We decided that for the first two weeks, I would stay with a host family in Addis Ababa and volunteer at a local school while my friends visited family in Gambella.
Then we would meet up and travel around the country for the last two weeks of our stay.
This gave us plenty of time to talk and for me to explain my background, how I came to be in Ethiopia, and that my friends were going to be in a city that took two days to get to by bus.
Only after it was too late did I realize this might not be a good piece of information to share.
Fairytales are not known for beginning in a Washington DC nightclub, but for one American woman it was where she met the Ethiopian prince who would go on to become her husband.