Writing

How To Complicate A Pleasant Trip Using Only Your Superpower (or, M2's Debut, And A Rant)

Posted by Tom Chandler 4/6/2012

If there's one thing I enjoy even more than 20+ hours on a plane, it has to be 20+ hours on a plane while sick and taking Cipro, proving once again that my superpower might just be my ability make travel uncomfortable.

I just wish I knew how to use it for good instead of evil.

I'm writing this from Ethiopia, where the Internet service at the guest house oscillates between appearing to be there (but not really -- gotcha!) to not being there at all, which is frankly a lot better than it was the last time.

What lies ahead is the trip home, and while I'll never look forward to time spent in the flying aluminum sausage, I can't wait to be back.

Ethiopia remains a beguiling place; a poverty stricken country that is experiencing real economic growth, but still suffers all the usual third-world ills -- most of which are on display right along the roadside.

It's a place that makes me appreciate all I have (and if you read the Underground, you've probably got a lot) yet practically demands another visit.

Which obliquely brings us back to the part of the trip that weighs heaviest; we met little M2 at the orphanage and she's sweet and happy and took to us right away, but at the end of the afternoon the best we could do was kiss her, promise her we'd come back for her as soon as we could, hand her back to the nanny, and try not to trip over the seams in the sidewalk because we were blinking back tears.

It's not an experience I recommend.

imageI'm fully capable of ranting about the opaque nature of the international adoption process and the glacial work rate of the agencies involved (just ask the L&&T). But I also have to acknowledge the unhappy reality that the fine line between adoption and the outright sale of children appears to have been crossed on occasion, and caution is probably the right course.

At least for everyone else.

We fly Saturday night, and should be at S.F. International by late Sunday, though probably not home until Tuesday or so. I expect I'll occupy an ecological niche between cogent human being and living dead, but at least I'll occupy it at home.

See you going home, Tom Chandler.

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AuthorPicture

Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

26 comments
Awww bless :)
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Tom Chandler: As I recall, Guido owned a complete set of autobody tools, yet his car was dented and primered. Curious combination. Yeah; Guido "Legbreaker" Stromboli had those tools. They were collateral from some dude who preferred Guido have those instead of the dude living in a house full of broken furniture. As for the body work, that was another loan, of sorts. Guido drove like he ran his ... more business. Whatever you need from me, you got it...
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Hey everyone, thanks for kind comments and travel wishes. We're back, and while I'd love to respond to each comment in turn, too much unfinished business looms. I'll be working from now until we go back to Ethiopia to catch up (which is when I'll fall behind again). When you take an unexpected journey, it helps to have a bunch of friends along for the ride.
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As I recall, Guido owned a complete set of autobody tools, yet his car was dented and primered. Curious combination.
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You need somebody to go along and convince these jamokes not to hold M2 hostage? If you remember, I'm the guy who hired Guido, back in the Compuserve days. I can fix it for ya, bud. As for flying around seven miles in the air at Mach 0.85 in pressurized metal tubes, just keep this note in mind (from an American Airlines pilot, no less): "We hope you've enjoyed giving us the business as much as we've ... more enjoyed taking your for a ride!"
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What a sparkle in her eyes!! Safe travels.
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Just beautiful, btw...
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Sorry to hear that you are not bringing M2 back at this time. Hopefully, things will clear up soon. Who knows; maybe you'll get accustomed to air travel, after all of it you've been doing. Hang in there, and feel better. I think you had a birthday recently, so happy birthday, for whatever that is worth.
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What an adorable and bright looking little girl. And thanks for caring. Congrats, Cap'n Bob
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What a cutie!
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Safe Home to all!
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Beautiful!
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Her eyes are stunning. And what you're providing these girls with is too. Safe and quick travels to you all...
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Got it in one.
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Sweet!
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Brother, your my hero. :)
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"You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din." Rudyard Kipling
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Beautiful, beautiful. I'm happy for all of you, but especially for the sisters who will get to be sisters.
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You're a good man, Tom, who is making a positive difference on many levels. We're pretty damned impressed here in N. Wisconsin.
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Tom, you write beautifully, from the heart, and with honesty. Thanks for sharing this rather unbelievable experience with descriptions that take your readers right along with you. M2 is a beautiful child with a plethora of opportunities open to her in the future. Life is such a fascinating experience, much to be thankful for and appreciated in the living of it. Obviously, I'm not a macho woodsman/fisherman/whatever, ... more commenting on your blog, but we all count in the scheme of things!
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After your "pleasurable" travel experience of, what, two days, three days, four?...stuck crammed into an airplane, sitting in airports, and going through customs, too bad you are not flying back through LAX; you could have starred in a zombie movie without much make-up. I assume it would be miserable looking ahead that you get to do this all over again, if it weren't for the most noble, wonderful, ... more and rewarding of reasons. Good on you.
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Tom- She's beautiful. I think you are overlooking your greatest superpower... and from what I can tell, you are using it for good already.
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M2 is a real cutie Tom! Have a safe journey home and may the rest of the process of getting M2 to the Mount Shasta area go as smoothly as possible.
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Wally is going to have his paws full......
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You Rock! Safe travels.
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Tom what'a Doll ! Now go back and get her!
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