Family 2013

Family 2013
Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Heading to Ethiopia photos #1



Up bright and early at 5am at Tampa airport
heading to Dulles.

My dear friend Kendra & her family met us at Dulles airport and took us to lunch then to the Smithsonian Boeing Museum. It was awesome.

The lookout tower on top allowed you to see planes taking off and landing.
this pic is for Braeden :)


Here is Kendra's beautiful children Braeden and Alexa :)


Mr b is so darn cute my hubby wanted to take him home !! He is 1 month younger then our Boo and they will be married at some point ;)


FINALLY after about 3 yrs and a zillion emails, texts and phone calls Kendra and I finally met. What a wonderful treat. (she feeds her kids ketsup..shh)

Thank you for taking such good care of us!!
Her family is beautiful.



from Dulles we went to Rome for fuel then down to ethiopia!!


Ok. Normally I would never show you my feet but this is worth sharing. I have long skinny feet. After a very long flight and drinking tons of water to stay hydrated....I lost my ankles and my toe ring was stuck! They stayed like this for a couple days...even my face was a bit bloated. Wierd.











Beautiful sunrise over..somewhere LOL cant remember.





We took just over 100 pds of donations with us. We learned after a lost luggage incedent with Guatemala that you should spread your clothes thru all bags and carry ons. We did , and thankfully all bags arrived safely. We flew United to Dulles. I couldnt believe how many RUDE people we encountered so early in the day. The clerk at the desk was a *itch. One of our checked bags was 54 pds...it was chock full of donations. another bag was 40 ish... When she told me the bag was over, I said "oh bummer. It is full of donation for orphans in Ethiopia" That was returned with a blank look. So I ventered...Can we pay a bit extra for the 4 pds? "She tells me the charge is $125...." Seriously ? I ask her (nicely) this is for orphans babies? She shrugs and goes "well $125" EERRR!!
We ended up moving things around but her cold attitude just sucked. Another family traveled american and they let their bags slide thru over the weight..one was almost 12 pds over with no charge!
Ethiopian Air was a wonderful experience. They were kind and polite. You have your own movie screen, blanket, socks, eye shade, and all the food and drink you could want!! Plus they are all so exotic looking it was fun. Our trip down was great..we slept alot, watched a couple movies and just rested up for our trip. You shouldnt brush your teeth with the plane water,or eat ice. we ate all the food just no salads or fruits and only bottled water. I also used hand gel after washing my hands. We werent sick one time the whole trip. The plane was full of ethiopians going home and just a few other white folks like us.
~TIP-I highly recommend taking some sort of sleep aid for the plane we took melatonin.
~TIP- I also would take a sinus medicine. I usually have super dry tight sinuses after flying but this time I took just one Day Quil (sp?) and my sinuses felt great. I also drank alot of water. By the time we landed we both felt a bit tired from the long flight, but great other wise.
~TIP-you dont need to take your prescription meds out of your carry on. Just keep them in their original bottles and let them go thru. You can put all your liquid/gel goodies in your 1 quart bag including small glass bottles.
~TIP~Ethiopian Air will NOT let you bring water on the plane even if you bought it after passing into the secure area and havent opened it (UNLESS YOU COME THRU THE VIP LOUNGE..more on that later). United did...
~TIp- when you get off the plane in Ethiopia just go up the stairs turn to the left and PASS the window and go to the small brown door..that is where you will get your visa. Very simple just have a crisp $20 bill for each of you. Be sure to exchange a bit of money into birr after you have your passport stamped while you are waiting for your luggage. The guy in the window is very funny and loves Obama :)
~We didnt find the helper guys in the airport to be pushy at all. One gentlemen helped us and we gave him $5 per bag in birr. Johannes met us right thru the front doors. We arrived at night and it was crowded but not pushy and there were not any kids or folks looking for handouts. BUT we did have some cookies/crackers for kids if we saw any.
~Ethiopia does NOT look the same in the day as it does at night. Night time was hopping and looked not too bad. Daylight is cruel. You see how poor it really is which is sad. But the people are beautiful.
~I DO WANT TO TELL YOU GUYS MY BABY GIRL IS DOING SOOOOO GOOD. SHE IS BONDING TO ME LIKE CRAZY. I HAVE BEEN THRU THIS BEFORE WITH BOO, WHO STRUGGLED A BIT FOR ABOUT A MONTH. BABY GIRL SQUEALS WHEN SHE SEES ME. SLEEPS ON MY CHEST AND GIVES ME BIG WET OPEN MOUTH KISSES WITH A BIG SMILE !!!! I AM IN LOVE.

more later :) Thanks for all the congrats !!!!


11 comments:

Dawn said...

Thanks for the tips!!! Glad you are all doing well!

The Bogard Family said...

Maria,
Thanks for all the tips! That well be some helpful information. I am so glad you and baby girl are doing well!

Mandy said...

That's great she bonding to you so well! And quickly, too!
Thanks for all of the detailed tips. I'll be writing all of them down.
Welcome Home!

Kendra said...

It was great to see you guys too. I can't wait to see more pics of baby girl and hear more about your trip.
Talk to you soon!!

The B Family said...

Thanks for the tips--going to have to copy them and start putting together a list. I also bloat like crazy on international flights--my ankles get huge and my shoes get too tight--I've tried elevating my feet, support hose, drinking more water--nothing but a good night's sleep and a lot of activity seems to help. Post some more pictures of your baby girl soon--glad the bonding is going well.
C.

Renee said...

Maria,
Thanks for the tips.Can't wait to hear more about your trip and start writing about our own.
Renee

Brian and Autumn said...

So happy for you! Glad to hear everyone is doing well. Swollen feet is my least favorite part of international flights.

The Hill Family said...

loved all the details about your trip & LOVE the part about the wet open kisses! :) so happy you & kendra got to finally meet up! i know that meant a lot to you both. kendra, maybe one of these days when we get to DC again to visit my brother, we'll get to make the circle complete & have the "braden/braeden"s meet up, too!

Jessica Knitter said...

Love all of the tips and info. Now if I can only remember it all when we go. It's great to hear your little one in attaching so well.

Debbie said...

Thanks for great tips. I loved hearing about your trip. But, if I'm being completely honest, I was a little disappointed that there weren't any more photos of 'baby girl.' :-( I am, however, very happy to hear that she is bonding and attaching so well.

Lisadiana said...

Congrats! I just love keeping updated on your family and thanks for all the tips on Ethiopia. That will be so helpful when we get to pick up our boys!

"...Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to ACT..." Proverbs 24:12

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -(Mahatma Gandhi)