Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Court Trip - Post 9 - Packing Up and Heading Out

Because Jolie and her friend, Stephanie and Mike, and Eric and I were flying out that evening, after our shopping, we quickly returned to the guest house to pack up and get ready to go to dinner. We made arrangements to all go out to dinner one last time together to an Italian restaurant called Avanti. It would be rushed, but we could do it.

It was a very nice restaurant. Very relaxing atmosphere. A large flat-screen TV hung on the wall above our table. There was a fire burning in a fireplace on it. Someone remarked, "oh look, they built a fire for us." Funny. We ordered drinks and appetizers. It was hard to be in an Italian restaurant ordering pasta without getting a salad, but we were trying to heed the warnings about avoiding raw veggies that had been washed in the water. Unfortunately, Eric saw that Filet Mignon on the menu and decided not to heed Kendra's friend's advice to avoid the beef because it is NOT U.S.D.A. grade beef that we are used to eating. Not only did Eric fail to heed that warning, but he also ordered his steak his usual medium-rare. Oh boy.

Our food was delicious. Eric's steak was not bad, but he said it really didn't taste like steak. Uh oh. We all laughed and talked about our families back home and about our adventures in Ethiopia. The portions of some of the meals were enormous. A few of the guys tried local beers. I enjoyed my Mirinda. (again no Diet coke, *sigh*) When the bill came, we again couldn't refrain from doing the conversions to U.S. dollars. I think my meal cost a total of about $3. Brian remarked that he could take his 401K now, and they could move to Ethiopia and live on it for the rest of their lives.

We finished eating just in time for our driver to arrive to pick us up to take us back to the guest house to grab our bags and head to the airport. Things went well at the airport. Poor, sweet Jolie caused a hold up at the baggage check. Apparently, her Scrabble tiles looked dangerous on the x-ray. Plus, she had arrived in Ethiopia a week early and traveled south to explore her daughter's birth country more. She had picked up a rock in her daughter's village to give to her when she is older. The security tech nearly wouldn't let her take it through, until she burst into tears and launched into her story about how she's adopting and she traveled hours and hours down south to get this rock, etc., etc. He eventually let her through with it, but we don't think it was out of compassion. He rolled his eyes and just motioned for her to go through. We laughed about it in line. That perhaps anytime we get stopped, we should just burst into tears and launch into our stories. :-)

Aside from that little hang-up, everything went well. We had some time, so I scoured the airport, still in search of a Diet Coke. We found a place that had Coke Light, but they were sold out. So, I got my last bottle of Mirinda to drink. When we were boarding our flight, somehow we got between an older gentleman and his wife. The wife was in front of me, the husband behind Eric. Eric said to him, "you can go ahead", and he looked at Eric kind of funny, so Eric asked, "she is your wife, isn't she?". The older guy joked, "I've never seen her before in my life." and Eric played along, "well, she looks like a nice lady. You should go up there and talk to her." He asked, "you think?", and Eric said, "oh yea, she looks like you'd have a lot in common." At this point, the lady piped up and said, "yes, about 50 years worth!". We all laughed and began talking. They asked where we were from and why we were in Ethiopia. We told them of our adoptions. Then, we asked them where they were from and were surprised to hear that they were from Ethiopia now. But, they were returning to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with their family.

Turns out that the man was a retired Orthopedic surgeon. When he retired, his friend contacted him asking for his help starting an Orthopedic practice in Ethiopia to serve the Ethiopian people. He agreed to go and help and ended up loving it there, so he and his wife packed up and moved to Ethiopia a year and a half prior. He told us of how he bought a car from the U.S. Embassy there and he now drives. His wife assured us that she does not! He cleared loved what he was doing. He told us of how he was happy to see his family, but that he knew that he'd only be there a few days before he couldn't help but think, "I wonder what I'm missing. I wonder what they're doing there without me." and every time he left, he couldn't wait to get back!

So sweet. And, so understandable. It is so amazing how our God blesses us more than we can ever bless others! As our friend Peter always says, "You can't out-give God."

1 comment:

  1. I think I've read an article about that couple before!