Sunday, December 19, 2010

Travel and Arrival Day

I am combining the 18th and 19th into one day as a good portion of the 18th was spent on a plane! Here are some excerpts from my travel journal.
12/19/2009 2:30am Rome
"So we made it to Rome at about 1am and are just about to get ready to take off again for the last leg. I have been up and talked to Jim several times (ADD makes it hard to sit for this long..wonder if I am bugging him ?) He has talked to Jen several times on text while we have been on the ground, she is still feeling pretty sick. I am sad she is not here, but glad she is taking care of herself. I am beginning to be tired. It is only 9ish back home, but it has been a long travel day with lots of emotions. As much as I want to get Isaiah now, I am thinking the day of rest and re-cooperation will be good so I am ready for him on Monday. In about 5 hours I will be in his country. I don't have hospital bracelets to save from labor, so I will save plane tickets to commemorate my 18 hour plane "labor". I am so excited to get there and see your country."
12/19 8:13am Ethiopia
"Breakfast is about to be served..again:) I have been on this plane so long I was served breakfast when we boarded in DC and am about to be served breakfast again before getting off in ET. I slept a little during the leg from Rome to ET, got about 2 hours and we are a little less than 2 hours from landing. Then it is time for the Addis airport adventure...visas, currency exchange, claiming all that luggage and finding my ride. Jim will get off the plane with me and do most of that but he is going with some friends and not back to the Guest House with me, so soon I will really be on my own. A bit scary to be honest. Glad I have him to get through the airport though.
In 48 hours I will be holding my son. Hope I don't ugly sobbing for video or pictures of this moment. Tears..fine...ugly crying..not so much :) I have reviewed all my documents and think I have everything in order. Okay time to land and get off this plane..please."
12/19 4 pm Ethiopia
" Just got back to the room after an amazing afternoon. Jim and I made it through the airport with no problem. I was surprised and a little intimidated to see that they scan your luggage leaving the airport. Not sure why they are scanning it but it made me nervous for a moment. After we got through that we walked out and there was a tall gentleman, nicely dressed with a sign that had mine and Jim's last name on it. It was Haile..I was so excited to see him. Jim was heading off with a friend he and Jen have that lives in Addis now and so I was getting nervous about being on my own. But Haile was there along with another cab driver who took my stuff and whisked me off to the Grand Guest House. I had to chuckle a little at the fact that Haile's car had tapes of American country singers in it. Apparently he is a fan :) Anyway, we dropped my stuff off at the Grand Guest House and went around the corner to the other Guest House where Byron and Audrey were staying. I was a bit sad they were not at the same place as me, but since they have older kids they needed a place with 2 rooms! The three of us made plans with Haile to have a driver take us sightseeing in the afternoon and Haile then left us. I felt a little unsure when he left..odd how I found comfort in knowing that he was around. Previous travelers had all spoken so highly of him.
But Audrey, Byron and I set out to find lunch. We went to Zola's for lunch (which consequently would be where I got most of my meals from for the week). I had pasta...yes in Ethiopia and my first meal was pasta! After lunch Getu came and picked us up to sightsee. He took us to a beautiful church to look around. I am overcome with emotions as I look at all the people. They are beautiful in so many ways. There are lots of beggars, people coming to our cab window to ask for money or food. There are donkeys walking down the middle of the road and there does not seem to be much as far as traffic laws, even down to which side of the street you need to drive on. A bit scary and glad I am not driving. After we saw the church Getu took us down to see the open air market. We were told we could not get out and shop but that he would drive us through so we could see it. Glad we didn't get out and shop, even while just driving through someone reached through the open car window and stole Byron's camera from his hands. I was shocked and started to keep a tighter grip on mine. Well going to try and take a quick nap and then meet Byron and Audrey for dinner. Don't want to sleep long but need a little something to keep me going. On a side note Lisa and Nate and Laura and David should be on their way here now:) "
12/19 9:30 pm Ethiopia
"Just talked to Audrey, Haile called her to say that Lisa, Nate, Laura and David are snowed in so they will not be arriving on Sunday. Hoping for a Monday arrival. While I am saddened and anxious for them, I am so glad I left early and am here already. There are two other families that will be here as well. Not sure when they are set to arrive.
I got to meet Johnie. He works here at the Guest House and the previous travelers have all spoken of what a great help Johnie is. He told me he could help me place an international call for $1.25 a minute. Not too bad so tomorrow I might try and call Jen, just to hear a friendly voice and that means I can call my mom on Christmas.
I am nervous. my tummy is jumbly as my mom would say. I pray the others get here safely to pick their children up. I am sad Jen is not here with me, she has been my support system through so much. I will be fine I would just be better with her here. (hehe) Well I am feeling a bit congested so taking a cold medicine and heading to be.
I am here! I am in Ethiopia to get Isaiah! Wow"

It has been fun to re-read my journal. Not sure how much it interests the readers, but here is a slide show of the trip and the things I saw. Tomorrow will be less journal and more memory of the people I met on Sunday and my adventure attending an Ethiopian church.

The Trip from Jennifer Kramer on Vimeo.


Jennifer M said...

You definitely have one avid reader for sure! I'm loving reading your updates. And of course remembering.

debbiemc19 said...

Awesome. I love reading about your experience!