After the feeding program we spent the rest of the day touring Addis Ababa. Abel took us up the mountain to see the view of the city. It was such a beautiful view... but that is not what struck me on this trip up. We stopped the bus half way up and took pictures. While we were there, little boys would come up to us and try to sell us things or were simply asking us for money. Some would say, "No father, no mother, give money." Talk about breaking your heart. I wanted to give all I had, but we were told not to. We could purchase from them, but they did not want us to encourage the begging. Some of the guys played soccer by the roadside with the kids and they really enjoyed that. After we took pictures from the mountain side we loaded up the bus and tried to make it up the rest of the way. There was too much weight in the bus to get going and it would roll back. The kids would put wheel chalks behind the tires so it wouldn't roll down the hill. Finally, we all unloaded the bus and walked the rest of the way up. We were quite winded and sweaty when we reached the top, but it was fun. At the top of the mountain there was a village. It was a very poor area. There was also a museum and an orthodox church as well as the first palace of one of the emperors. We toured the museum while Abel gave a history of the area. It was a small one roomed museum where no cameras were allowed. (The Orthodox Church on the mountain)
Outside the church were people all around. There was one lady yelling at us.. "Americans" and then she would wave her hand at us. I asked if she was angry that we were there, but Abel said she was mentally ill. I laughed a little, but soon found out that Ethiopians bring their mentally ill to the church to cast out the demons. He told us to ignore her. We then toured the palace, which is really not a palace that we would think of. It was very small and was made of mud. Later in the day Abel showed us his second palace which was enormous, quite different from the first. We saw the first eucalyptus tree that was planted there. It was HUGE.
(That is me standing in front of the tree)
After we were finished we went back down the mountain. On this road were several women with large bundles of sticks on their backs (about 40 pounds) that they had collected at the top of the mountain and they then walked back down the mountain to sell the wood for 25 cents a bundle. A lot of work for so little a profit. It was amazing how hard they worked.
After the mountain trip, we went back down to finish up some shopping. We then went back to the guest house to finish packing up to go home. Birtukan fed us our last supper there and then we headed to the airport for the LONG journey home. We were suppose to leave at midnight, but our flight was delayed until 3am. YUCK. Once we got to Amsterdam our flight was delayed again for another 8 hours. We didn't arrive into the US (Minnesota) until 10pm but we had already missed the connection to Indianapolis. They put us up in the hotel and then we had to be back at the airport for a flight at 7am. Needless to say, we were EXHAUSTED from the journey home. We will not be flying Delta/KLM in the winter EVER again. They were so unorganized and not helpful at all. But, the trip was worth it all to see our baby girl. We miss her already and can't wait to bring her home!