Monday, April 4, 2011
Karen's Journal from Ethiopia 2
March 25th Friday The flight went well. We left and arrived on time. There were movies to watch and games to play. We were all so tired from being up late, but it was still hard to sleep on the plane. I think I might have gotten 3-4 hours during the course of the flight. We sat beside a man from KY who was there to pick up his 4 year old boy and a couple that was from TN who were picking up 3 and 4 year old brothers. We got off the plane and walked down a flight of stairs to stand in line to pay for our VISAs. $20 per person. Then we had to get in line to ahve our passports stamped. After that we walked a few yards to pick up our luggage and then exchange our US money into Ethiopian BIRR. We then had to lug our 14 bags of luggage to customs, not sure, but all of it had to go under a scanner. It went fast, by the time we got all of the luggage in the scanner, it was piling up on the other side on the floor. As we walked out the door, we saw a man holding up a small "Grace Guest House" sign in the midst of about 100 other people waiting to greet their visitors. Then the 3 men that came to get us loaded all the luggage on top of a very old van. We then drove a harrowing ride to the guest house. No traffic lights, everyone switching lanes, honking, near misses. The last 1/2 mile to the guest house was a dirt road with deep ruts and very bumpy. Our rooms are on the 3rd floor, no elevator. The ladies running the guest house asked if we wanted to go get the children then or rest. We opted to rest since we were all almost sick with exhaustion. Daniel picked us up at 2pm and we headed to Resurrection Orphanage. Got stuck behind a herd of the scrawniest goeats I've ever seen. When we got there, we were asked which Tariku we were there for. We told him the last name and found out that he was a Hosannah orphanage a 4 hour drive away. However, Abenezer was there. He was in a tiny room with 11 other babies. He was the biggest baby there and walks all around. He just stared at us all. I got down and held him and he didn't seem to mind. The orphanage director said "he always likes white people" We all carried him around and took a tour of the orphanage. It was small and not a lot of kids there. We were able to bring him back to the guest house. One of the nannies was in tears. He had been there a long time. He cried when we put him in the car. All 7 of us in a small Toyota Corrola (Aaron and I, the girls, Abenezer and Daniel the driver) He drank a bottle on the way and hasn't cried since. I had brought a bouncy red ball and he fell in love with it and quickly caught on to the game of passing the ball and taking turns. He fell asleep without fuss in Madelyn's arms and slept for about an hour. As for Tariku. The orphan director told us that it would cost us $150 to ahve them drive us 4 hours to Hosannah and back to pick him up. He said that they did not know we were were coming for court and taht if babies are not sick, they are often sent to Hosannah. If he had known he would have picked him up on their weekly trip, but since he didn't know, that would require a 2nd trip. He would pick us up at 6am. Just a week or two ago, our agency had told us not to gve anyone at the orphanage money at all. So I called Sue from the guest house phone to ask her if we should pay or not. She said to call Dereje to ask him because it was his responsibility to have thte babies transported, not the adoptive families. So, Dereje came over and after few phone calls in another language - arranged with Alazar with CCI to go get Tariku. We had the optionof going too. I asked if they stopped for bathroom breaks. He laughed and said "yes, but there are no bathrooms" We opted out of going there because #1 8 hours in a car with a 16 month old. #2 4 hours total with both kids #3 I get carsick, #4 we took our vaccinations planning on not leaving the capitol city. We had only brought around $300 and we did not plan to spend 1/2 of it on this unexpected expense. So glad that was taken care of. So tomorrow afternoon, Alazar will be bringing Tariku to the guest house. Alazar called tonigh and said since we weren't going with him, to pick up Tariku, he would either bring him tomorrow afternoon or Sunday morning. Hope it's tomorrow. I was able to get on the internet this afternoonn and post on facebook that we had made it and that we had Abenezer, but we are still waiting on Tariku. Abenezer seems healthy. He does have bad diaper rash and he had diarrhea this evening, which didnt help it. It may have been the new formula I gave him. We also gave him a bath which angered him, but once we were done rinsing, he didn't mind so much. Hoping we all sleep good tonight.