Friday, January 6, 2012

This one is probably going to be short b/c I have had a long eventful day and I am tired. But I don't want to get too far behind. I want to get through the travel stuff so I can get to the fun stuff.

So I got on the plane from London to Addis Ababa. I had a window seat with someone sitting beside me, so it wasn't nearly as comfortable as the flight to London was. I read for a bit, then fell asleep. Walking around London had been pretty exhausting. I woke up not too long after take off. The guy beside me was really nice. We struck up a conversation about our huge carry on fees. As it turned out he was a Economics professor. We chatted about politics and economics, most of which I did not understand. I wanted to be polite and let him talk though so I nodded and listened. He had been born in Ethiopia and was traveling back to visit. He had been in the US for 36 years. At some point during the flight he got up to go to the bathroom and I jumped up to grab something out of my backpack. I lifted the arm rest up to get up quickly before he came back. I forgot to put it back down. When I fell back asleep and he did too, he ended up all sprawled out on my side in my space. Because the arm rest wasn't down he was seriously in my space. I couldn't, however, put the arm rest down without being rude. So I dozed in and out and reminded myself about how many people warned me that people in Ethiopia do not have personal space or respect for it. I figured this was a good time to start getting used to it and and to be reminded that life wasn't all about me. I did not sleep so well during this leg of the journey.
We arrived in Addis and I was so glad to finally be here. It was definitely a long journey. I had to wait in a really long line to get my visa after waiting a very long time in the wrong line. Then I went get my luggage. My carry on which I had been forced to check came out, but unfortunately after seeing the same box of oil go past me on the luggage belt I realized that the other bags did not make it with me. I had known that there was a chance that the bags wouldn't have made it on the plane. I went to find Levi and figure out where I needed to file a claim. My carry on and back pack had to go through a security check point xray machine. The man tried to get me to pay a bribe to get my photo printer in, but I played dumb and acted like I didn't understand what he was trying to say to me. He finally got annoyed and gave up on me. I got my bags and found Levi. We found out I had to go back into the main arrival gate to file a claim. At the claim site I filed a claim and found out that my bags were still in Dallas. Wow!!!! She assured me that they would go on the next plane to Addis Ababa once she entered the claim and should be here by the next day. I didn't get them until I had been here for 3 days. I was pretty tired but super excited about finally being in Ethiopia. The first few minutes of talking the Jessie and Levi were slightly awkward, but after about 15 minutes we were like old friends. I really love these guys. I feel so comfortable in their house and with them. It's like we have been friends for a lifetime. I knew that the best way to settle into this time zone was to stay awake all day and go to sleep at bed time. I really wanted to do that b/c I didn't want to miss any time here. I wanted to get into the groove and be able to hit the ground running. I fought fiercely to stay awake. There were many times I got myself dozing off sitting straight up. I went to the big market with Jesse; that was neat. I went to the grocery store. We ate a delicious dinner cooked by the cook that prepares food for them. I kept dozing off, but I would get up and walk around when I realized that I had fallen asleep. I was determined to make the transition in one day and not lose any time. Finally at 745 my eyes were starting to cross even standing up and Jessie said she thought it was late enough. I went upstairs and realized that I did not have my super comfy pj's and my security thermal shirt and was sad. Jessie lent me some clothes to sleep in. The house is like a meat locker; seriously. The sun doesn't really hit the house right to warm it and it is all concrete, so it is super cold. I wasn't really expecting that. I put in my ear plugs and fell deep asleep. I woke up at my normal 430 am which I was excited about. It is my favorite time of the day and gave me quiet time to pray and prepare for the day before anyone else was awake. I did my Pilates and went down stairs for coffee and quiet time. I have to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Ethiopian coffee. We drink it in a french press at the Benkerts and it is so delicious. It is the best coffee I have ever drunk. I will be bringing a bunch home. I do not like Starbucks Ethiopia Sidamo at all so I wasn't sure how I would feel about it. I love it. I don't want to drink anything else. It has the best flavor and undertone. It is amazing. Oh and milk comes in a bag here. Weird. More tomorrow. I promise tomorrow we will get into the really interesting stuff.

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