Wrapping up a life is not an easy thing to do.
It is filled with cumbersome things like emptying a house and ending contracts with your utility providers, but also with heartwarming goodbyes and cherished moments.
And cumbersome bumps in the road such as the discovery that our dog could not come on the flights we booked and I had to renew my booking to fly a different route apart from the others, yet with the dog. For weeks on end we cleaned, packed, arranged and sorted and we can honestly say that by the time we were ready to get to the airport we were mentally and physically exhausted.
Friends and family brought us, the dog and our 11 pieces of luggage to the airport.
What can one say about saying goodbye to your loved ones besides all the true cliché’s?
It is awful and horrible and nearly unbearable. So let us leave it at that..
To be honest I was so upset that when I got to Frankfurt airport where I had a short layover (or was supposed to have one, but as the flight was delayed it became a nearly impossible run to make my connection) and heard our dog was not going to make the transfer and had to stay behind a day I was unable to hold back my tears. I could see this shocked the manager. A grown woman sobbing her eyes out because of a dog? Well sir, sorry. Try emigrating, saying goodbye to your children and then having your dog lost in transit in a matter of two hours and see how you hold up! Yet he turned out to be a nice man, he even came into the aircraft to give me his mobile number and his promise that the dog would be well taken care of and certainly on the flight out the next day. (And so she was.)
I slept through most of the second flight and woke up just before landing.
Like a curious child I pressed my face against the plane window to get my first glimpses of my new home country. It was only just becoming light outside and the half dark sky over green mountainside covered by mist made that first impression almost surreal. I almost felt like Harry Potter hovering over Hogwarts; it looked magical.
By the time I had landed and gone through customs it was light outside and the scenery that met me outside the airport was everything but magical, though still very much surreal.
Old cars and honking busses, colorful friendly people, cattle on the road and shacks by the side of the road next to modern buildings in the making. This was Addis Ababa, my new home town. I was happy to notice that my initial emotion was curiosity. Yes, I was ready for this new adventure!