Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The trip home

Today was a sad day for obvious reasons. Innocent little Ricky had no idea why everyone was hugging him and saying good-bye: he was his smiley, playful self and loved getting the extra attention. The whole morning we spent with Ben (Binyam- the nephew of the owner of TDS) trying to figure out a problem with our tickets. Basically when I bought the tickets I had them issue Engida's with a certain name, and then the Embassy decided on their own to change the last name (shorten a hyphenated name) blah blah so now the names didn't match and no on could change them. We went to the airline's main office, a travel agent, and no luck. I was told just to show up really early at the airport (and cross my fingers?).

There was some sort of religious holiday, and the TDS Guesthouse had a whole buffet set out for everyone for lunch- the amazing, delicious FASTING MENU, cooked by Zufan and Alemnesh (our culinary teachers:).

The picture on the bottom shows the dining room looking into the kitchen. On the left is a huge platter of freshly baked bread (and Engida was thrilled that the platter was eye-level, and on the edge where he could reach it). Next we had a platter of fresh, rolled injera, followed by shiro, lentils, and lots of veggies!

Beautiful cooks with Tamire, Engida and I!

Check out his huge chunks of bread- this little boy loves his carbs!

Watching intently during the coffee ceremony. She then lovingly fed him a cup of the strong Ethiopian coffee with about 4 tsp of sugar. I was wondering how this caffeine and sugar would work on his system when we got on the plane for our 34 hour trip home....

Engida with Hirut and Bedalu (who were trying to press all of the buttons on Lewis' videocamera).

During Engida's nap, I finished packing up everything. I asked Ato Teklu to get me to the airport early so I could see if there was any problem with the tickets being in a different name than the passport- but everything worked out great, we were the first passengers checked in for the flight and had the whole terminal almost to ourselves to play with balloons and run around. We finally got on board, read all of the books, took out the cars and toys, played with the Cheerios book and spilled the bag of Cheerios on the floor, he ate half the snacks, and went potty twice before the seatbelt sign was turned on.

It was a really long flight. I think 6 or 8 or 800 hours from Addis to Dubai (where we landed at 2 in the morning). I had somehow gotten sleeping Engida into the carrier and all of the toys into his bag, tucked into my rollie with my laptop and cameras and extra clothes and whatever snacks were leftover. The airport in Dubai was so much more beautiful and less chaotic when it was just me. For some reason the lines were miles long, and I had to go to an extra station because Engida was traveling on an ET passport. His 28 pounds began to feel like 128 pounds, I was sweating and wanted to throw away my rollie- but finally we made it to the bus stop for our hotel. Engida woke up, we made it to the hotel, had a snack, and went back to the room to go to sleep for 6 hours. In the morning we ate a quick breakfast, and squeezed onto the crowded bus back to the airport. Engida didn't like the take-offs or landings because he had to be strapped in his seat- but he loved being swaddled and rocked in the blanket, sleeping in my arms for a long time between mini-tantrums. Luckily planes are really loud:). There weren't any huge disasters, it just was a very long, slow flight. We had been on the flight for days, and when I would look on the screen to track our progress we weren't even over Italy yet!?!! Finally after at least 10 movies, we were landing.... my heart was beating in my throat, my mouth was dry, my hands were clammy. I was so, so excited to see Tonito, Vivi, Maya, Tonio.....


Viv and Pete said...

Welcome home! I have thoroughly loved reading about your journey and look forward to reading about your entire family being together!!!! CONGRATS ( :

Dianna and Steve said...


What a great adventure you had!! Engida is sooooo adorable!! Oh my gosh I just love his sweet face! How are things going with Tonito,Vivi, and Maya with Ricky??? I can't wait to see a picture with all of them together!! What a beautiful family you have!!!!