This post chronicles the last day of our trip to Ethiopia. If you are just catching up on my blog posts my suggestion is to go back to day one of the trip so it all makes sense!
To my mom: to do this you scroll down to the bottom of this page and select "older posts". It will take you to the last post before the one at the bottom of the page. Continue to scroll down and select older posts until you get to Ethiopia Day 1. K? Love you, thanks for always praying for our safety....especially this past week when we were in Ethiopia!
PS We do not have good internet tonight so while I have our itinerary typed I can't get the pictures to load. Hopefully I can remedy that later! : )
We had the morning to relax because our flight back to Addis wasn’t scheduled until the afternoon. I enjoyed a massage (well enjoy is a strong word because she was rough on me) and then we took a quick dip in the pool (COLD but still enjoyed it) which gave us enough time to pack up and be out of our room by noon.
President and Sister Collings and the Harlines and Habtu were on our same flight but they were going to stop in Hawassa and deplane. They were going to Hawassa to have interviews with Priesthood brethren and reorganize the Branch Presidency there. The plane was scheduled to have a quick drop off there and then fly the rest of the way to Addis, but we discovered that the airline dropped the stop in Hawassa. That meant that those five had to DRIVE to Hawassa which is a five hour drive from Arba Minch! I felt so bad for them because we had already spent so much time driving that whole week. It had to be done though because the Branch REALLY needed a change so they all (with good attitudes) made the trek. I haven’t heard how things went but hopefully all went well!
We had a six hour layover in Addis so Habtu had arranged a taxi for us to see the sights of the city. Our driver, named Abraham, was a very cordial man and we had a good time with him. He took us to the market where I ordered a skirt and two scarfs (that I will use as table runners) from Afework, a tailor in the market. The other senior sisters told me that he was the best one to go to so that’s what we did.
After that we drove to Abyssinia Restaurant for a dinner and show. We had a traditional Ethiopian dinner which was VERY different! Before dinner a man came to our table with a big silver pitcher so that we could wash our hands with soap and water. We were served a platter filled with different meats and spices and cheese all piled on top of a round sheet of Njera (a spongy flat bread). We ate with our hands. The process is tearing off a piece of Njera then picking up meat and spices with it and plopping it in your mouth. I don't especially like trying new foods but it wasn't too bad and we made another fun memory.
Then we enjoyed watching dancers demonstrate the different dances from different areas of Ethiopia. We sat in the front with loud speakers so I had to put something in my ears to diminish the soundJ We had an enjoyable time. the dancers were all very talented!
We caught our flight and had to pass three different security gates. We almost did not make our flight. Who knew that when we stopped in the little shop to buy some chocolate to get rid of our extra Birr that we would almost NOT make our plane. We thought we were at the gate but discovered that the gate was further up and there was a HUGE line in front of us to get through yet another security line. We had only twenty minutes until our plane was to take off! Luckily Elder Phelps did some sweet talking to an official looking fellow and we went right to the front of the line. Whew! That was close! We arrived in Kampala and got picked up by the Protea Hotel shuttle and got to sleep and about 3AM. Did I mention how WONDERFUL our stay at Protea was/is? We got upgraded (again) to the suite on the second floor. Supa Nice!! So happy to be back in Uganda!
Us with the Fords on our way back to Addis.