Saturday, December 11, 2010

October 15th-the morning of the 17th (Days 1-3)


On October 15th we began the trip that led us to Solomon. We drove down to Charlotte, NC and had lunch with the Capps family before heading to the airport.

Our flight left around 5:30pm and was headed for Munich, Germany. We flew Lufthansa. I don't know how many times I asked Matt if it was real, were we really doing this, were we going to Africa, were we getting to meet and get our son? AHH!! I was so excited that first flight full of nervous energy that I couldn't sleep (of course Matt did because he can sleep anywhere). Boy did that end up backfiring on me.

Once landing in Munich we had a 40 minute layover to catch our next flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Matt and I knew that we had to hurry to make our next flight so we ran, I mean ran. We were those people you see running wildly through the airport carrying our backpacks and carry on bags. We ran up flights of stairs, through the hallways, up more flights of stairs, did I mention the flights of stairs, all the way to the security check point. At the check point, the security person made us take out and turn on every single piece of our 4 electronics that we had one at a time. This slowed us down. After putting back our stuff in our suitcases and running to the gate, sweat dripping down us and hyperventilating from being out of breath from running and carrying our probably 50 pound carry ons, we were told that they closed the plane and were no longer loading passengers, even though the plane was still sitting there. What are you kidding me?? Didn't they understand we were headed to Frankfurt to meet up with the Lovin family and then go to Africa to meet our baby???

We headed to the Lufthansa counter with our heads hung low out of breath and sweaty to find out what we could do to make it to our next flight. The woman at the counter was talking to us but neither Matt nor I spoke due to being out of breath and in shock that we actually missed our flight. I realized we weren't answering her questions when she asked if we spoke English. After searching several options some which took us to Turkey, some which had us landing in Ethiopia at 2:30am....we settled on a flight to Frankfurt in 2 hours (causing us to miss our flight to Ethiopia with the Lovin family) having a 12 hour, yes 12 hour layover in Frankfurt and then flying Ethiopian air to Ethiopia arriving a whole day later than expected. The staff at the ticket counter for Lufthansa was so nice and really felt for our situation. The only problem was no one in Ethiopia knew what happened and when we would be arriving so they could pick us up. Luckily we had our in country staff's phone number with us and the Lufthansa staff let us use their phone for free to call and let them know our situation, but unluckily they didn't answer and there is no way to leave a message.  AHHH! The thought of landing in Ethiopia with no one to get us was a little daunting.

So we boarded our tiny plane to Frankfurt which was only about 30 minutes long and we didn't even get to sit together. Once we arrived in Frankfurt we set out to find our gate and set up camp since we would be there for 12 hours! The only problem was no one seemed to know what gate Ethiopian air would fly from and why in the world were we at the airport so early to catch our flight. While waiting we bought minutes to the internet and I messaged everyone I knew who was in ET to let them know what had happened and if they could let someone know what time to pick us up. Luckily I was able to get in touch with a staff member and she assured me that someone would be there to pick us up..what a relief. So now that that was settled what would we do for the next 11 hours...we walked around, ate a few times, went through the duty free shops, went to the bathroom, checked the flight screen and asked people where our flight was leaving from every hour (which no one seemed to know), and Matt did a little of this...

But I couldn't sleep. Lets just say we had the B terminal memorized at the end of the 12 hours. We were tired and dirty and all I wanted to do was sleep and take a shower. About an hour before our flight was to leave we found out our gate number and began to watch Ethiopians arrive...making this trip seem more real.  So after being awake for 2 days straight I took an ambien and slept until we arrived in Ethiopia on October 17th at 7 something in the morning. We were in the back of the plane and so that meant we were last in line to wait and get our visas. But we were in Ethiopia we had made it. Nervously, I requested a 60 day visa but was told that I would have to come back to the immigration office if I really needed it and was only given a 30 day visa. Matt and I found our bags and had no difficulty with the porters or with anyone wanting us to open up our suitcases. After getting your bags you have to have them x-rayed and then you can enter the main part of the airport. Lots of people were standing around with signs but none had our name so we found the Hilton sign and then saw Travis right away. I was so glad that someone was there to pick us up; such a relief. We headed out to the car to go to our guesthouse the BnB and finally meet up with the Lovin family. I was immediately taken in with the beautiful mountains surrounding us and just soaking up the sights when I hear Travis ask us if we would like to meet Selamu??? (we weren't scheduled to meet him until the 18th) Umm yes please forget the sleep I had been longing for or the fact that I hadn't showered in 3 days. Take us to Selamu!!!

1 comment:

  1. What a trip! Just reading about it gave me a slight panic attack!:)