So, after we left the care center and Aidan, we boarded our van again and traveled towards Awassa, the 2nd largest city in Ethiopia following Addis. We would spend the night in Awassa and then travel the next day back to Addis to attend court on Tuesday, March 8th.
We stopped and waited a while for the two families that traveled to Wolyta to meet up with us. From there we drove the nearly 2 hours to Awasssa on the bumpiest road that I have ever been on. :)
Some photos along the way.
Don't let the paved roads fool you. These photos were taken before we reached the dirt road.
We arrived at the hotel around 6pm. The rooms were very nice and similar to the Jemimah Guesthouse with the exception of the shower. The shower was AMAZING! It was one of these that shoots water at you from every direction. Poor Liam did have some difficulty, though, figuring out the hot water. He wanted to take a shower that night because we had been on the road all day and he was pretty dusty. Instead of a nice hot shower, his was freezing cold. Funny, waiting with a bit of patience for the water to heat up proved exceedingly beneficial when I took my shower the next morning. :)
We ate dinner that night in the hotel restaurant. It was very good and served many American dishes. I had ravioli. :) The bread was wonderful too.
That night we experienced the first of several blackouts. This is pretty common in Ethiopia, so we just sat around and talked while they got the generator working. Luckily, one of the men in our group had his cell phone, so we used the light from it to help us eat.
We were exhausted. Even so, Liam and I only got about 4 hours of sleep that night and woke up bright and early around 2am (at least we think so, since neither one of us thought to bring a watch). Liam asked the security guard for the time, but he wasn't sure if it was correct. Ethiopians have their own time. It follows sunrise to sunset and is about 6 hours ahead of our own. So sometimes it's tricky to find out if your referring to the same time or to make plans. The day of our court appearance, Mulu told us that he would pick us up from lunch at 8pm. Since we had arrived there at 12:30pm, this was a bit unsettling until one of our group members remembered that Ethiopian time is 6 hours ahead, so he was telling us that he would pick us up at 2pm.
Another interesting thing about time in Ethiopia is that people have so much of it. Everyone moves at a slower pace there. Our restaurant service was wonderful, but it wasn't speedy by any means. Meals in Ethiopia usually take a couple of hours, giving everyone more time to converse instead of just scarf down their food. It was a welcome reprieve from the rush of American life sometimes.
More to follow about Awassa (including photos) in my next post.