Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ok...for all you families who are about to is my list of things I am glad we brought with us to Ethiopia:
  • Baby Sling - I am a big advocate for baby wearing. I believe it helps to facilitate bonding and helps the little one to feel safe and secure. We put Brecken in the sling while we were eating breakfast at the guest house or when we were walking the grounds. It was also useful for when she was having a hard time falling asleep. I would put her in the sling and walk and rock and she would be sound asleep in no time at all. The sling was the only way to do it at the airport too.
  • Cipro - before we left we got a prescription for Cipro from our Dr. Cipro is a very strong antibiotic. We started not feeling too great the last few days of our trip so we started the Cipro and in 24 hours we were doing much, much better.
  • Formula dispenser - we got this plastic little formula dispenser from Walmart. It holds enough for 3 bottles...this was so useful while we were on the go. We were also using the bottles with the disposable drop-ins...they were great, but we didn't bring enough and ended up having to wash and re-use a few of them on the way home. We only brought 50...we should have brought more.
  • Granola Bars, Snacks and Gum - Normally when I travel internationally I bring snacks and they remain untouched in the bottom of my bag...this was not the situation on this trip. For whatever reason, we ate all the snacks we brought. We would wake up late at night was nice to have something we could snack on in the room...we brought some GORP with us and it was so great to have that to snack on.
  • ipod - At the guest house where we stayed they had ipod docks for each room. We love music and there is usually music playing at our house all the time...we loved being able to listen to our ipods when we were just hanging out. This was one of our favorites to listen to.
  • Large and small zip-lock bags - Having spare bags around was amazing for packing soiled clothes in...we were not able to wash some clothes that Brecken soiled right before we left so it was nice to be able to just throw them into a zip lock bag and not worry about them spoiling the other clothes. We were also able to use the small zip lock bags to store pre-measured formula for the trip home.
  • Portable DVD player - We have an amazing portable DVD player that we brought with us so Blake could watch some DVDs when we needed some downtime. This was also so great to have when we couldn't sleep. Don't forget the plug converter
Things I wish I would have brought:
  • Water bottle - I realized at the airport that I did not bring a water bottle with me...I would have really liked to have that with me so I could just fill it up with fresh water and go.
  • 5-10 grocery store bags - These would have been nice to seal the really smelly diapers...especially since we changed Brecken's formula to the formula that we brought with us her diapers were ripe. It would be nice to be able to bag those super stinky diapers so the smell would not permeate the room.
Places to go:

  • Makush - Italian restaurant with amazing Ethiopian art that you can purchase to bring home. They had some really cool pieces. The food was pretty good too.
  • Family Restaurant - This place had good lemonade - Blake was craving lemonade...she was so excited when this place had some.
  • Something Dragon Chinese - The hottest Hot and Sour soup ever! We love spicy food but this was an entirely different level of spiciness.
  • Arabian food - I can't remember the name of this place but their hummus was oh so very good...I could have eaten that the entire trip.
  • Kaldis Coffee - Good lattes...almost like Starbucks
We stayed at the Ethiopian Guest Home...this place was great! The staff was absolutely wonderful, the food was good, and the rooms were very comfortable. It is about 40 minutes away from the Gladney Baby House and that was the only bummer part about it. We stayed in the family suite and it was so great.

We flew Emirates Air...this is the most amazing airline. They had trays and tray of toys that they gave to the kids, baby food and wipes and a small toy for the baby, and pretty darn good airplane food. Not to mention that we got bumped up to Business class from Addis to Dubai. If you have to opportunity to fly Emirates...they are great!!!

We also used Susan Parr Travel. They were so great and such a huge stress reliever. It was so nice to know they were there to help us if we needed it. I would recommend using them! Amazing!


Ryane said...

Welcome Home! Brecken is beautiful! Those eyes!!

Thanks so much for this post! I'm taking notes!

When you have a few minutes I would really love to hear more about how your older daughter handled the trip and any tips you might have for traveling with little-ish ones. Our bio son will be 4 when we travel and we are planning on bringing him along. I know the portable DVD player is a must but I am wondering what else we should pack for him. We are planning on flying Emirates also.

Rebecca said...

I just forwarded your post to someone who is leaving this week! Good, helpful tips. Even though we were there a month ago, I feel like I've already forgotten everything :)

Melodie Monberg said...

I printed this out and added it to our "travel" folder. Great tips. Thank you!


Gretchen Magruder said...

thanks for the wonderful information!! We're leaving on Friday, and will also be staying at the Ethiopian Guest House - we can't wait!!

Faith said...

grocery store bags
When Grace brought Anna home I couldn't even stand the diapers in grocery store bags. I had to take them right outside to the garbage. I can't even imagine the diapers without grocery store bags. UGH!

jody said...

Welcome Home!
She is stunning.
What a beautiful family!
Rejoicing with you.
And blessings as you find your new normal.

LisaB said...

Just happened across your blog today on my usual Ethiopian adoption goole addiction! :) I am traveling in a few months to go get my new little guy and just want to thank you for the video...the packing tips...and simply making me feel a bit closer to the real thing! Wishin you and your family all the best!!!! Lisa

~Laura~ said...

Such a fabulous post. Thanks so much! I've taken notes and added these things to my packing list. :)

~Laura~ said...

also, what is GORP.

{B} said...

Laura, Gorp is trail normally had nuts, dried fruit and m&ms

los cazadores said...

Welcome home!!! :)


Natalie Fournet said...

What wonderful tips! Thanks so much for sharing!