Friday, September 5, 2008 – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Montezuma is dead.
I woke this morning feeling about 80%, which is miraculous given my condition the past few days. After some breakfast and lunch, I think I’m on the mend. Words can’t capture my gratefulness to God for strengthening me. Katrina and I both need to be on our “A” game for the 30-hour journey home. We leave tonight (Friday) around 10pm Addis time. We arrive in Chicago sometime after 1pm (Chicago time) on Saturday. We covet your prayers for patience, sleep, good health and uneventful flights.
As we wait, some final observations about hotels in Ethiopia. First, there are no vacuums. They simply mop the carpet. Seriously. Also, there are no screens on the windows. Doesn’t matter how high you are (we’re on the 5th floor) you can open the window and have unencumbered access to the outside. Finally, when the water supply shuts off (which it does daily) and air gets in the pipes, there’s never a ban on drinking. No “boil before you drink” notices. The sporadic water supply is just a normal part of life here. Even so, I think I have an idea about how I encountered my friend “Montezuma.”
Our agenda for today is simply to amuse ourselves while we wait to leave for home. It’s been quiet, which is nice. But we’re running out of ways to stay occupied. About every hour, we do a “family run” up and down five flights of stairs. We’ve also had piggy back races around the foyer that joins the rooms on our floor. We’ve played “toss the stuffed giraffe” for about as long as any of us can stand. We’ve colored – a lot. Needless to say, we’re stir crazy. At least after lunch we were able to persuade the girls to take a nap. They are pretty worn out – as are we.
(Katrina here: Today, they are installing wireless in the hotel. What?!??! They came to our door to apologize about the noise. I told the owner of the three Desalegn Hotels that if in the future people can have email from their rooms, we are more than willing to endure the noise. When I almost hugged him, I think he knew my level of homesickness was extreme. I’m sure the lady in the internet café next to the hotel was a bit curious this morning as I kept wiping tears from my face.)
Well, we can almost smell America. A few weeks ago, we read an email from another family who was returning to the U.S. from ET. She closed that email with, “God Bless America!” I laughed as I felt her statement cliché. Well, today I echo her sentiment. Can’t wait to touch-down in Washington DC, and proclaim with a renewed sincerity, “God Bless America!” We are a blessed people.