Sunday, March 28, 2010

MARCH/APRIL Trip Begins!

My flight to Ethiopia went well this time.  We hit some big turbulence over Canada that felt like a rollercoaster ride for about 15 minutes, but I was thrilled to be upgraded to business class at Frankfurt - It makes the flight so much better. I was one of the first people off the plane in Addis, so I was able to get through immigration very quickly.  I had to wait for my luggage before going through customs, but I was still able to go through without waiting too long in a line like usual. They were suspicious of one of my suitcases and ended up holding one of the laptops that I had brought. I have to go back later and pay importation taxes on it. But everything else was okay, which is a lot considering such a long flight and several transfers.

I was excited to see Teddy meet at the airport to give me a ride to the office.  Heidi, Wesson, Radit and Damas were there at the office when I arrived.  It was good to see them all again.  It was about 8:00pm and I had stayed awake the whole flight from Frankfurt, so I was very tired.  I Skyped with Erika for a little while, then headed to bed.  

I awoke with a bad headache in the middle of the night so I took some acetaminophen and was able to sleep until 9:00am the next morning, when Shemelis came by to give me my phone and my money.  I felt well rested and clear headed all day, which was a very welcome feeling. Heidi cooked hamburger and rice for us for lunch.  It was very good, in spite of the fact that the hamburger over here has a very strong flavor.  For dinner,I drove Celina to Avanti’s to get “take away” Italian food. There was a big conference going on at the main conference center on Bole road, so traffic was very thick.  I had to transform myself into an “Ethiopian driver” very quickly.  Driving here appears to be very chaotic, but it is actually fairly functional for this city.

An informal medical clinic is already opening in Beltu.  Julie, a nurse, went out there to visit, and had only been there for 15 minutes when an Ethiopian mother brought her critically burned 18 month old in for emergency help. Julie taught the other workers how to care for the baby so she could continue the treatments (another tender mercy of the Lord).

This morning I took Heidi to the airport with a truckload of supplies for Beltu.  She will be staying out there for about a month until it is time for us all to leave for the States.  I came back and slept for a little while, then drove to church.  The jet lag is worse today than yesterday - my thinking is cloudy and I am very tired.  Even so, I enjoyed the church meetings, but I had to focus hard and pray for strength to keep listening and learning. I took a long nap this afternoon, but I am tired again.  Hopefully I can get a good night’s sleep and have a good day tomorrow.  I had a great chat with Erika on Skype.  She has had a couple of busy days and is worn out also. One again we are having similar experiences, even from opposite sides of the globe. I love her so much.

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