Yes...I am about 2 months late on this BUT I wanted to share some about our trip to Ethiopia. Some things I include will probably be boring to most of you BUT I am hoping those that are traveling to Addis for the first time might find it helpful. The Gladney staff do a wonderful job hosting you, but you have lots of free time. Their itinerary was great! But just wanted to share the things we did :)
When we left January 27, we were not sure how long we were going to be gone. Our hope and prayer was that we would stay long enough to bring our daughter home. Plans did not go as such....and we definitely didn't think we would be home this long without going back to get her BUT we are trusting in God's plan.
We arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday night, January 29, 2011. As the plane touched down, we were SO EXCITED to be in our daughter's country. We were nervous because we were praying for a miracle, that things would move so that we could bring our daughter home this trip BUT also knowing that we might have to come home and make another trip. As the plane landed, they were playing Van Morrison (my man)...which made landing even more enjoyable. Once arriving, we had to stand in a long line to get our visas. We asked for a 90 day visa but they would only give us a 30 day one. After getting that we went out front to meet our driver Yoftahe. He was WONDERFUL!! We cannot say enough great things about him!
We then headed down Bole Road to our Bjoe's Guesthouse. WE LOVE BJOE!!!! Genet and the ladies are wonderful! We highly recommend it to anyone staying in Addis ;)
We went to sleep knowing that we were in the same city as our daughter. What a great feeling!
We woke Sunday morning to a great breakfast and then spent some time getting to know the other people staying at Bejoe, all of which were Gladney families. We then took a drive out of the city to Desta Mendes. SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DRIVE.
We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at Juniper Cafe. The chicken pie was great and we LOVED the peaceful atmosphere---which was very different than being in the city.
Next, we toured the National Museum of Ethiopia. The museum was okay....we had an EXCELLENT tour guide but I couldn't quite understand him :) Supposedly the LUCY skeleton was supposed to be there but it is touring the United States right now.
The rest of the day consisted of macchiato's from Kaldis (YUMMO) and dinner from Island Breeze. We had hamburgers (I didn't love) BUT we do love this restaurant. We ate there several times and really liked it each time. The owner married a girl from the states so the food is very American.
After dinner we headed back to the guesthouse for some rest. We would meet our daughter for the first time the next morning. We were very anxious, nervous, and excited. We could not believe the sweet little girl we had seen through pictures for the past 4 1/2 months would soon be right before our very eyes.