man who asked “are you Sarah” He was the man working at baggage claim the night ours had been lost.  He had already put my bag aside and went to get it for me.  I was very relieved at this.  I also saw several familiar faces of the other passengers whose baggage had been offloaded.  One of which was a Scottish man who worked for the UN I had been talking with while in the line for baggage claim.  When I went to pay duty I realized it costs twice as much as I had anticipated and I did not have enough money.  We had brought extra money but it was with my dad on the other side of security.  Once again I was in a panic.  I went and asked my new friend if I could borrow some money.  He was SO nice, patted me on the shoulder and said no problem.  I finally got through only to find the shuttle had once again just left.  So we waited for it to come back all the while listening to some very angry Italian man complain about his luggage being lost–which in the end it really wasn’t even lost, just slow to make it through.  The ride to the Hilton was not very fun as the Italian man talked to some other guy the entire ride.  He complained about the beggars, telling the man they had more money than anyone else.  My dad and I were quietly seething in the backseat.  The shuttle driver also dropped our luggage (which just happened to be a box with a computer and monitor inside!) out of the back of the van as he was loading it.  Grrrr.   At this point I was in a very foul mood and did not ever want to step foot into the airport again…

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sarah
    Aug 23, 2007 @ 17:53:51

    Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    Reply

  2. Malía's mama
    Aug 23, 2007 @ 20:10:41

    Don’t you just love the umpteen security checks, the paying to go in etc? LOL
    As for the Pizza, I moved out of my sad little $8 a night hotel room and into the Hilton for my last week in Ethiopia (hey, Mal and I wanted a REAL BATH after 8 1/2 weeks of showering sitting on a chair, and a real crib, not two arms chairs pushed together :), and I soooo recall that pizza! But, my fav was breakfast buffet I had the last 3 days! Pure decadence after the way I had been subsisting! And, as i am sure you found out, everyone was sooooo good to the baby! 🙂

    Reply

  3. Miranda
    Aug 24, 2007 @ 12:36:23

    What an incredibly beautiful story! I’m sure all adopters wish things could go that smoothly 🙂 I have a quick question – I’m planning a month-long trip to Africa next year and the thoughts of arriving without some (or all) of my luggage scares me lol. You mentioned one of your bags being delivered to the hotel, did you rely on the airlines to return it or were you using some of the newer tags out, like Global Bag Tags for instance? (www.globalbagtag.com in case you aren’t familiar with what I’m talking about) I’m considering buying some, but not sure yet. Congratulations on your baby and a beautiful trip, and thank you so much for sharing your experiences!!

    Reply

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