It took 6 weeks of what felt like insurmountable odds, but we finally made it back to the US. We were in the States for 5 weeks, then on to our next Post.
The previous two months, I had three trips I had to make and then on my return, I had several projects I had to finish before we could get out. This was done amidst all the packout process.
But, we availed, and now have arrived at our next location.
It was difficult saying goodbye to everyone. The guards stood around in tears. Even the housekeeper from next door came to say goodbye. We didn’t have time to go to the hill once more to see Hiwot, so I had to rush up and say goodbye just minutes before we left. Wasn’t any time for discussion, but I gave her enough Birr to pay for her next two advanced medical courses. Then I took her thin face in my hands and turned her head to kiss her cheek, and then the other cheek; like I have done many times to my daughter. I left her with tears in her eyes, and I would be lying if I say it did not affect me, as I will miss her.
We have gained many friends while there. There was a little female guard who hung around me when I worked in her area. Her name is Martha and she wanted me to teach her to be an electrician. She was fascinated by the screwdriver we use with the interchangeable tips, so I gave her an extra one I had at home. She was shocked when I later asked her if she gave it to her husband. She replied, “No! You gave it to me!” I asked, “Did you use it yet?” She said, “Yes, on the toilet.” (I did not ask further)
Martha surprised me on our last day with a few gifts just as we were leaving. She gave me a very colorful Ethiopian shirt, and Terese a scarf. She wanted me to make sure I stayed in contact with her on Facebook.
Terese had made a great many friends. I swear there is probably more than one signpost that knows her and will miss her. (inside joke) Many of the people in the Consular Section had become close to her. She will have to list them, as there are too many for me.
She will always have the most interesting story to tell about her short dance with the bull. Even though the bull won the first act, we are certain he lost after the curtain dropped.
We flew into Washington DC for a week to take care of several business and medical issues. We got to see our friends, crazy blonde twins who can both amuse and befuddle you.
After flying to Texas, we spent a few days in Houston seeing Terese’s one year old Grandchild. Then spent a few days on a beach in Destin, FL. with a brother, then some days fishing in the mountains of New Mexico.
We went to my 40th class reunion where everyone there has become somewhat aged throughout the years. Not me, I’m sure. Some of the hottest girls in school are now wrinkled up grandmothers. But you didn’t hear that from me.
I will tell more of our next posting, but please dear Reader, give me another week and I will tell you about our next Post, one of the most interesting and ancient countries on Earth.