Friday, April 25, 2008

Guest House Hopping

The flight to Ethiopia left and arrived on time. We got in a little more power napping this time, bringing us to a total of at least 3 hours during the last 48 hours! It took about two hours to get off the plane, get our Ethiopian visas, go through passport control, change our money to birr, and pick up our luggage. We caught a taxi to our hotel, checked in, and went to our room to call our lawyer. He seemed rather surprised that we were at the Simien Hotel. Apparently, many arrangements had been made for us, including an airport pickup, a guesthouse, and a driver. We had made alternate arrangements because of needing our own kitchen (it's the middle of Passover), but apparently all that hadn't been communicated to anyone in Ethiopia.

The lawyer sprung us out of the hotel (we had realized it was perhaps not the bet place for us... and there would be almost NOTHING to do with the kids during shabbat). We paid for 1/2 day, and he drove us to the guesthouse to get us settled in. We took lots of pictures of Addis along the way. We'll add those later... no camera cable right now.

Short story - the guesthouse is wonderful, the grounds are beautiful, quiet, and peaceful, and it's the best place we could be. We'll tell more about our helpers there and the other families that are staying with us... but first, THE CHILDREN!

We were driven to the orphanage around 4:00. First we met with Malat, the orphange director to discuss our plans for our children. There were some very confusing conversations at first, due to our tired brains, and others pitching in "helpful" advice, so that I (Kerith) felt like 20 people were jabbering at me at once about what was best for our children. OY! We forgot about all the confusion at the surprise moment when our children were brought into the room (without warning!).

We handed the camera to Malat (which then ran out of batteries... We think she got 1 picture!) They looked exactly like their pictures, and we also discovered that their personalities were exactly as we had imagined. Avi smiled and laughed as he touched his papa's beard. Mama gave Raizel a tiny little brown doll, and she loved that. We played with the doll together and after a few minutes she was willing to sit in mama's lap. A little while later we were playing a game where she would stick out her finger and have her stuffed teddy bear kiss it. And she kissed the bear too! The time flew by, and we left them there for the night.

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