I slept in awkward spurts lying on benches in the airport and stumbled semi-deliriously through check-in, security, and onto the plane. I must have strung together some amount of rest, though, because I was alert enough this time to actually see our descent into Khartoum, even awake enough to humor the flight attendant by taking the 5 A.M. breakfast offering. Khartoum appeared much as it had been described to me: "hot and dusty." As we took off again, I tried not to think about the disasters that had recently taken place on the same runway.
My first experience back in Addis was that of three men push-starting the line taxi heading into the city. Welcome home.
It's a little strange to be back. It's not so much coming from Egypt back to Ethiopia; rather, it's seeing my best friend again after so long, reuniting with that part of my life, feeling that longed-for connection to home, and then having to leave it all behind again.
On the other hand, it is nice to be back in the place that I know. It's nice to feel competent again, to fall back into the "don't-mess-with-me-I'm-not-a-tourist" swagger. It was good to settle into my little house again, to see the familiar faces around town, to be greeted by name out on the streets, to be told I was missed in the community, even to be told in the curious complimentary fashion of Ethiopia that I was looking SO good and fat after my vacation! It feels good to feel that I belong.