***This post was written on the trip, just not posted until now, so things are a little out of order - oh well.***
This trip to Addis seems almost surreal. Getting the news on Wednesday, leaving town Friday for an early Saturday flight, there hasn’t really been time to process it all. It seems odd. Part of it must be that this trip is different though. There are no butterflies about meeting Meklit for the first time, because I have already done that. No jitters of the unknown-ness of going to Addis for the first time - been there. I know the guest house, the airport, the restaurants, how to get around, so none of those things need to be worried about.
It felt so strange that I had to send a last minute email to Erin just to make sure that the ticket, passport and money I have with me are really the only things I need. No paperwork, no appointments, nothing. Just pick her up, hang out for a couple days and fly home. I think the only thing scheduled will be her going away party.
I am sitting in the airport in Washington DC waiting another 3 hours for the flight from here to Addis to leave. I have a fresh outlook on flight lengths, so the trip here from Portland seems like a hop rather than a long flight. Maybe it is all perspective because my rear end didn’t even get sore. If only I could say that after this next flight.
I sat next to a Dr. from a Christian medical relief agency on the way here from Portland. His wife is Ethiopian, from Addis. The regularity that these connections happen doesn’t even surprise me anymore. We had a great conversation once we got over the American habit of not talking to the people sitting next to you. I hate that and regularly practice it at the same time.
Another cool connection is that Ted Burton will be staying at the guest house at the same time I will be there. He is going to be spending time with an older girl at Layla that his family is adopting, but the cool connection is that he is the dad of Meklit’s close friend who went home last summer. They live near Portland, so we can get the girls together, and now they are adopting one of Marta’s friends too, so it will be fun to get to know him.
Last night we drove over to Portland so that this morning’s 5 am trip to the airport didn’t have to start at 3, and everyone has so much fun playing in the pool. Playing hard is a good way to start a week away from Lisa and the kids. Protect them while I am gone Lord.