With a 3 A.M. departure ahead, neither one of us saw the point in trying to sleep. Well that and the fact that we waited until after 10 P.M. to even begin packing and gathering necessary documents. Smart ones we are.
We were forced to walk from terminal A to Z (meaning the ones the absolute farthest apart) because the train wasn't running. Too early in the morning and not enough travelers to justify its use I guess. Add to that my arthritic hip (don't laugh). Oh, and Keith's Super Human long stride. What do you get? A lonely female traveler, left for dead. Or worse. I not only couldn't see Keith, whether he kept going straight or went up the escalator, but I also didn't know where I was going. I truly didn't know if it was in fact terminal Z to which I should be headed. Because Keith thinks I can't be trusted to hold my own ticket with necessary information, I couldn't even stop to look it up. Plus, I didn't even have my ID or credit card in the case that I was left for worse. Keith thought it was just laugh-out-loud hilarious that he could carry ALL the bags and still beat me by a literal mile.
You know the plane ride has started out well when Keith embarrasses me by high fiving the flight attendants. By the way, as if the Ethiopian population as a whole weren't beautiful enough, one of the requirements to work for Ethiopian Air is that you have to look like a runway model. Then, on the flight from D.C., he tried to bet me that he could go the entire flight without using the bathroom. The problem is that Keith only wants to wager one thing. Something he's begged me for as long as I've known him. No, not that. Shut your dirty minds. He has always wanted to pick random and disgusting new foods for me to try, like Ranch dressing or another smelly condiment. Let me tell you, nearly nothing is worth that, my friends. So, no deal. But, I wasn't holding back. I visited the not-so-terrifying bathroom on board 3 times before we even took off.
In order to land well rested, we each took 1 Lunesta about 8 hours before landing. I slept some, but most of the time I spent playing musical seats next to random people on the plane who weren't stretched out taking up more than the allotted one seat as Keith was. He stole our entire row on one of my many trips to the bathroom. I kept choosing Bride Wars as my movie, but never got past halfway before the stranger next to me wanted the extra seat back to take ANOTHER nap. Sheesh!
Luckily the baggage claim at the airport in Addis Ababa wasn't the scary madhouse as it was last time. I had totally forgotten about their culture's lack of personal space until I saw a guy all but put his hands in Keith's pocket while he was in line to exchange money. Then, I was shocked when he let me go alone to do the same. You know, because I can't be trusted with anything of value. He may have let me touch my passport once when passing through customs. So, the lady working the counter had hair of Medusa and the authority of The Soup Nazi, simply turning people away with the wave of a hand. For me she would only change 1 bill...or none at all. Guess I was lucky because the forlorn looking women in front of me left in tears.
During a very long wait for our bags and wrongly choosing the same one 20 times, Keith noticed them coming out on the wrong carousel. He doesn't call me Captain Observant for nothing. After loading our bags on the cart, and carrying only his backpack, Keith tried to wave for me to follow him. Really? What do I look like? On a positive note, praise God for a driver we recognized and a van clearly marked from our agency. A husband, who may not show chivalry at all times, but one who worked out us staying at the exact same guest house and room as last time. Oh, and the first person to greet us at the guest house was Bisrat...Bizzy...the interpreter/pastor.
We are scheduled to pick the boys up tomorrow morning. With just typing that I feel my bladder about to burst...the physical effects of my nerves...if you haven't noticed.
A big thanks to all our friends who've helped us along the way and supported us. The Melville's for helping with last minute house chores. Even bigger thanks to Andy Schwab for taking us to the airport at 3 A.M. and then taking Simon for the week-long sleepover. And the biggest to Chris and Megan Smith for not only keeping Avery for the week but demanding she stay with you. Painting toenails with Miss Megan and singing the Banana Phone song with Mr. Chris.