Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Advent Time

An entire 6 week "while I'm in Houston" plan, shattered-to-pieces.

I had not counted on extra time getting home - lost luggage - getting ill!  Or rather, probably still not really over whatever it was I got while in Zambia.  As of this writing (Dec 18) I am down to only 2 more doses of antibiotic treatment, and feeling far more human than I was a week ago!  Simply another vivid reminder that I really am not in charge, and glad I'm not.  I am very thankful for our family doctor, capable kiddos, and a loving husband!

But, Advent marches on, despite any protestations to the contrary.  Here are some of the decorating, some pets and a "new friend" who moved in.   Enjoy!!!

Jess, our good sport!

This little anole was discovered early in December, and now this seems to be the preferred living space (on top of my china hutch).  

Some pets have no problem waiting for Christmas!

Thanksgiving Day

A year ago we were here for Thanksgiving supper, meeting and making new friends in Zambia!

This year Tom was working in Chingola, and we sat down to a wonderful dinner in our Houston house.

Kate getting the brine ready for the turkey.  She planned the entire menu, then had her sisters and brother help make a splendid meal.

Mary happily helping out in the kitchen.  So nice to be home, right Mary?

 Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Moving On, and On, and On...

We got to spend extra time at the Lusaka airport.  And as a result, got to stand in line at the Addis Ababa airport beginning at 1:00 am .. until 5:00 am.  Missed our flight to Frankfurt and got to spend the day (as the night was long gone by the time we arrived at the accommodation the airline arranged) here:

Mary and I were completely exhausted, and so happy we had nice comfy beds to sleep in.  She is still asleep, but this is the extent of what I could do to explore .. take photos out our window.  The front desk at the Churchill Hotel kept one passport as insurance that we couldn't try to stay in the country as we only had transfer status visas.  (Now, why would we want to stay?  We were trying to leave!!)  And apparently we were not even allowed to step one foot outside the hotel until the time our shuttle was due to return us to the airport that evening.

Our impressions, compared to Zambia .. far cleaner city.  Nice mountains!  Interesting alphabet/lettering style.  Food at the hotel was quite a pleasant surprise.  So for having to stay an extra day, not a bad place to cool our toes, and they were cold!

The green VW Beetle tickled me!  Nice color, far different from the blue used everywhere in Zambia.

So, after a bit of an unexpected layover in Addis, we flew Ethiopian Airways to Dulles in Washington, D.C.  Our bags didn't make it, but went via Germany, and arrived the next day.  Most of what we brought stayed intact.  Some soapstone carvings were casualties, as well as the handle on my lovely basket that we bought in Serenji when we visited Kapisha Hot Springs.

Our choice of luggage these days are German Army surplus duffles.  Quite rugged, but not unique.  Our trip home back in August I snagged one off the belt in Detroit, only to immediately realize that it wasn't my name on the tag.  

Not having our baggage made going through customs a breeze!  I wouldn't recommend it as standard practice, but we were so exhausted by the time we got to Houston, and could make our baggage claim with United I was happy to just be "home" and in my own bed!!