Monday, July 7, 2008

Update from Ethiopia

Well here is our first blog update from Ethiopia and
there is a lot to tell. Because I'm emailing this in
I'm not sure how the pictures will turn out but maybe
you'll understand the pictures by what I write.

To begin with we had one long plane trip here.
Everything went well. No problems on the plane but man
it was long and there was just no way to sleep or get
comfortable. I am not looking forward to the plane
ride home. For those of you coming after us, getting
your Visa and getting through customs really isn't
that big of a deal. And Robel who is our guide is

We arrived in Addis last night (July 6th) got a quick
bite to eat and went straight to bed. We had
breakfast this morning at the Hilton. Then we went to
the Fistula Hospital. If you don't know what fistula
is then go look it up now. Go ahead; the blog will
wait while you educate yourselves.

Ok, now that you are educated I'll continue. We
weren't allowed to take pictures at the Fistula
Hospital so there are none. However there is a
documentary on the place called A Walk to Beautiful
that you can watch. I was most taken by the fact that
many of the women there would not look at you. For so
long they had been told that they are basically
unworthy to live or to be a part of society. It was
amazing how they would begin to smile when you simply
acknowledged that they were worthy of talking to.

After visiting the Fistula Hospital we then went to
the Alert Hospital for Leprosy. There is a picture
here of one of the women at the hospital. Those there
work at making crafts and other items to sell for the
Hospital. We bought several items here including a
traditional Ethiopian shirt that I can't wait to wear
to church.

Next we had lunch (pizza – that was fantastic) and
then we went to a place for coffee (gross) and ice
cream (deliciously wonderful). We then did a little
more shopping and it was off to the transition home.

We went through the infamous green gate into the
transition home and two boys came running out to me
and Dottie. Big hugs! Big "Mommy" and "Daddy!" Big,
huge, massive blessing! And then, well then the boys
noticed we had a camera and a video camera and we lost
them. Bereket took the video camera and spent much of
the day videoing. Feromsa took the camera and took
many pictures. There is one in particular of his
favorite nanny. I'm guessing that the picture shows
why she is his favorite. Honestly though, about half
of his pictures are of the floor or are out of focus.
Never the less, he had a good time.

The transition home was overwhelming. The boys loved
taking us everywhere to see everything. They loved
being picked up and twirled around. Feromsa is much
more talkative and energetic than we were expecting.
Constantly wanting to play. Bereket spent much of the
day taking videos (we are afraid to watch the video).
However, toward the end of our time at them home
Bereket decided to cling to me. A couple of times a
plane flew over head and he would point and say,
"Daddy." I would say, "Yes, me and you on plane."

As we began to leave the transition home for the night
Feromsa understood very well that we would be back
tomorrow to get him but Bereket did not. It was
heartbreaking to see him trying to get out of the gate
while Feromsa held him back. We had Robel explain to
him that we would get him tomorrow but it didn't seem
to have much of an effect on him. Robel finally just
told me to leave and he was right. Otherwise we would
have been there all night.

After leaving the home, we went to a traditional
Ethiopian restaurant where we had a gourmet meal with
live entertainment and a bottle of locally made honey
wine for nine people. The cost $50.00. Amazing!

Anyway, that is a brief update of the happenings for
the past couple of days. We'll put more on later.
Now it is time for bed.

P.S. If you have a referral and your kids are at the
transition home – your kids are beautiful.

John R. Raymer