Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 4 Mekele

We arrived in Addis Abba, Ethiopia where we hit many long lines in the airport but finally met up with our driver to take us to the Guest House (the name of our Hotel). We checked in and ate a late night power bar for dinner. Scott and I shared in the excitement of thinking we are sleeping in the same city as Jonas tonight.. only 2 days left until he's in our arms. The excitement was overwhelming! We discussed our plans for the next day and hit the sack. It was a pretty rough night of sleep with our friendly neighborhood dogs barking. We will come to know them well by the end of our trip .. more about them later.

On Saturday morning (day 4) we took a trip over to The National Museum of Ethiopia. It was dark the night before so we couldn't see much so on the way over I was shocked at what my eyes saw.. the poverty and all the people.. I couldn't stop staring.. oh how I wish I could have just stopped the van and just watched people and I was in awe. My eyes again full with tears .. yet I had never seen poverty like this before I still felt a warmth and wonderful appreciation of what was all around me. I have a video to show the drive a little shaky again and fast even watching the video I want it to stop so I can see more! Yes, I was a little nervous about the driving there too:)..

Driving on the way we saw this meat butcher .. that is hanging cow, they just cut off a section when you purchase it. This is one of the reason I wasn't going to eat meat after seeing this :)
Here we are in front of the Museum. We did have a GREAT guide to walk us around teaching us all about the artifacts. Unfortunately he talked so fast with his thick ancient that Scott and I didn't really understood any of what he was saying. The only thing we got out of it was LUCY one of the oldest human remains is there.
We toured the museum quickly as we had a flight to catch to Mekele.. the birth place of Jonas

Next stop Mekele, Ethiopia
Below is a picture of our small new plane

These are pictures we took right before we landed.
We met up with our driver and headed straight for the care center (orphanage) This is where Jonas had spent about 3 1/2 months before he was moved to the Addis care center for us to pick him up. We had a few packages from families to deliver and two very full suitcases of goodies to give the children. When we arrived at the care center we were greeted with all the children singing a sweet welcoming song ending with welcome Armstrong family .. again choked me up( I was one messed up bag of emotions) All the children were so beautiful and pictures just don't do them justice.. just so happy. I think I could have taken them all home! Their big brown eyes were very curious of who we were. They were so well behaved and looked so healthy, very loved and loving toward us. Within minutes the kids went from quiet to loud boasting full of energy. I had done my kindergarten magic of getting kids all rowdy..I think Scott and I could have stayed all night and played with them. Unfortunately we can't show you any pictures or videos as we are not allowed to show any children on web until they pass court. We headed back to the Axum Hotel to meet two other adopting traveling families.
I was so excited to finally meet them as we had emailed before our trip so it felt like we already knew each other. Also it was nice to have company sharing in the experience. We went to dinner at a local restaurant to have traditional Ethiopian food.

After our dinner it was another rough night of sleep .. we had a broken window in our hotel that many bugs were flying around in our ears.. so we switched rooms to one without running water. Between a very loud Ethiopian wedding, nosy pigeons, a running toilet and still bugs in our ears buzzing.. not much sleep. Not sure I would have rated it 4 stars haha

It all didn't matter as I was in love with Mekele! It was such a great feeling to know Jonas was born in this town. I enjoyed it much better than the big city of Addis. Mekele had a small town feel to it plus the architecture was very different with stones everywhere.. just beautiful.

We had one more day to explore..stay tuned


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