Traveling to Addis


Saying goodbye to my David for 2 months

Day 1 06/06/14  Ciudad Colon (my home) -> San Jose -> Houston -> San Antonio -> Mom’s house
    Today was a big travel day. I flew away from my home for the last 11 months, from my friends, from my Costa Rican family and my husband. It is a lot to leave behind.
   I moved to Ciudad Colon 11 months ago with my husband to study at the UN mandated University for Peace. We had planned for 2 years to go to that school and now 3 years later it is crazy that this chapter of my life is over. I will miss waking up with the sun shining every morning and going to school excited to see the smiling faces of my classmates, who became my family. I will miss the discussions and being challenged, my friends and all the smoothies. I should have grabbed a smoothie before I left…
I am on the plane now from San Jose to Houston and it looks like I will be an hour or more late to arrive in Houston. I probably won’t make my next flight, I hope it’s not an omen for the long 3 days of travel I have ahead.
   A little over 2 months is a long time to be away from my husband and I will miss him a lot. Yesterday was our 4 year anniversary which means we have now been together for 9 years. Happy anniversary sweetie, I’m going to Ethiopia! Of course he has been nothing but supportive and hopefully he will join me for a few weeks to see Addis as well. Addis is becoming a reality. Phoenix is there and searching for housing. It sounds like he is learning the city and transportation quickly and I am excited to do the same soon. The list of contacts I have in the city is growing. The people I have connected with so far have been nothing but helpful and should be an invaluable asset as we begin to look at a water conflict and learn the city. With Ethiopia being the birthplace of coffee I am getting excited for coffee dates with my new friends and colleagues!
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Clouds over the Houston Airport

Day 2 06/09/14   Mom’s Home -> San Antonio -> Houston -> Airport Hotel

       In high school my favorite class was Astronomy. I loved learning about these far off things that affected us but also operated
completely separate from us. One day my teacher Mr. Atkins asked if we ever thought about the sun, if so what did we think of it. The smart-aleck cowboy in the class knew where our teacher was going with this and said “You know before now I only thought of the sun as that big bright thing that I curse every morning on the way to school cause my sun visor can’t block it out of my eyes. Now that I’m thinking about it, Mr. Atkins, I realize it is a big ball of burning gas that keeps us all alive”.

    Today’s travel day was kinda like that class. I am about to go off to learn about water conflict, look at the issues and how they affect peoples’ lives. Today, though, water affected me.  It affected me to the tune of $110 lost and 14 hours added to my travel.  Thanks universe for this lesson. The lesson is this: Water is important, water keeps us all alive but sometimes it is an annoyance and you just want to curse it. The region of Texas my family lives in is in a several-year-long drought. This is pretty normal; we say that in South-Central Texas the weather is drought followed by flood, but drought is never fun. When I got into San Antonio the other day I was surprised to see the grass and trees as green as they were. Blankets of yellow, red and purple wildflowers are covering the hills and it is quite lovely right now. The recent start of the hurricane season in the Gulf of Texas has brought much needed rain to the area and the people here are upbeat and hopeful with every falling ¾ inch of rain they get.
   Today a big rain storm came through the region which is not ideal for a 4 hour drive to Houston from San Antonio. Yet, who can complain when rain is so needed? I can! The rain made the 4 hour trip a little over 6 hours and my mom and I weren’t able to see my brother at his new job in Houston. At least we made it to the airport just in the nick of time. Checking in to my flight they informed me that my flight had been canceled due to softball-sized hail the airport received earlier in the day. They had no more flights out to DC and there was no way I was going to make my flight to Addis Ababa the next morning. I had a hotel reserved in DC to make my 12 hour layover more comfortable, but I lost the reservation and the money for it. My mom was kind enough to stay in Houston the night with me in a hotel near the airport, to get me off to my new flight in the morning which will get me to Addis 14 hours later, but still on the same day.
    In this fellowship we are defining conflict as the inability to reach ones goals. My goal was a smooth flight, but water in the form of giant ice balls in a drought-ridden landscape obstructed this goal.  My summer journey with water conflicts begins. 


  1. #1 by Katie Petitt on June 13, 2014 - 4:40 am

    Thanks Lisa!

  2. #2 by Elizabeth Whitehead on June 10, 2014 - 8:14 pm

    Sorry to hear about your rough start, Katie, but it was all in the cause of bringing rain to Texas, which we really do need. May the rest of your travels be smooth, and may your time in Addis Abba be filled with good listening, excellent stories, new friends and opportunities, and daily discoveries. We are holding you in daily prayer ~ Lisa

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