Sunday, August 10, 2008

Here's what I do when I can't muster the energy to get out of bed. Granted, it only seems to work for both other parties involved for about 6 minutes, but that's 6 extra minutes in bed for me!

Now, let's finish up Night 1 in Ethiopia, shall we? We got to the hotel and Danny, Johannes, and several hotel employees helped to carry our bags to our rooms. We had to fill out some registration forms at the front desk which was interesting because I, for one, was so tired that I could barely write! I was given a big, whopping key for room 103 and up I went.

The hotel really is quite nice as long as your expectations are in check. It's not the Sheraton and it's not the Ritz. But for the purposes you're there for, it's great. It's very clean and its location cannot be beat. The staff are very nice and will help you with whatever you need.

I took about 40 minutes to get my things organized for the next day and hopped into bed. Many thought the beds were rock hard, but I didn't think mine was too bad. I was very glad I'd brought my own pillowcase as there is just a sham on the pillows. However, if you forget a pillowcase, they do have some if you ask. There is also a large exercise room if you're so inclined. Frankly, at 8500 feet I think I might have died if I tried to work out there! (Plus, did I mention, I hate to work out and I had about a million great excuses not to in Ethiopia.)

For the next 8 hours, I tossed and turned but never slept. For those who've heard that the Call to Prayer occurs at 5:30AM, let me inform you that that's incorrect. It occurs at 12:30, 2:30, 4:30 AND 5:30 (at least) but for all I've heard about it being so loud as to be distracting, I didn't find it to be that loud. If you have earplugs, you won't hear it at all.

The dogs, however, ARE distracting. They bark and fight all night long. I understand why Ethiopians find it unacceptable to keep dogs as pets; I wouldn't want those dogs as pets either!

After 8 hours of sleeping not a wink, it was time to get up to get ready for the day. My shower was most interesting. It was a plastic tub with no curtain or door and a hand held shower head attached to the wall. But I had hot water, and that's all I cared about. Also, there are water heaters in the bathrooms so if you hear this weird whirring noise at around 5:00AM that sounds like someone's frothing milk in your bathroom, it's the water heater heating the water. Honestly, at first I was like, "WHAT is THAT?" So, hopefully this will save you that alarm!

Some rooms have incredible showers. I went into Karen and Curtis' room and was like, "Oh my LORD. If this were my bathroom, I'd be in the shower all DAY!" They had an enclosed shower with a nozzle at the top that made it like the shower were raining on you and then power jets all around the sides of it.

Almaz was to meet us at the hotel at 9:00 and we'd heard breakfast can take a while, so we wanted to get down there nice and early.

I ordered two fried eggs which I barely choked down. Chris was like, "Are you going to eat those? Because if you're not, I am." I was so nervous that I was shaking and felt very cold. In hindsight, this was likely the beginning of my body shutting down from lack of sleep. Others ordered the pancakes (which rocked; they were like funnel cakes) and coffee. The coffee is amazing. It's this dark brown syrup-y looking stuff. It's the real deal and folks could not get enough of it. You can order it anytime of day (or night, in all likelihood). The cappaccinos were delicious. And the hot tea hit the spot since it was so chilly out!

Almaz came at 9:00 in the midst of an incredible rainstorm and we started to get our paperwork finalized. Again, the paperwork requirements change frequently, so take an extra set of paperwork that's blank (with your spouse's signature if he doesn't go with you) and that way, if something isn't filled out correctly you can just start again without any stress.

Around 10:30 we got ready to head over to HH. I don't think any of us had fully processed that we were about to meet our children. It was hard to fully enjoy the walk to HH as we were all hovering under umbrellas and really watching our step so as not to slip on or trip over the stones that made up the street.

And then, there we were. In front of that big red gate we've seen a million times in photos. The gates to All God's Children....


Easties and Co. said...

Your posts are like reading chapters of a really good book. I can't get enough! :)