We ended our 1st day in Ethiopia rather early with me finally crawling in bed around 2:30. Dustin and Jen woke up for dinner and said they knocked on our door several times but with the combination of ear plugs and fatigue we were OUT.
Mark woke me up at one point to ask me something, I have no idea what, and the next thing I remember it was 9 p.m. While still tired I was worried I wouldn’t sleep very much longer so Mark and I both took a sleeping pill. I remember waking up around 2 and then I think I fell back asleep. The next time I looked at the clock it was 2:40 a.m. I felt rested and actually had a “I slept too long” headache. When I got up to use the bathroom Mark was in the living room and he asked me if I had reset the bedside clock because his watch actually said 5:30. We realized that the power must have gone off at some point and it was actually 5:30 in the morning which was a great relief. With 15 hours of sleep we were feeling pretty good.
Dustin and Jen were up and actually on the computer downstairs. Later we came back up and had a great time of just devotionals and prayer together before breakfast. Breakfast was something like Cream of Wheat which has to be one of my least favorite things so when I saw it I was not jazzed. But, with some sugar it was actually not bad. One of the other families also had some peanut butter and jelly which we put on the bread provided.
At about 9:30 Akki, our driver arrived and we headed out for a morning of shopping in the area by the post office. For transportation we have a driver and another man (not sure what his job is besides helping the driver park) and Akki, who acts as translator. Either the driver or the other man stays with the vehicle at all times so you can leave your packages inside if you want. We went in four or five shops and bought several things. Some of the shop owners spoke English (everyone understood “How much?”) and Akki helped with any translations. You can bargain a bit and they will usually come down a couple of dollars. Dustin got his shoes shined and they tried to convince Mark to get his sneakers shined but he decided to pass. However after about an hour or so Jen started to not feel well at all and so we headed back to the guest house. We suspect that it was a combination of the side effects of her medicine (dizziness), travel and perhaps some altitude adjustment. While driving you’re also getting exposed to a lot of exhaust which I know made me nauseous as well.
We had lunch and then adjusted our plans a bit. We had originally planned to go to Hope for the Hopeless this afternoon but with Jen not feeling well we decided to postpone a day and instead went out to finish some shopping with one of the other adoptive couples at the guest house. We were able to cross much of our shopping list off including coffee and a mesob. When we were finished at the coffee shop we got back in the van but then Akki said the driver wasn’t back yet because he was having a cup of coffee. While we were waiting a man came up to Mark’s window and he was selling small traditional coffee pots. He started at 20 birr (about $2) and finally came down to 10. I decided why not. I gave him the money and he handed us the coffee pot. Then he said “do you want the stand? – 5 birr” which was a round flat piece (sort of like an ashtray size/shape). I kind of waved him off and then he said “It will not stand up without it.” Ha! Ethiopian sales technique. So he got my extra 5 birr and we got a good laugh. Still only $1.50 for the coffee pot – which will be mostly decorative.
The other adoptive couple we were with asked about seeing Akki’s church on the way back to the guest house so we stopped there as well. Akki is Protestant and attends Gospel Light Church. We had no idea what to expect and were really amazed at his church. It is a long building made out of aluminum siding (green). Inside are rows and rows of wood benches – probably seats about 2,000 people. The have some sort of fabric padding on the ceiling for acoustical purposes and speakers set up. He showed us outside a grassy area that is their “overflow” area. Next door is some more land were they have a small cafe, a bookstore and then a four story building that is going to be a Bible college. I was amazed in that the idea of it is so similar to what our church in Phoenix plans but yet it looks so different.
We asked if we could accompany him to church on Sunday and he said we could – they even provide English translation through headphones.
While we were there we got a call that Dustin had decided to take Jen to see a doctor because she was feeling worse. We met them at the Korean hospital but they did not have a cardiologist there and so they sent us to the Addis Heart Hospital. We stayed with them there while they did an EKG and ran some blood work. They told her that she was okay and that it was probably just a combination of her already known heart issue, traveling and adjusting to the altitude. She was feeling much better by the time we left.
The guest house staff had saved some dinner for us – chicken soup and bread – which we ate and then headed up to our rooms.
Mark, Akki and I in front of his church.
This was going to be the end of my post but since internet wasn’t working yesterday I did not get this posted. I have much to write about today’s activities (Thurs) but they will take some more time to process. We spent most of the day with Fekadu and the Hope for the Hopeless kids – they are incredible. Look for more, hopefully tomorrow. (Jen is feeling MUCH better today and was out all day with us.)