(This is an email sent to Lisa - Melanie's mom - who is posting for Melanie!)
We finally made it and the internet finally works! While flying over Egypt, the clouds parted and we got to see the waves of sand - beautiful! We also got a glimpse of the Nile while flying over Egypt. Wow! We got stuck in line in customs for over 2 hours at the Addis Ababa airport. Elsa's brothers met us at the airport with flowers and treated us to drinks before we started our journey to Ritmo guest house. Wow. It's all so surreal. I can't believe I'm in Africa! It's like another world over here. The roads are all torn up with piles of rocks and bumps and ditches everywhere. The Chinese built a really nice overpass-bridge. (the only nice road!) All of the shoping is in kiosks (aka-courrogated tin shacks) lining the roads. People sleep in tarps on the road and beg for money. We have to walk through the slaughtering district to get to messaret's apartment - wow. (bog of eternal stentch?) It is so peaceful here and BEAUTIFUL! When we arrived at the guest house, there is a sign above the toilets stating that toilet paper goes in the garbage, not the toilet. The pipes can't handle it because they just empty into the nearest body of water. While walking for miles yesterday, we passed a beautiful (from a distance) river surrounded by flowering trees. I went to enjoy it, and found that it looked and smelled like sewer with garbage everywhere - yuck! Everywhere we go, you can always get a whiff of raw sewage. Infact, we are constantly walking in it on the sidewalks and road. Nasty. Messaret's wife cooked injera for us and dorawat. Heaven! The best injera I have ever had. We also were obligated to eat raw salad - still waiting for the bugs to take effect. So far no sign of bad luck (= He then took us shoping and to AHOPE to pick up Rahel. We met Rahel first thing in the morning on Monday. What a doll! She ran over to me saying Mommy, Babbi! She gave me hugs and kisses. She was very ready to go with us, saying ciao to everybody! She loves her Babbi (= I think she's a good mommy's girl though - nice since Faith is such a daddy's girl. Unfortunately, they shaved her head right before we got here )= She's still a doll though! Your pink swizzle turned out to be a heavensend not for diaper cream, but for an antifungal for her scalp. She has fungal issues with her scalp which is why they shaved her. She's the little mother figure at the nursery in AHOPE. She is always giving the baby's their bottles and making faces to cheer up the other kids when they're sad. She puts the clothes away and picks up after everybody. What a cutie! She cleaned our room when we brought her home to Ritmo (= She is very attatched to us, but is weary of her new surroundings. New families came last night and will be bringing 2 of Rahel's buddies home today (they're adopting). This is a huge adoption week for AHOPE! All the local kids think we're pretty cool because we're foreigners (= they always wave and say hello in english. They also follow us around. So cute! Sorry, no pics. dialup is too slow. Love you love you love you! Call Melannie Haskell for info on our calling card so you can call us for free. Ciao!