Come To Addis And Get A Babba!

We land in Addis Ababa the capital of Ethiopia and begin to make our way through the busy transfer lounge. I notice that the Ethiopian women and strikingly beautiful, as if they were created by clever distribution of all the best genes Africa has to offer. They are soft, gentle people who move with a sense of grace I could never cultivate. Even though this is a nation of beautiful ladies I am struck by a certain sense of heavy desperation that is hanging in the airport terminal. There is a thick, grey smog of sadness that one needs to wade through and cannot ignore. I wonder if itís due to my over exhaustion that I am feeling this way and ask my mom and Jan if they feel it too. They both agree that the feeling is undeniable. I notice a European looking women cradling a tiny Ethiopian baby, I wonder if it is her child or if it belongs to the women sitting next to her? A few steps along I notice another, and another and yet another. At the same moment my mom and I notice that most of the people within the airport transfer lounge are Europeans with new born Ethiopian babies.

I sit and focus on the crowd around me and become aware that we are in the minority; we are not taking an Ethiopian baby with us. Single moms, Moms and Dads, even a Gay couple are oogling and fussing over the incredibly cute additions to their families. I never thought that in this small, old, dirty, airport terminal I would stumble across so much hope and joyous anticipation. Unsure, hesitant and uncertain new parents with push prams, glistening new baby bottles and the latest branded baby gear were coming with us from Ethiopia to Rome... wait... a plane full of newborns... oh hell, I didnít see this one coming! At this moment, amongst all this joy, a sense of frustration sets in. I just want to get this flight over and done with. Maybe Iíll be lucky enough to sleep on the plane. But no such luck on a plane full of crying babies! It is what nightmares are made of. But...Letís hit Roma people!

L Slattery

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