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A last few tidbits about our trip to Lalibela, Ethiopia before we pick up our new baby girl back in Addis Ababa!  Here is the link to the main story about our stay in this fascinating, holy city

Special Time with my Mother

Yesterday my mother and I had only 2 hours of sleep.  We were up til 10:30pm packing everything to store in one room of our Addis hotel while we were gone, and getting our overnight bags packed for the trip to Lalibela.

Again, since we are so off on sleep, we slept til 1am and then were wide awake. Matt was already up reading on the couch, so she came into my bedroom and we talked til 4 am about all kinds of stuff.

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Realized I have precious few photos of just my mom and me.

Much about her early life as a teen and in her 20’s.  Some things I’d never known.  It was wonderful.  We never did go back to sleep and were up and in our van to the airport at 5:30am.

Grandmas Treking in Ethiopia

She napped yesterday afternoon during our 2nd and 3rd church tours.

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She was with us in the morning for the first church and it was quite a trek for her.

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We were lifting her in and out of places and up and down rough, rock steps.  The guides were helping a lot.  But she was so tired she had to sleep during the afternoon.

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It is a good thing, because the other 2 churches were a MUCH more difficult climb.  There is just no way she could have done it.  She was very happy seeing just the first one.

I Missed One Amazing Moment!

By the time we had finished dinner at the Mountain View hotel with a perfect view of the country side and mountains, I was about to fall asleep at the table.

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Emma and I went straight to bed and the others went for a late night dessert in the hotel.

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This morning, while the rest of us slept, Matt and my mom commenced to have one of the most memorable moments of the entire trip. Asleep!  Darnit!  The early birds got the worm.

Ethiopian Coffee on a Dirt Floor

Taking an early morning walk near our hotel on a dirt road, they ran into an older man.  Maybe 65ish.  He invited them into his hut for coffee with he and his wife.  Without hesitation,  they said ok.  They stayed  for an hour.  And soaked up every minute.

The man’s wife made a fire on the dirt floor of the hut, heated the water and made coffee.  She also heated a bowl of coals and then spread powdered frankincense over it.  He was a soldier and worked in the school library.  Matt got his name and even his email address.  But did he get any pictures?  NO!

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Hard to believe there are business huts with internet access.

Best Part

As Matt and my mother told us the story of their adventure, the funniest part was how, of course, they HAD to drink the coffee or it would have highly offended this sweet couple, even though the most often cited directive on this trip has been DON’T DRINK THE WATER.  Oh well.  You gotta do what you gotta do.

Some More About Haile, Our Guide

Haile is 28 years old.  He is single.

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He said he had to let his sister get married first.  Someone requested her as his wife to Haile’s parents.  His mother said ‘you must let me have my happiness to see my daughter married and with children before I die.’  So Haile agrees.

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They tell this man he must spend time with her and they must get to know each other before they will give her in marriage.  So they spend time and eventually she says yes, she will marry him.  Love that courtship thing.

Health of these People

They have a hospital here, but all babies are born at home.  There is apparently no disease here.  No cancer, no heart disease.   Just minor things like a cold.   Burning the frankincense day in and day out, is a huge part of why these people are healthy, in addition to what they eat and the daily exercise of life.

We are now beginning to have scientific proof of frankincense oil used for cancer.  Just google Bladder Cancer, OU Medical Center, and Frankincense, and you will see the latest studies of Frankincense oil killing (actually ingesting) bladder cancer cells, but not bladder lining cells.  It differentiates between the two.  Fascinating.

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A Hole in the Ground for a Toilet

Landing in Addis today, our plane was early, so we sat at an outdoor cafe while we waited for our driver.  Unfortunately, Mama had to go to the bathroom.  Matt walked her over.  I said you better take the toilet paper, which is never a good sign.

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In the meantime our driver, Abraham, got there, so we waited.  Finally Matt and Ma (Mama) came back.  She got to have one of the essential Third World experiences.  Going to the potty over a hole in the ground.

11 Children from Rwanda

Next we drove to the Lucy Restaurant and met Yonas and a group of Americans who had just arrived in Addis after being in Rwanda and adopting their babies.  There were 11 in all and seemed to be 1-2 years old.  Very interesting to talk to them.

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3 precious daddies

After the horrible genocide in 1994, there were many children left homeless and as orphans.  These children grew up on the streets and, eventually, had these babies that are now being adopted out.  When adopting there, it is only one trip.  The adoptive parents had been there for 15 days.  And now they have to do their Embassy work in Addis.

Lucy, Menelik and Sallasie

After lunch, we walked next door to the Museum that houses the bones of Lucy, thought to be the oldest skeletal remains ever found of a human.  3.3 million years old.  Though now they say they have found an older one that was a 3 year old named Selam, supposedly 150,000 years older than Lucy.

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That one is still being cleaned and studied before it will be put on display in a museum in Ethiopia.  The museum also had costumes of Menelik and Sallasie and their thrones.


After the museum, we had an ice cream attack so we found some yummy gelato.  And now we are here at our hotel.  I still don’t know what our hotel situation is.  Yonas is supposed to call tonight.  Either we leave in the morning or possibly, he said, we would stay one more night here.

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Picking Up Our Baby Girl!

We pick up Sally tomorrow.  Wow!  That makes me kind of nervous.  I remember feeling that way the day we picked up Luke.  It’s this feeling of ‘Oh my, what do we do?  How do we take care of this 19 month old child that already has a history we are completely unaware of?’

But I know that it all just happens naturally.  I wish we could stay in the same hotel once we have Sally.

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Moving is such an ordeal.  We also need to go to the grocery store to get baby food and formula before we pick her up and apparently there is some Embassy paperwork to do before our interview on Tuesday.

Love you all and love hearing from you on the other side of the world!!


Journal From Our Adoption Trip 2011.



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