Thursday, May 8, 2008

Our First Day in Ethiopia

(I'm sure I can write this post with an almost-2-year-old sitting in my lap and feeding me paper. I'm sure I can write this post with an...)

We arrived in the airport around 7:15 on Thursday morning, April 24. In the airport we got our Ethiopian visas, then went through passport control and got our luggage.

We arranged a taxi in the airport (for 100 birr... $9.50... kind of expensive... whatever!) to go to our hotel, the Semien Hotel. At the time we didn't know that our agency had arranged for a driver to pick us up and take us to a *different* guesthouse. Oh, well!

Later, we wondered if this man was waving at US and was actually our driver. Turns out it wasn't but that would have been funny!!

We arrived at our hotel and unpacked our bags and called our lawyer, who was dismayed to discover that the missing family had been found. He came over to our hotel, talked the hotel into only charging us for 1/2 day (we were there for all of 3 hours + 1 shower!), and drove us over to the Toukoul guesthouse which turned out to be a MUCH MUCH better place for us to be for the week. OY. Here is the view from our 3-hour hotel:

And here is the gate into the Toukoul guesthouse. It was continuously manned by someone who worked on the grounds of the guesthouse.

Then our driver took us over to meet our children!! We got two pictures before the batteries died (fortunately we had plenty of extras at the guesthouse). They appeared unannounced, so we went from having a very confusing multi-participant conversation about what our plan was for taking the children (how on earth could we know before we MET them???????? We wanted to know how Raizel felt about it first!!) to BOOM there they were in the doorway (HUH?!). Pretty funny, kind of... I guess it would have been nice to have a minute to prepare for THE MOMENT. :)

So, here is our first glimpse of them!

Raizel was a bit uncertain of what was actually going on. Instead of reaching out for her immediately I took out an adorable little brown dollie I'd found at the local grocery store for $2.49 (!). She really liked it, and then we went into the visiting room for a little while.

TO BE CONTINUED... crying toddler! :)

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