Before we left for our second trip to Ethiopia we put out a request for donations for Acacia Village. Acacia Village is the facility in Addis Ababa where Tizita and many other children wait for their adoptive parents to take them home. Donations such as these help ease the cost of maintaining the home.
The response to our post was amazing! People from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Idaho and Alaska send diapers, clothing, formula and money to give to the orphanage. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We were so proud to be able to bring such a sizable amount of supplies on behalf of the friends and family of the Rudstroms. It was especially amazing considering that people had to first ship them to Brevig Mission somewhere near the edge of the Earth so they could make their way over to the other edge of the Earth.
The folks at Bering Air were generous enough to waive the extra baggage fees for the donated supplies. Alaska Airlines was equally as kind. Alaskans are just kind of nice that way.
The donations got a little driving tour of Washington D.C. during our layover on the way out. No one seemed to wonder what we were up to in Alaska, D.C. was another story. The taxi drivers and hotel staff were a little more curious about our diaper boxes and rubber maid totes.
We used some of the money that was donated to buy formula in D.C. Turns out formula eats up money at an astounding rate. We spent $200 on formula and decided to save the other $120 of donated money for excess baggage on Ethiopian Airlines if they weren't willing to waive the fee.
The day of our flight, we stepped up to the counter of Ethiopian Airlines and asked if they would be willing to cover the extra baggage for a good cause. The agent checking us in didn't say a word, he just shook his head "no" sternly. He didn't seem like the kind of guy to argue with so we just let it go. It was right about then that C.O. pointed it out to me that extra baggage cost $150 per bag. We were allowed two check in bags each which meant we had two extra pieces that would be charged. $300 was quite a lot to add to the cost of transporting these items. I was feeling a little sick to my stomach but had no choice but to accept Ethiopian Airline's policy.
When the ticketing agent finished checking us in, we waited for him to ask for payment. Instead, he handed over our boarding passes and said, "Have a nice flight," and sent us on our way. Bless his heart and what a relief! God put just the right person in that place at that time.
The donations made it to their final destination at Acacia Village in Addis Ababa. The remaining $120 that wasn't used on excess baggage costs will be sent to the home to be used for day to day expenses.
Again thank you to everyone who had it in their hearts to give to children halfway around the world and to ease the cost for the families who are waiting to take them home.