Going to Africa

The Lion Whisperer- Kevin Richardson
There hasn't been much sleep going on at our house lately.  My mind has been racing for the past couple of weeks because my husband said we were going to Africa for Ramadan (June 17-July17), and we still had no plan.  I'm the kind of person who likes a good plan.  We've explored all kinds of possibilities- weather, sightseeing, close proximity to a mosque for daily prayers, cheap lodging which is both clean and safe.  I checked out books at the library every week for the latest plan he'd come up with.  We've been getting immunized for any possible disease that the continent might throw at us.  My poor son, who is 9, just got the last of 4 shots yesterday: yellow fever, typhoid, meningitis, and typhoid. Still wondering about how to treat malaria. We watched the Drew Barrymore/Adam Sandler movie Blended about a dozen times so he'd have an idea of where we were going, but somehow a luxury resort in South Africa vs. our final destination choice may be worlds apart.  All our original ideas came and went because he'd been waiting for some credit card points to come through which could be used for travel.  And they never happened.  At the very last minute, we became experts at finding airfares for foreign destinations.  Last night we finally had a plan.  He just bit the bullet (so to speak) and paid for a flight to Ethiopia via Dubai for the three of us, and announced our lodging.  We are going to be staying at the home of the Somali ambassador in Addis Ababa.

I'm filled with all kinds of feelings- trepidation, excitement, fear.  Everyone I've ever talked to warns me that we will get sick.  Everyone does.  The water isn't safe. People get viruses and It's one thing to travel to this part of the world as an adult but to take a young boy like Omar may be foolish.  He's up for the adventure, but I worry about how severe his sickness will be.  What will he eat?  Will he pet a rabid dog?  Get malaria from a mosquito bite? Wander off in a busy marketplace?

On the other hand, Ethiopia is filled with historic places.  Lucy, the oldest skeleton is there. The ark of the covenant may be there. It has unique nature and wild animals.  You can feed hyenas and get up close with monkeys. We will also be visiting Kenya, and I look forward to photographing a safari.  Hopefully we'll see the wildebeest migration at masai mara. I don't think I'm ready to embrace wildlife in the same way as Kevin Richardson (the lion whisperer shown in the above photo).  Then there are the people.  I've been told the Ethiopians are among the most beautiful people on earth.  After reading a few bloggers' accounts of their visits, I've learned they are curious, compassionate, and friendly.  I know it's going to be a good summer.  Come back to see our stories as we discover Africa.

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