Ethiopia: Day 2…a.k.a. My Near-Death Experience

Nothing technically on the agenda for the day, so Keith arranged for the two of us to go help out at an orphanage/missions base run by our agency called Acacia Village. However, the rest of our group wanted to go shopping, so we blindly followed them. This group consisted of 8-10 adults with the same court date as us, our driver and our interpreter…and I use that term loosely, as we didn’t always understand him. So, even though we felt blind going into most of our ventures, at least we weren’t alone.

We did some shopping in an area known to the locals as the Post Office…very much like the market in Mexico or China. Same stuff, different store. We bought some gifts for the boys and a dress for Avery. Oh, I picked up some Ethiopian coffee pot earrings…you know, to represent the sacred ceremonial coffee that I so rudely denied.

I had felt sick all morning but chalked it up to the altitude. We’re about 8,300 feet here (fun fact: it’s the 3rd highest capital city in the world). No clue what Atlanta is (1,000 feet +/-100)1, but the change totally kicked my butt. So, I assumed I had altitude sickness, extremely fatigued, parched and generally not feeling well. Later that afternoon something hit me, and I ended up in the bathroom unable to move a muscle. Seriously. I couldn’t open my eyes to see Keith or even open my mouth to convey to him just how near death I knew I was. Literally near death. When my nurse left me in the bathroom, I hoped he either went to call for help or at least was googling my ailment. Nope. When I eventually recovered, I found him checking email, oblivious to my dire condition. Thanks, Honey.

No clue what made me so sick. But, I figure it didn’t kill me, so I may as well eat the food, knowing if I do get sick again I’ll likely recover.

Speaking of the food, it hasn’t been as bad as I imagined. That’s saying a lot considering my standards. Nothing too Ethiopian. Spaghetti (no meat and way spicier than the norm), fried chicken (how much more American can you get?), French toast (which was deep fried in butter…Mmmm), seasoned potatoes and carrots. Not too shabby, especially considering I haven’t had to do any of the cooking.

1 Note from Keith: All altitudes researched by him…and he calls me “scientific accuracy.”


  1. So sorry you got sick Jessica or whatever it was- weird? But you guys crack me up! Hope everything goes smooth the rest of the trip.

  2. I know your experience was scary- but your writing had me rolling on the floor laughing. So anxious to hear more about the boys and see some pictures!