May 24, 2008
Posting again from Addis and will try to share as much as I can in my limited time. I’ve arranged to have a driver take me to the Hilton later so that I can attempt to send this on for you all to enjoy.
It’s Saturday and a beautiful day in Africa. Quite frankly, all the days are lovely – the sky is blue, the breeze blows and the flowers have bloomed. It’s in the 70’s, I would estimate, and we have seen no extreme heat or weather. In fact, it rained once and left such a lovely freshness that we hoped it might rain again.
The altitude is high – no doubt about it. I’ve managed to catch whatever Quint has (hmmm, guess the 700 kisses I give him everyday finally caught up to me). Regardless, I am experiencing some difficulty breathing. I think it’s the altitude and sickness combined. AB and I have both had some upset stomach, etc. Nothing we weren’t expecting to be honest.
The days are very long and the nights longer. Let me explain – there is nothing to do. In a GOOD way. We simply spend our days lavishing love on our little man and finding out about him. Seeing what he likes, and doesn’t. Exploring the grounds of the guest house where we’re staying – the animals (6 dogs, 4 large tortoises, and several rabbits), napping, and walking through the garden. We truly have never experienced a slow down like this in our lives. It’s kind of surreal. The pace here is very different from the states. No one is in a hurry, no one is rushing around, no one is pressured. It’s just a completely different way of life, to be sure. The nights are long because the mattress is like a rock. So we toss and turn quite a bit. But little Quint sleeps like a brick!
Each day we try to set out to see something of the city. Like the other day we went to the largest market in Africa called the “Mercado”. It was interesting and strange, and amazing…all wrapped up. Today we went to the Museum of Ethiopia – which was very interesting, indeed. Tomorrow is a day of rest in Addis – so we will spend the day lounging and enjoying the company of the other family we are traveling with. Monday we will visit the Addis Lake and have a picnic, and also attend a coffee ceremony and purchase some Ethiopian coffee (some of the best I have ever tasted!)
Quint is doing remarkably well. He seems to have adjusted very well to the idea of being loved on, kissed, hugged, and generally ADORED 24/7! He is a sweet baby and so charming. To know him is to love him – and I hope the pictures convey how much we grow to love him more every day.
As for crying – he found his voice and is not afraid to use it. He cries only when he is hungry or tired. He eats very well now, and Mommy figured out what he likes, whew! Also, this kid can NAP! He takes three naps a day and sleeps twelve hours at night. Last night was the first night where he didn’t wake up at all. The night before, he needed a diaper change, so he fussed a little – and then slept the entire time we changed him. We are attributing some of the napping to being sick still. He still has a very wet cough and runny nose. Poor baby! I can’t wait to get him in to see a doctor when we get home.
When we take him out and about in Addis, people stop and stare, or want to come up and talk to him. They kiss his hands and say “lucky baby”. Another man said to me “lucky baby…go to USA, so lucky!”
We took a tour of the orphanage – that’s a post all unto itself. I have neither the energy or the heart to retell what I saw there. I will get on my soapbox later…
Homesickness – definitely. It’s hard to be so far from home and the comforts of home – especially when you’re in culture shock, a new mom, a new baby, jet-lagged, not sleeping, and sick. Can you imagine?
Electricity seems to be fleeting where we’re staying. Last night we had none at all – and it was when I decided to have a mini meltdown. I was just baked…I wanted to go home so bad. Daytime is wonderful, but nighttime – when you’re not sleeping and you’re tired and cranky…jeesh.
So we have three more days – Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday night we leave. I cannot lie – I am SO READY to come home. It has definitely been a life changing experience, but I am ready to return to my “normal”. It will be so nice to brush my teeth under running water again, or wash our clothes in the washing machine and not by hand!
Meanwhile, this is likely to be my last post! Forgive me, but it’s more and more difficult to arrange it and I am more and more tired the longer we are here. Hopefully, I can post from home by end of the week. That is, if I can keep my head up!?!?
Thanks so much for all of your amazing and wonderfully supportive comments, my friends! It has meant so much to us to read through them and to know that we are loved and thought of. This trip has been amazing – but most importantly of all – we have been given the most amazing gift in our little son. He is a treasure! There are truly no words…we cannot wait to get home and try on our new life!!