Ethiopian did end up changing their flight to go through Dakar, Senegal instead of Rome. Still not entirely sure why they did this change, as far as I can tell the ash cloud is no effecting Europe at all right now. So because of this, I have to stay a night in Ethiopia before continuing on to Lilongwe.
When I checked in with them here in DC, I learned two things. First, that the flight is even later than the time that they rescheduled it to. I now leave at 1:30 PM. Second, apparently my carry-on that was perfectly fine for my United regional jet flight is too heavy for them and has to be checked.
Not overly impressed with Ethiopian so far. While they did give me a $7 lunch voucher to use here in Dulles, the fact that they changed the flight to begin with, the fact that the flight is further delayed, and that they have a pretty limited carry-on policy isn’t giving me too good of impression so far.
I’ll try to add some pictures of Dulles to this post in a bit. They have really interesting elevated bus type things to take people from one terminal to another.