July 23, 2009

Toukoul Orphanage

My favorite memories of the trip would have to be the times I was able to visit the orphanage and see the other children, where Janissa slept, and the nannies running around chasing the kids. I've put together a slideshow that I hope reflects the love that overflows from within its walls. Sorry for the irritating music, it just seemed to fit so well.

July 21, 2009

The Guest House

Our first two nights in Ethiopia were spent at the new guest house, the third night in Lalibela and the remainder of our stay at the Villa where Mr. Ferez, the owner of the orphanage, lives. The accommodations were excellent, the food was great and the people were unforgettable. I loved Aster who took care of all our whims from site-seeing to our meals. She was there whenever we needed her. Our driver, Kitama, is someone who will remain in my heart forever. He recently married a young woman named Tigist and I wish them the best. The young girls who worked at the guest houses were awsome. They loved taking care of Janissa while I ate. Everyone who we came in contact with were friendly, loving, happy and helpful. I miss them very much because they were the ones who made the trip to Ethiopia so memorable.

Below is video montage of our stay at the guest houses. You will see my sister-in-law Kathy, Meg DeZutti and her adorable little boy, Sam, as well as my Janissa and me.

July 18, 2009


My sister-in-law Kathy celebrated her birthday while we were in Ethiopia. She is a geologist and really wanted to visit Lalibela where 11 Christian Orthodox churches have been carved out of the rock. It was amazing to take this trip and to see how people outside of Addis Ababa live. Aside from getting very sick from drinking unpasteurized milk and Tej, a local wine (not together of course), the side trip was absolutely amazing. Since there are so many photos of this amazing place, rather than post them individually, I've put them into a slide show. Enjoy!

July 10, 2009

We're Finally Home

Janissa is napping and I finally have time to post some information and pictures. What a journey! It was amazing. I met my sister-in-law Kathy at LAX (she had flown there from Seattle) the evening of June 21. Our flight out was delayed, so we didn't leave until about midnight. We flew LAX to London and London to Dubai where we had a 12 hour layover. We hired a female, English speaking taxi driver to show us around and spent the afternoon in an air conditioned mall until we had to get back to the airport for our flight to Ethiopia.


By the end of the day we were exhausted and probably dehydrated. We boarded the flight to Ethiopia and we both fell right to sleep. That was a good thing because I was getting so nervous about meeting my baby girl for the first time that I think I might have gotten sick.

The lawyer was at the airport to meet us with a driver and took us directly to the hotel. We had a room on the top (5th) floor - no elevator. All our luggage and orphanage donations made it to our room, thanks to several kind young men. It was late. We said hello to Meg and peeked at Sammy, took our showers and went to bed. I didn't sleep much. Throughout the night I remember roosters crowing, dogs barking and birds singing.

After breakfast the next morning our driver, Kitama, came to pick us up to take us to the orphanage. Kathy, Meg and Sammy D. accompanied me and Aster said she would meet us there.


This time I was in the car driving through the blue gates!

Nervously waiting to meet my daughter.


She's such a doll.

I just love her.

Back at our room playing with Sammy D.

More about the trip to be posted at a later date. Stay tuned!