We sent off for our visas a month ago. Holt recommends using a courier, since you have to send your passport with your visa application. You can get your visa upon entering Ethiopia, but obviously you can't fly without your passport. We decided to get our visa before we left, because we thought it would be one less thing to do at the airport AND we decided not to use the courier, because we have several friends who used UPS with no problem and had their passports back within two weeks. BIG MISTAKE. So, two weeks before we leave and we still don't have our visas (and more importantly, our passports). A huge panic!
We called the courier that Holt recommends and Praise The Lord, he's going over to the Ethiopian Embassy first thing today and hunt through their stacks of mail until he finds our passports. He said it only takes them 5 minutes to stamp the Visa on your passport and then he'll have them on their way back to us. It's costing us a bit more than if we had just gone with him in the first place. So, moral of the story for all Holt families. If you are planning on getting your visa before you leave for court, just break down and go through the courier. Yes, it's a bit more expensive, but after this happened to us we learned of several other families that this has happened to as well. Believe me, the extra expense is well worth the peace of mind.
On another note, we have all our vaccines now. I am taking the pill for Typhoid now and will start the Malaria pill two days before we go. Liam, who already had the immunization for Typhoid and is on a different Malaria medication, started his Malaria pills yesterday. Everything else we got in shot form on Valentine's Day- nothing says "I love you, honey" like a shot in the arm. :)
Less than 2 weeks till we meet our precious little Aidan!