We weren't impressed by our first view of the New Flower Guest House. It was late at night, we were tired and we were ushered along a short downstairs corridor and shown a tiny room, nothing like the ones they show on the website!! The shared toilet/shower room next door was erm basic!! But we were too tired to care and just got ready for bed and slept. The bed creaked and groaned every time we moved, and it wasn't a double - either that or we'd both grown a lot on the flight over!! And don't even ask about the barking dogs!!!
However, during the next week we learnt to appreciate the Guest House and the extremely helpful staff. The accommodations were pretty basic, but they were throughout Addis - if we wanted Western comforts we would have to pay Western prices for a room at the Hilton or Sheraton! There were at least three power cuts during our week's stay, but the Guest House owner explained that electricity is rationed through the city and each area of the city takes turns at having no power. And I've read reviews of many different Guest Houses on adoptive family's blogs and most of them mention power cuts and barking dogs - so its just a feature of staying in Addis lol.
The other guests were all adoptive families and it was lovely seeing them interact and start to bond with their new little ones. While we stayed there was a German couple adopting a baby boy, two pairs of Danish sisters where one sister was adopting and the other sister was supporting them, an American couple from Colorado adopting their second baby girl and a Canadian couple adopting a 5 year old daughter, as a sister to their previously adopted 13 and 6 year old Ethiopian children.
The atmosphere was one of mutual support and assistance. I gave one of the Danish sister's my spare memory card for her camera. She was saving all her pictures to a memory stick, but was terrified that something would happen to them and she might lose them. Then when she and her new baby became covered in "bites" and her sister wasn't she used some of the medication I'd taken, just in case it was Scabies. The other guests allowed me and Baby Sis to use the upstairs (warm!!) shower and we all pooled knowledge of where to eat, where to shop and what to buy :-)
So we went from an "OMG what have we DONE??" attitude to the Guest House, to feeling so at home and comfortable and LOVING it :-) And I've just booked to stay there again when we all go over for our Court Date :-)
Despite our initial misgivings I would heartily recommend it to everyone as a lovely calm welcoming oasis in a busy city.