Addis in transit

Trip Start Nov 03, 2011
Trip End Nov 11, 2011

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Flag of Ethiopia  ,
Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ethiopian air was wonderful. More leg room than a lot of other airlines and they fed you constantly. They had a great selection of movies though I must admit I didn't get to see too many of them. Since Cory and I spent a couple of days getting on Kenya time we boarded the plane around 10:45 and after eating the first meal on the plane went to sleep. I can’t sleep well on planes but I feel like I got at least a few hours sleep and the rest of the time I pretty well was trying to dose. The guy in the window seat was originally from Ethiopia and was going home to surprise his family. He hadn’t been home in 6 years. He told me that his airfare just from Washington to Addis Ababa was $1300 dollars. I am beginning to realize what a wonderful deal we got for this trip.

I guess that my age is catching up with me because after making the 15 hours to Addis Ababa I am sore and aching. I feel a hundred years old. We disembark the plane and immediately start looking for the gate. Even though we have hours before our connection I feel more oriented when I have the destination in my sights.  We are the minority. It doesn’t feel as surreal as it did the first time we were in Africa but I am aware of my differences and know that there is not going to be a way to blend in on this trip. I am wearing my race like a sign that says tourist.

I guess that it is that need to belong that has all of us looking for those little red tags on the luggage that say lion world tours. As more of us disembark the plane we start up conversations with total strangers, strangers that will be spending the next week with us. It is at the airport that we meet Julie and Josh. They are a little younger than us but in the same age range. We all head to the rest room. One of the people from our tour is already coming out and talking about how bad it is. Having experienced troughs, holes, and squat toilets that had to be flushed by ladling water out of a bucket I was pleasantly surprised with what was a very busy but small bathroom. I am still trying to figure out what that guy was complaining about.

Just as I am about to relax about our "luck" leading up to this trip I realize I have dropped my boarding pass in the bathroom. Luckily I have only been out of the bathroom for a few moments and it is still laying there on the floor. The woefully large woman that I had to squeeze by because she wouldn’t step out of the way, the reason why my boarding pass was pulled out of my backpack gave me a judgmental “stupid tourist” look as I ran back in and picked it up. When I came back out the nearly lost boarding pass opened up the conversation with Julie and Josh about what had led up to this trip. I can only imagine what they must have thought about us.

This area of Addis Ababa is a bit weird. It is pretty tight quarters and there is nothing at all to do. You can’t hit the duty free shops because they are on the other side of security. There is only one bathroom. We found ourselves just waiting patiently for the plane to board. The time passes quickly and the short 2 hour flight to Nairobi is quick.
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