Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day 2 (September 13th)

Day 2 (September 13th)

We are late getting into Ethiopia. The “40” minutes in Rome, Italy to refuel turned into two hours due to a 30 plane back-up on the tarmac for departing. I am absolutely exhausted, filthy and wide awake with anticipation. I wanted to arrive while it was still daylight so I could get a sense of the city our babies have called home for the past 12 months. But it is dark, very dark.

We meet Note just outside the airport after getting our Visas and luggage. He has the most permeating smile and is full of kindness. He is our lifeline for the Guest House where we will be staying. While he loads our luggage Hubby and I are confronted by several men speaking rapidly in Amharic. We can’t understand them and Note will not acknowledge us or them. We finally came to the conclusion that they were asking for money. We knew we were entering a 3rd world country and we had heard about people asking/begging for things but we never expected it at the airport.
My desire to see Addis Ababa in daylight today has been left to my imagination and whatever shapes I can make out in the shadows of the night. I am amazed at the paved roads and some street lights. Sometimes you just don’t know what to expect. Although several times Note had to slow down to avoid pot holes that makes ours look like minor pits in the road.

There is so much “fencing” along the road side. Some is made from corrugated tin, cement, bricks and whatever else you can think of. Behind the walls are shadows and shapes that leave me baffled. Some shapes seem to make a spiky like pyramid while others seems to be tons of tall lines in sporadic patterns reaching into the sky. The streets for the most part are empty except for a few wandering people.

After about 20 minutes of travel we turn off the paved roadway onto a gravel/dirt road which is lined with tall fences and gates. We stopped toward the end of the street at a solid black, white and brass gate. The top of the fence attached to the gate is lined with razor wire. Note honks the horn and informs us we are not to get out until we have entered the enclosed area and they have closed the door behind us.
My thought…Toto we’re not in America anymore.

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