Today we began the trip back home. It started with a 7 hour van ride from Paradise Lodge to the Addis airport.
Surprisingly, I was able to sleep despite the roughness of the road and crazy driving. It took an excessive amount of time to get to our gate through the various check points at the airport but eventually we were on the plane headed to Dubai.
The fresh tomatoes and peppers served as part of the airplane dinner were a highlight for me. I’ve loved the Ethiopian food but really missed fresh fruit and veggies.
Normally, they’re a huge part of my diet but avoiding them paid off since I didn’t get sick once. I’m also really looking forward to ice cream and chocolate once we’re home and know many others feel the same way.
There are some mixed feelings about our departure throughout our group. Some people can’t wait to be back in America, eat American food (pizza is near the top of a lot of people’s list) and see family and friends, while others are not ready to leave.
I’m somewhere in the middle. I don’t want to leave yet, but at the same time I’m ready to be home.
It’s been hard having zero contact with family and friends in North America. I think I could easily stay longer if I actually had Internet to connect with people outside of Ethiopia.
We’ve made friends here and goodbyes are never much fun. For example, when we drove through Butajira today we yelled for our favorite hotel worker in hope that he’d hear us.
Although our trip is coming to an end, we continue to have lots of fun. Last night, Josh and I successfully abducted Clark’s pillow pet dolphin named Tom.
He wasn’t sure if Tom disappeared to join the hippos and dolphins or if Gill and Chloe stole Tom. I returned Tom to his bag before we departed Addis so we would have his pillow back for the flight. He never suspected me. muhaha.
Everyone else knew what really happened so it was pretty funny. I’m planning on confessing once we arrive back in Seattle.
We’ll be spending the night in Dubai before our 14 hour flight to Seattle. The jet lag on the way here was minimal but I’m anxious about readjusting to Oregon time once we return.
Limited Internet access prevented Stephanie from posting these blogs while she was in Ethiopia. The trip was completed in late June 2012.