As many of you families have encountered for yourselves ... one of the greatest blessings on this journey is the support you have from fellow adoptive families. All along we wondered who we'd be traveling with. Finally it all came about when we passed court and frantically made travel arrangements. There were three of us families that really wanted to stay in one of the guest houses we'd heard such great reviews about. So it ended up that we shared the Ayat House with Angie & Anil ... and just down the road the Treats stayed in the other guest house. We will never forget our time with these two amazing families! As you'll soon get to realize, mealtime is LONG in Ethiopia. Thankfully most meals we shared with these families so while we waited to order, waited for our food and then waited for our ticket (this became our group joke) ... there was much time to be together. Three unique families ... three different ages/stages of children. We saw each other on our good days and our bad. Our experience was so much richer, sharing it with these friends.
We were so grateful to get to stay at the Ayat House. Honestly, we really needed it for the financial option, but we were so glad to be near where our daughter had spent the last five months of her life. The Ayat House is not right in the city. The HUGE plus is, the air is cleaner. The downside is it does take increased travel time to get to and from everywhere. There were days that made me weary. There is a fridge, yet we experienced quite a bit of power outages that we were glad we hadn't purchased much food needing to be kept cool. The hospitality of Wegayu and the housekeeper Wimmet was fabulous!!! They are very into babies/children. It's too bad it took til the very last moment for Arsema to realize how great Wegayu was. I think she burst his bubble as she was not about to accept his affections the entire week. These great photos of the kids were captured by Angie and Anil while I was upstairs finishing packing.
I remember someone mentioning that the dogs bark at night. Well, um .... it is true. And the earplugs I took just didn't end up fixing the problem for me. The first few nights I think they camped out under my window. I certainly felt safe!! ... yet it was terribly loud. Either I got more and more tired, or they calmed down ... either way, by the end of the week I noticed that I woke far less from them.
I would choose staying here all over again. It was a great place for our family. We were also excited to learn while in Ethiopia that Belay is opening a new guesthouse right in the city! David and Colton got the tour one day (I stayed in the vehicle, as Arsema had finally crashed for a nap!). It will be another wonderful option for families!! Ask your caseworker if you're interested.
I'm swallowing all pride posting this last picture. Yes indeed, Ang and I look like we just survived a 17 hour international flight leaving at 10:30 pm no less! I really should have packed a cute hat like Ang's! We still had two flights to get back to ND. I don't know that I even want to see what those pics look like! HA! It didn't help that there was no power our last day either, which meant no last minute showers.
We'll never forget you .... Renee & Todd and your amazing son Samuel ....
Angie & Anil and your terrific little man Noah Arone.
We look forward to keeping in touch and cheering you both on your next adoption journeys.