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Ethiopia Day 6

On Thursday, we had intended to take a day trip to see the gorge in Ethiopia (they say it's bigger than the Grand Canyon). Unfortunately, on Wednesday night, Don got really sick with giardia (Montezuma's revenge). We're not sure if it was from something he ate or if he had somehow swallowed some water. Either way, he was up most of the night and spent almost all day Thursday in the bathroom or lying down. Thankfully, we had brought a prescription in case either of us got sick, and once Don started taking it he felt better and soon was back to normal. It lasted about 30 hours total.  

Since we couldn't go to the gorge, I got a ride to the care center and picked up the boys and brought them back to our hotel. 

Thursday was a challenging day. We still loved every minute of it, but it was one of those days that we felt like, "If we can handle this, we can handle anything!". 

I'll condense it down to some bullet points:
  • Don was sick and out of commission. He would sometimes lay on the floor and let the boys crawl around him, but he really couldn't do much of anything. He was such a trooper and tried to help as much as he was able but he felt terrible the whole time. 
  • The boys have some kind of stomach thing going on and needed their diapers changed close to every hour. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say, of the 45ish diapers we used in the short time we had them, only 2 were "just wet". Thank you, Pampers, for containing all of the other "explosions". 
  • The room was hot. No air conditioning. No open windows except in the bathroom which we think was supposed to help with the constant sewage smell. This open window also allowed lots of mosquitoes to invade our room at night. We would lay in bed and hear them buzz in our ears.
  • There was a giant stack of dirty diapers that we had nowhere to go with for a long time, so they also were causing quite a stench in the room. (Later we learned to leave them outside our door and then take them down to the main lobby to throw them away in the hotel's main garbage area). 
  • We were in a hotel room. All day. No place to go outside, no going for walks, just the four walls of our room to stare at. All day. All night. Actually, for a change of scenery, we sat in the stairway of the hotel and let them crawl up and down the stairs just so we could get out of our room. 
  • We had no high chairs or any other way to contain the boys. This wasn't so bad for the boys because we could just feed them bottles or have them eat sitting on the floor in front of us. It was bad for us because we had no way to safely contain them so that we could get a break to eat.  I think I ate a half a pop-tart for lunch and dinner that day. 
  • We were making bottles with bottled water, but we couldn't refrigerate anything so we couldn't really make them too much in advance. We lost power once in the night and Don mixed up the bottles using the light from our cell phone. We also couldn't really clean the bottles very well because we were rinsing them in our bathroom sink and had no soap to use. 
  • There's probably more, but I'm sure you can imagine why this was difficult... 
I hope this doesn't sound like complaining (maybe it does?). We still had so much fun with them and were so glad they were with us. We were exhausted at the end of it, but it was the good kind of exhausted you feel when you know you've spent yourself in the best possible way. They took naps on and off during the day and then slept on and off again at night.  Between the two of them, we didn't sleep much. Maybe 2 hours total? That might be generous. 

We still love, love, loved it. And I'm not just saying that. We knew our time with them was limited, so in some ways even the hard parts felt easy. We also knew that in a couple of days we would have to leave them again and we wouldn't be able to hold them in the night or change their diapers or feed them rice cereal or watch them crawl around... you get the idea.  

Earlier on (like months ago) we had talked about taking one last camping trip before the boys came home; we figured tent camping with two babies would be much too difficult. Both of us agreed, however, that after getting used to caring for them in a less than ideal situation, camping doesn't sound so hard, and home seems like it's going to feel like luxury! Clean water for drinking and making bottles, warm water in a clean shower and tub for bathing, cribs that are tall enough and big enough to contain children, no mosquitoes or roaches pestering us at night, a dish washer, a washing machine, high chairs, strollers, being able to go for walks, the list goes on and on...


Hillary said...

Being a mom in "ideal" situations can be hard, no one is doubting your love when you describe the less than ideal situations. Turns out, mom's are allowed to complain...especially when the words Giardea (sp.?) and roaches are involved!!!!! Good job pulling through those 30 or so hours.

Heidi said...

You're just being real. There are hard days and will be more. It's okay to feel that and it doesn't mean you love your kids any less.

Heidi said...

You're just being real. There are hard days and will be more. It's okay to feel that and it doesn't mean you love your kids any less.