We arrived in DC in the wee hours of the morning on the 10th. Luckily, there was a coffee shop right near our gate so we could refuel. We met the other family who would be staying at the guest house with us- Stacy, Joe, and both their mothers. They had 9 month old twins- a boy and girl- waiting for them. It was comforting to have another family sharing all our same emotions and apprehensions.
Finally we boarded the plane. Already it started to feel like we so much closer to Africa, as most of our fellow passengers were habesha.
There was a mother and grandmother seated diagonally from us with two gorgeous little girls. Later in the flight, I watched as the mother put the baby into the bassinett knowing that in not so many days, I'd be doing the same thing on our return flight. The flight attendants cooed over both the girls. When the older girl (maybe 3?) fell asleep, they put a larger bassinett up and settled her inside so that her mom could have a break. I thought this boded very well for the return trip as well- should Mom and I need the help, I knew where to turn!
Granted, 17 hours is a very long flight, but it went by so quickly. I think I was able to sleep a bit but certainly not much. Too much excitement, anticipation, cramped airplane seats..... I swear they fed us full meals every 3 hours. The little bag of flight "goodies" they handed out (eye shade, toothbrush- even socks!) was adorable. I think I probably read and re-read the info the agency gave us about the Bole airport a dozen times so that I'd know where to go once we arrived. Doesn't seem like much to fill so many hours, but somehow it did.