Saturday, January 29, 2011

One More Week

Exactly one week from now we'll be on a plane from Frankfurt, Germany to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  It will be here before we know it. 

Last night we went back to the Queen of Sheba to try something different than last time.  Vanessa got a potato and green been type dish, I’m not sure what it was called.  I got the Kay Watt.  We both liked our choices.  Vanessa’s parents went with us and they got fried fish with rice, not sure what it was called, but they really liked it.  We did get to talk with "Mimi", the lady that owns the restaurant who is from Ethiopia, although she’s lived here for 30 years now.  She was very friendly and told us many places we need to visit while we are there.  She also has a cousin that is flying out to Addis Ababa two days before us.  She took all our contact information to give to her cousin and she is going to get a hold of us and show us around when we get there. 

One interesting note from Mimi is that last time she was there some of the locals could tell she wasn’t a local and were trying to charge her extra for some things she was buying.  However, they didn’t realize she spoke Amharic, the Ethiopian language, and she caught on to what they were doing.  So if someone that is Ethiopian stands out as a tourist, we don’t stand a chance. 

That is all we have for now.  I’m sure the next week will fly by while we try to get everything ready. 

Here is a picture of Charlie.  He was disappointed last night when we told him he couldn’t go to Queen of Sheba with us. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

We finally went...

We finally went to an Ethiopian restaurant.  For those that have not read our previous post I’ll give you a very brief review.  One of my (Grant) biggest concerns going to Ethiopia was the food.  For those that know me, I’m a little bit of a picky eater.  Vanessa on the other hand can eat anything.  So everyone has been telling us that we need to go and try Ethiopian food at a local restaurant here in Oklahoma City called Queen of Sheba. 

Last night we finally went.  My sister, parents and Vanessa’s mom joined us.  I think mainly because they didn’t believe I would be brave enough to try the food.  They had to see it for themselves.  Little did we know I wasn’t the one we should be worried about, it was Vanessa.  I actually enjoyed it. 

We started off with an appetizer.  We ordered the Sambussa.  These are thin dough shells stuffed with a blend of chicken, chili and herbs.  This dish is lightly deep-fried in vegetable oil.  We all loved these.  Of course how do you not like anything deep-fried.  Below is a picture of us eating our Sambussa. 

Next was the main dish.  We decided to try the Queen of Sheba platter that contained a little bit of everything on it.  We also ordered two servings of the Beef Tibbs. 

For those that have never eaten Ethiopian food, you don’t get utensils.  Instead you get a pancake/crepe looking bread that has a vinegary taste to it.  You take this bread and use it to pick up the food with your hands.  Vanessa had a hard time enjoying the bread.  She also was not a fan of the curry taste that was in most dishes.  My favorites were the Beef Tibbs, the corn dish and the potato type dish.  

So it turns out Vanessa is the one that will be living on granola bars for 8 days while we are there.  But we are going to return to Queen of Sheba one more time before we leave because we want to try some more dishes.  The good news is that after reading many blogs of people that have been to Ethiopia, it appears there is a good pizza place.  We may be eating a lot of pizza while we are there. 

Well, we leave in 12 days.  Until then we’ll be frantically trying to get everything we need together and packed up.  I think the reality of our trip has set in for Vanessa because she keeps telling me we need to start getting stuff together.  In my mind it still seems so far off.  I guess we do need to get in gear and start getting packed.

One last note, we’d like to say hi to Vanessa’s cousin Mia.  We are told she checks the blog everyday to see if we’ve posted something new.  Sorry we haven’t posted more, but as soon as we leave we’ll be trying to post everyday.  Also a big thanks to Kelli and Carson for loaning us their Nintendo DS so we won’t be bored on the plane.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More Hoops and More Hurdles

Sorry it’s been a while since we’ve posted anything.  I’m sure you haven’t been quite the same without our adoption updates.  One thing we’ve learned over the last few weeks is that you are never really done with your paper work.  Paper work for an international adoption is the worst.  And because our first country fell through, we’ve now completed the paper work process twice.  The Ethiopian paper work was much harder.  It was nice when we finished it.  Or so we thought.  Last week we received an email from our agency.  All of a sudden Ethiopia decided to make a few changes on us.  A form we already turned in suddenly needed to be notarized and authenticated.  For those that don’t know, authenticating a document basically is taking a notarized document down to the state capital and paying them $20 to verify the person that notarized the document is in fact a legit notary.  We were glad to find out that Rhianon is legit.  So we get that done and overnight the document to Washington D.C. for further authenticating/verifying or whatever they do.  Then the next day we get another email from our agency notifying us that our agency’s main contact in Ethiopia had changed and now our Power of Attorney document needed to be re-done.  So back to the State Capital I went.  Another $20 verification and another overnight package to Washington D.C.  By the way, sending documents overnight to DC is not cheap. 

So now everything should be done, right?  Nope, we just realized that our Typhoid shots expired.  So we will be getting shots next Tuesday.  I doubt this will be the last hiccup we run into before we leave. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Adventures at Target!

Well we finally did it…we registered for baby stuff at Target.  I think we were both dreading it a little but it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be, other than the fact that it took us 30 minutes just to get a kiosk and printer to work at Target.  After our kiosk troubles were solved we left for the baby department with gun, I mean scanner, in hand.  After all was said and done it wasn’t as hard as we anticipated but it is a little difficult registering for a 1 year old when you already have a lot of baby stuff that you need.  I need to give a shout out to Joy, my mother-in-law, for pointing out that we might need more than one baby towel J  I hope all is well with everyone and that you are having a great start to 2011.  Now if we can just get Denver home so we can start using some of this stuff.  Oh and we were informed by one of the employees at Target that the reason the touch screens on the kiosk never work is because parents let their children play with them and they beat on the screens.  I made a vow to the lady that we would never let Denver pound on the touch screens.  However we neglected to tell her that, 2 minutes before her arrival, in our frustration we were the ones pounding on the touch screen.  By the way this is Vanessa writing, I know it’s a shock that I actually posted but I felt compelled to after our adventures at Target and parents please remember to keep those kiddos away from the kiosk.