Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gondor trip

It has been several days since I updated this blog, partly because of internet access but mostly because I have been going day and night without much time to write.

I had one of those sleepless nights where you keep looking at the clock and like 5 minutes has gone by since the last time you peeked. I just knew I was going to oversleep, but I didn’t. I just got up 30 minutes before I had to and started getting ready.

Belay and I left the house a little before 4:00 am to go pick up Faskia, Seme and Aschalew for the flight. It was an uneventful one and we arrived a little after 9:00 am. We went to check into our hotel and then to the orphanage we support which was about 40 minutes away. The orphanage was well run and the kids looked great. There were vegetable gardens, milk cows, training in woodworking and sheet metal as well as beekeeping. The products they make are used first for the orphanage itself and then any excess is sold to the public. We spent most of the day there, then went back to our hotel around 3:00 to freshen up and then tour the Gondor castles and have dinner.

The castles were beautiful and the history behind them is astonishing. When we finished the tour we went to a restaurant at the top of hill with an incredible view of the city. I think the altitude took away my appetite, so I just had my Ambo and Coke (and no, Ambo is not whisky it is sparkling water). As the others were finishing up their meal, I noticed Cameroon and Egypt were playing in the African Cup so I went in to watch the last 40 minutes or so of the game. Belay and the others were soon behind me. It was a close game and ended 3 – 1 in favor of Egypt with Ahmed Hassan from Egypt scoring three times including the only goal scored for his opponents.

We then drove back to our hotel and as I checked into my room, I realized that my windows were next to a bar which was playing music at around 100 decibels, about the sound of a normal American rock band. All this after the previous sleepless night, I wonder aloud – WHY ARE THE SLEEP GODS MOCKING ME!!!

That little distraction seemed miniscule when I walked into my bathroom and was hit with the raw sewage smell that we visitors to 1 star hotels know all too well. I held my breath as I quickly brushed my teeth, then went off to bed to the blaring sound of traditional Ethiopian music, ahhhhhh….zzzzzzz.


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