The Flight Home
Every flight home from Ethiopia, I have bawled my eyes out the entire trip because we were leaving Micah. Not this time. ♥️
The night we left (Tuesday), the hotel had a coffee ceremony for the adoptive families. Micah and I made a few new friends, and one man from the hotel even gave us some free bags of special coffee. So kind. 😊
We got a late start to the airport. And had a bit of an adventure along the way. See me in person for more details. 😝 #thingsidowhenigodark
Saying goodbye to our drivers was hard. They are two of my best friends in the world. I hate that we live so far apart, and that I don’t know when I will see them again. But they are always in my heart. They are incredible people. As we walked up the long line to the entrance of the airport, we could see them, far away, signing ILY to us and waving.
Enneigh emmet-all-low. I will come back.
The first line of security went okay. Micah was not big on it. He didn’t like taking off his shoes or hoodie and he was slow as molasses. But we made it with minimal issues.
The airport check-in was a mess. I used a kiosk because the line was ridiculously long, and Micah’s tickets came out, but mine did not. The kiosk told me to see an agent. Awesome. We weren’t checking luggage, so standing in line was going to be a complete waste. But we had to do it. The clock was ticking much faster than I liked, and Abe was sending me a bunch of texts, repeatedly asking if we had made it to the gate. No, we weren’t even close.
We finally got to the desk, where the agent began yelling at me. Literally yelling. It was 8:30pm. My flight didn’t leave till around 10:30pm, but he was shouting that I was very, VERY late and should be cut from my flight. That I was irresponsible and shouldn’t be allowed on. He told me I didn’t have a visa to be in Ethiopia. I dig through my bag and found the e-visa that I had printed as backup. He hugged and puffed and muttered something at me. I don’t know what his problem was, but I *almost* told him to shut-up in Amharic. But I held my tongue and simply told him, “Sorry.”
He gave me my tickets and we moved to the next line. A line with two sides, but my side wasn’t moving. We stood there for an HOUR. 9:45pm. We got to a desk. The man told me I didn’t have a visa. I showed him the e-visa. He dismissed us.
We took the escalator. Micah was pretty stressed at this point, but that made him happy. Then I stopped at an airport shop for water, because it was 9,000 degrees. 9:59pm. I paid an outrageous amount of birr (Ethiopian money) for two waters and then we ran to the second security. Where the guard promptly told me that we could not bring waters through. I seriously wanted to throw the water at him. We’d been in the airport for hours now and were parched. And late for our flight. I told him, “Fine, where do you want me to put the water?” He heaved a sigh and pointed to a countertop. I put the waters there, and he immediately gave them to another man to drink. I was pretty mad. We went through security again. I was wearing my jegna shirt....and I think in any other context where people are impressed, here they thought I might be a terrorist. I had no metal on my body and went through the body scanner and still a woman patted me down as if I was hiding drugs. Micah and I made it to our gate just as the boarding was starting. We weren’t even late, really. We should have drunk the water. Whateverrrrrrr.
We stood in line for almost ANOTHER hour to board. We were in the last group. But we made it on. Our seats are okay, and the guy next to me keeps to himself, so we can relax.
When the plane started to take off, Micah’s eyes got huge. I can’t describe his face; it was like he wanted to enjoy it, but he was freaked out. It was adorable, honestly. He asked me a million questions about the plane, how it work, what to do if it crashed, and all the exit routes. He’s so smart. I forgot to mention that yesterday he was YouTubing, “How to Prepare For Your First Plane Ride”. He kills me. 😂 #lovethisboy
He watched movies for a few hours and then finally fell asleep. I had to stay up to supervise his movie choices. And then he proceeded to wake up multiple times freaking OUT because he was 3/4 asleep, and his neck hurt, and he didn’t know where he was. The people in our seating area don’t even blink how when he spazzes and sits up straight, while flailing and yelling. I just grab him and put his head on my shoulder and rock him till he calms down. He’s been falling back asleep pretty quickly. He’s very uncomfortable though.
We landed in Dublin. Stayed on the ground one hour. Took off again. Micah and I watched a video together; the kid set the videos to the timing aligned perfectly and we could watch the same movie on each of our screens. I don’t even know what to do with him.
There are no closed captions so he’s bored. The games on my phone don’t work because there’s no internet. And he’s definitely tired and under stress. I wish he’d sleep, so I could try to, but that doesn’t really look like it’s gonna happen.
I changed the clock on my phone back to EST just now. That in itself was hard. It’s acceptance that my time in Ethiopia is over. It was hard to push the button. I want my clock to read 10:14am, not 3:14am. I want to smell coffee beans roasting and climb into an old van and eat exhaust for breakfast. I want to share secrets with my drivers....sound out Amharic characters on the signs we see as we drive. I want to laugh and use my broken Amharic and drink water from a blue bottle. I want to sit in a dark little house with precious friends, with incense burning, and injera in my lap. I want to watch thousands of people strolling casually, laughing, shouting, greeting each other with three kisses. I want to go home. To my Ethiopian home.
We have about six hours left to fly. Maybe I’ll write again. I mean, we’ve got nothing but time. 😉