Things are outwardly calmer now. The declared state of emergency has worked in silencing opposition. Internet access has been tightly controlled, with some areas of the country just now being able to get back online, something almost unimaginable here in the U.S. but very effective in getting the world to forget what's happening in Ethiopia. To be clear, none of the problems that led to the protests have been solved. As this article says, a tight lid has been put on a boiling pot. It's keeping things stable at the moment. But it could erupt again at any time.
Nevertheless, things are calmer now. And Ethiopians who make their living from tourism are asking for people to visit. And visiting your adopted children's first families is so important. So I'm going to go ahead and describe our trip, and I'm OK for now with adoptive families who have carefully researched the security situation in places they plan to visit construing it as encouragement to go.
I had three goals for the trip:
- Give the kids a positive experience of Ethiopia.
- Do it as affordably as possible.
- Be a bottomless well of patience.