The pets and I made it onto our KLM flight to Amsterdam with no problem. Mesfin has a friend at the airport, so he helped smooth the pet loading. I'm writing from a coffee shop in the Amsterdam airport, and the pets are resting at the animal hotel.
Schipol airport is a real culture shock: everything is modern, clean, sparkling, and efficient. Shops hold every very-latest gadget and sparkly thing. Clothing shops are full of designer names: Izod, Ferragamo, Hugo Boss ($200 blue jeans), Chanel, etc. At the restaurants, there is about 1/3 the staff of a typical Addis restaurant. The help seems highly efficient, and not very happy or friendly. And the prices are damned expensive: $9 latte, $23 toast-eggs-and-juice breakfast. In Addis the whole thing would have cost $3. In the boonies it would have cost $0.95. Of course, spending dollars here only makes things worse. It seems the only currency as weak as the dollar is the Birr. The last I knew it was holding steady at 9.2/$. It now costs $1.47 to buy one Euro.
Oh, and of course it was lovely surfing the 'net on blazingly-fast, uncensored wifi.