Back in August 2013 I saw a post from a high school friend, Leelie Selassie. She was announcing the appointment of her husband, Reuben, as the new US Ambassador to the African Union and they would soon be moving to her home country of Ethiopia from Virginia. Africa had not been a selection on our original list of destinations but I thought I would reach out just in case we could make something work. We already had plans to be in Dubai for a few days and would then travel on to India, but no tickets had been booked. Most people would have received my email and politely agreed to meet us for lunch while we were in town. Not Leelie. Plans for us to stay at a hotel were rebuffed with an open invitation to stay at their home. A couple of days has turned into a week. This amazing soul has shared her home, family and her country with us and we couldn't feel more blessed! :)
The Selassie-Brigety family has only been in the country for 5 months, but seem like natives to us. This connection has allowed us a light into areas of the city of Addis Ababa that we would never have seen staying at the Sheraton. Mike and the kids visited the National Museum and saw 'Lucy.' You know, that 'Lucy.'
Staying in the Ambassador's home has allowed us a few of the comforts of home that we would not have had otherwise. We have a driver that knows the city like the back of his hand and does his best to keep the ride on these crazy streets as smooth as possible. The kids are making themselves at home and Maddy and Redda are now the best of friends. As we wait for our tourist visas for India to be approved we are getting a true taste of Ethiopia.