Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 7: Ethiopian Countryside

Today was our last full day day and night in the beautiful country of Ethiopia. We wanted to make sure and make the best of it. We had met an awesomely wonderful person staying at our lodge named Arainey and she offered to give us free passes to Kuriftu. Kuriftu is a resort and spa in the countryside of Ethiopia. We had heard about it and how beautiful it was so we decided to head there for a day trip.

It was about an hour and a half drive so Abraham and Teshome picked us up at 8:00 am to get an early start. Once again the city traffic kind of stalled us but once we got a little outside of the city we were cruising right along. Meron did great on the trip there - I think the car actually puts her to sleep. She fell asleep in my arms the whole way there - and dropped a smile or two in her sleep every now and then.

Kuriftu is definitely as gorgeous as people said. It is basically carved out of the hillside beside this beautiful lake and it looks all natural. Like it was always there. We walked the grounds and took about 2 billion photos. It was getting close to lunch time so we decided to eat there at the resort before heading out back towards the city.

Ahhh - a nice leisurely lunch with good friends, good food, good times - right? Wrong - not with Meron in tow! About 2 minutes after the food was brought Meron decided it was time to blow out a diaper. All over mom. So Laura and I head off to find the restroom - which seemed like a quarter of a mile away or more. Up steps, down pathways, around corners, over the river and through the woods...

We eventually found it. We stripped the girl down to her birthday suit, cleaned her up and as she lay there on the changing pad all clean and ready to be dressed back up - she peed. And then she smiled. And then she giggled. Thanks Meron.

So one thrown away outfit later we were back at the dinner table. Abraham and Teshome had finished eating, so Abraham - being the great dude that he is - took Meron for us. He fed her and rocked her while Laura and I ate. What a guy. That is the nature of all the Ethiopians we met while we have been here. So loving. So willing to help.

It was starting to rain so we decided to pack it in and head back towards the city. We needed to go by the Hilton to visit Ethiopian airlines and confirm our flight for the nexty day and beg and plead for a bassinet for Meron.

On the way back we stopped at an out-of-the-way bar to taste some "Honey Wine" or "Honey Beer" as they were calling it. We had heard about this drink and Abraham and Teshome wanted to give us a chance to taste it. Man - the view from the bar was amazing. It was settled on this hillside basically hanging over this huge lake. The view was actually better than the honey wine. It wasn't bad - but probably not something I'd drink regularly.

At the Hilton Laura and I headed in to the Ethiopian Airlines office with a little bit of a fussy Meron. I am handling her since Laura was the paperwork guru on this trip and she would be talking to the travel agents here. Meron starts getting fussier and I am thinking I'll just feed her and calm her down.

Let me set the stage here - small office - chairs close together - already kinda cramped. So Meron starts chowing down and making her "mmmm..." sounds which are completely adorable. But then I see her legs stiffen. "Oh God, no... not here. Not now..." is what I'm thinking. And then her cute little "mmmm..." sounds turn in to all out gorilla sized grunts as she makes a deposit squarely in the pocket of her diaper. But not just there. How about on my shorts. And her blanket.

I am stressing now. I dip out of the office to save the other patrons from the armoa-riffic odor eminating from her booty and we pace the hall. I have no diapers. I have no change of clothes. I gots nothing. Nothing but a very stinky baby and a hotel full of Ethiopians looking at me like I have no idea what I am doing. I kinda didn't.

Long story short - Laura finishes up and we head out to the car. We actually decide to trek it back to the lodge before changing her. We were only about 15 minutes away and it would just be easier. Once there we promptly change her and Teshome comes in to let us download all of pictures he has taken of us over the past few days. It was something like 600 of them.

Anybody heading there needs to use Teshome. He is a freelance photographer and friends with Abraham. Had we known of him we would have gladly paid him money to come on gotcha day and photograph the whole experience. He is a wonderful guy with a great eye for photography.

We wound up our last night in Ethiopia by just hanging out at the lodge - getting our stuff packed up and ready for the next day. It was kind of a bittersweet feeling. We are really ready to go home and be at our house with Meron - but we are going to miss this place so much. We are already looking ahead towards the day when we come back for a visit with Meron.


Unknown said...

We're so happy for you guys. You make a beautiful family!

And a quick tip, going up to the next diaper size is usually a quick fix for those blowouts. :)

emily said...

Good stuff and prayers for safe travels home!

Anonymous said...

Okay, what are ya'll feeding that little girl????

Jonas Adoption Journey said...

We leave for Ethiopia July 16th to get our sweet girl. We would love the # for Teshome so he could take some pictures for us!

Thanks and congrats! Your blog is one of our favorites!

Emily said...

You guys crack me up... I needed a good chuckle this morning. Sounds like Meron isn't wasting any time introducing you to the "joys" of parenting. :-) ...such a talented girl...

Anonymous said...

Just can't wait to see the whole family back here!


Gwen Oatsvall said...

I just like to pop over each day to see her cute face ... her smile is going to change a lot of people's lives ...

Maria and Family said...

I love following your journey. Oh course your daughter is just beautiful, but so are your pictures. It really helps for those of us going after you :)