A typical street scene. Donkeys, people, cars.....
When we first arrived in Addis Ababa last March, and I took my first deep breath of smog-filled air, and squeezed into the back seat of a 1980's Toyota Corolla - so tiny that our luggage left only one spot for both Keith and I to sit - as we wove through the most crowded, dirtiest streets I had ever seen, filled with goats and donkeys and beggars and street vendors, me sitting on Keith's lap with my carry-on on top of me and the hot African sun beating down on us through the window, I felt that my brain might explode from the sensory overload and the strangeness of it all. And I wondered about the coming weeks. How could we live in this place with our new babies? Nothing was familiar - everything smelled different, sounded different. It was so foreign and strange and if my babies weren't there waiting for me, I might not have been able to fight the urge to turn around and get on a plane headed for home.
Our first breakfast in Ethiopia.
But just five weeks later as we hopped into a van with all our luggage and set out for Bole International, I suddenly felt my eyes fill up with tears. I was, of course, happy to be going home. To see my family and sleep in my bed and eat comfort food and place my children in their very own cribs for the first time. But I was inexplicably sad. Sad to leave all the beautiful, warm people we had come to love. Sad to walk away from a simpler way of life, of sweet weeks spent with our babies with very little else to do but to get to know them, with far fewer cares and distractions than at home. Sad to be taking my beautiful children from their wonderful birthplace. And something else. Somehow, in the weeks spent in Ethiopia, it became a second home to me. All of the strange, foreign tastes and smells became comforting. The big smiles of the millions of people crowding the streets, the welcoming "Selam-no's", the generous and hospitable people made their way into my heart.
The view from our second guest house.
It's been sneaking up on me since April, this homesickness.......(to be continued)