I'm likely very very tired.
Thanks to adrenaline I don't feel it in the least bit. Think I may take something in a few moments to help that out.
Packing for this trip resembled somewhat of a whirlwind due partially to the fact that I, in no way fathomed the visa coming so quickly and partially to the craziness of life right now.
I packed, then repacked (thanks to a good friend who mocked me only slightly) with essentials for the one and a half days, a night, and a plane ride (which is equivalent to a full day and night but will likely feel ions longer) for Makeda. And, when all was said and done there was a tiny corner of space remaining for her mother.
The second suitcase is jammed with orphanage donations which I can hardly wait to take on Wednesday when we go for our first visit. And we are returning with the same amount of cash for another food run, as was donated for our first trip.
I. Can't. Wait.
A once in a lifetime experience...twice. We are so blessed.
In my excitement to pack and ensure that I did in fact have enough clean underwear, floss, and a toothbrush I forgot something that ranks nearly at the top of that list also: jammies. Unless you know me well, you don't understand my true love of jammies. This should be interesting.
I saw a lot of things at the markets last time but flannels were not one of them. Oh well. There could have been worse things to forget I guess.
The flights were looooong. The first leg was jam packed! We left an hour and a half late (and sat in the plane waiting that whole time) due to a tire problem, then a minor oil leak - which I suspect isn't so minor when flying over the Atlantic and then some. And the babies and toddlers - oh did they ever scream. I'm not sure if there was a point throughout the nearly 9 hours when there wasn't one of them going. Fortunately, I'm in a great "Mama mood" and even when screaming I still found them cute. Thanks to my Dad and some kind of fantastic elite status I (we!) was (were) able to shower, enjoy a drink and snacks, check my emails (free internet) and just chill, in the Executive Lounge in Frankfurt. Did you read that: I had a shower!!! Nice. The flight from Frankfurt to Addis was empty and there were tons of seats to share and sprawl along.
I felt a real affinity - different than last time - as we walked out the airport doors and into the damp chill and the smell of the African air at night. I love it here. Truthfully, I barely know it. But I love it. Something here that has completely captured my heart. While it started with a little girl and an aching deserve to preserve all we can for her of her heritage, culture, identity, roots, history, the affinity is greater than all that. I can't describe it and words don't do it justice but it's strong and it weighs heavily and with an indescribable intensity. The thought of leaving without knowing when we will come back (but simply that we will!) doesn't sit well.
But the thought of leaving with a wee one in a sling on my side sits so very very well.
The room back here at Afroland Lodge is perfect and when the words "I would like to reserve a baby playpen for Thursday night" exited my mouth they felt surreal. I am so glad I decided to rebook here.
This whole thing is truly surreal. I mean I actually have to purposefully remind myself why we are here and that yes, in just over a day I will touch, hold, (feed?), carry, talk to, coo at, love on our baby girl. I cannot believe it.
What's even more unfathomable is that the following day I will take her with me when I leave the orphanage.
So, as I look at the bottles and formula and cereal and wee clothing - the pink clothing, and rattles, I have to remind myself that those are not in the donations bag.
I'm in Addis!!!!!!