Addis Ababa has a population of about 7 million people and is not a quiet city by any means. However, the night time noises are not people but dogs, roosters and prayers that are spoken at various times during the early morning hours and broadcast across the city via speakers. Between all the unfamiliar sounds, knowing we were meeting Naomi and jet lag, we didn’t sleep well. I did, however, get some sleep and awoke to something that sounded a lot like a donkey braying. As a got up and looked outside this is what I saw.
Since we arrived very late at night, we had no idea what the scene from our room would look like and we were very pleasantly surprised to have such a beautiful view. And as you can see, I wasn’t dreaming about hearing a donkey. These two were standing in the intersection and a short time later were retrieved by their owner.
After breakfast Dave contacted our attorney and he asked us to be in his office at 2:00 p.m. followed by a trip to Le Toukoul orphanage to meet Naomi at 3:00 p.m. The day had finally arrived and we would be holding our baby girl for the first time.
We spent the rest of our morning getting things organized in our room, visiting with the other guests and getting to know the staff. This was going to be our home for 11 days and we wanted to be as comfortable as possible while there.
At 1:00p.m. our driver and translator arrived to take us to the attorney’s office. The drive through the city is something that can’t adequately be described. Toyota’s rule the road but there appears to be no road rules. It is quite the experience. Along the way we see people going about their daily lives. Some dressed in business suits, others in t-shirts and jeans, while others wearing traditional Ethiopia clothing. The streets are lined with small shops and when I say small I mean shops that are maybe 8 foot by 8 foot in size. The shop owner stands at the shop window waiting on customers and the among the customers are stray dogs, roosters, chickens, donkeys, goats and sheep also walking the streets. It is a life very different from the one that exists here in the U.S., but it is a life that from all appearances makes the people of Ethiopia happy.
During the appointment with our attorney he spoke with someone from the Embassy who confirmed that they didn’t have our fingerprint renewal information. Since I was still working on the fingerprint issue, he collected our Embassy documents and money, then sent us on our way to meet Naomi.
It was only a short drive from the attorney’s office to the orphanage. We turned onto a bumpy dirt road and a few seconds later turned to see the blue gates of the orphanage in front of us. I had seen many, many pictures of these gates and now it was our turn to enter the gates and meet our baby.
We checked in at the office and were escorted to the family room to await Naomi’s arrival. After waiting about 10 minutes, a nanny walked in carrying the most beautiful sight in all of Ethiopia – our Naomi.
The last photo was taken by Lili. She really wanted to take a picture and managed to get us all in the shot.
Dave suggested that we leave Naomi at the orphanage Monday night to give us time to get some more rest and to give Lili time to acclimate a bit more. So after about 1 1/2 hours, the nanny came back to get Naomi and we headed back to the guest home before heading out for a wonderful Ethiopian dinner at Yob Abyssinia.
For those who will be traveling to Ethiopia, do not leave the country until you have dinner at Yob Abyssinia. Awesome Ethiopian food awaits and during the entire dinner you will be entertained with traditional music, song and dance from each region of the country. It was amazing and Lili ate the food and was mesmerized by the entertainment.