Monday, October 16, 2017

School had just started when this shiny new bajaj pulled in. The bajaj is a three-wheeled vehicle, covered and used for transport in town. I asked if the kids could have a ride in the freshly decorated carriage. I knew Tiger would love it. The babies started out less excited than J and A.



Getanet, the newly-licensed bajaj driver trying to show Tiger how fun it was going to be.


Jon jumped in to hold babies and they took off. (Notice the decorative zip ties on the wind shield wiper and the antenna).


On the first lap around, Tiger’s head popped out, thrilled he could “GO!”.

The girls pronounced it better than a Gator ride as it’s so “fancy”!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

This Season

I see your pictures, starting to celebrate all things Fall and I am just overjoyed our rains are almost done! Our house is still very cold in the mornings and evenings but the sunshine is gorgeous. Our season is sweet and full of people, our little crew and then a slew of neighbors and other people God has sent along to help. This is a picture from a week where Miss Rachel, the SIM homeschool coordinator came and visited us and taught the girls school for a week while Eliza was able to do much out and about in community. 

Whitney is pitching in and fitting in seamlessly, so glad for all the hands and her servant spirit. I don’t have pictures downloaded of recent events, so more to come. 


Jon and Tiger are outnumbered in our house. :)

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These boys (Tiger and a neighbor) are the same age and were making friend and sharing injera. There was a baby calf outside but also one angry puppy, so the kiddos stayed inside. 


I put the babies in this tub one day and pushed them around and entertained two for the price of one. Now “boat” is one of the littles favorite activities. And a side FYI, J and A chose their outfits because they were “spy ninjas”. 

I am so grateful for these four…though my to-do list is never done but it’s the season we are in and I wouldn’t trade it. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Sending And Receiving

We say “Goodbye” to Eliza tomorrow morning as she returns to Australia and her family. 


She has been a huge blessing to our family and we will miss her. Please pray with us for a safe journey to Australia and that God would bless her time over the next weeks before her return to Ethiopia. Yes, that’s right, she is coming back! So much better to say “See ya laters”…

And we get to welcome Whitney with us for the next chunk of life! So excited to have her here and we are breaking her in quickly. She has been on the ground less than 30 hours and has already attended two parties that has included, stews, injera and coffee as well as seen monkeys, an impressive start.


We are so thankful for the love and arms she brings and thankful for her fiancé, Connor for sharing her with us.


And then there are these babies. They are so cute it’s unnecessary.


My rough and tumble boy who also happens to be afraid of grass. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Only Time I Let The Kids Run With Flaming Torches

Meskel has come and gone. It’s a fascinating holiday about the “finding of the true cross”. If you have time and interest, it’s worth the trip to google. In the cities, there are bonfires lit the night before Meskel but in the countryside the bonfires start in the early morning hours (I don’t know why…my guess would be to avoid the nighttime wildlife in the countryside).  In the past, I’ve stayed in bed and let Jon and the girls enjoy but because we have up-before-the-crack-of-dawn babies, I joined in the fun this year too (and I was honestly felt like the supervision was maybe necessary…do you remember this blog post? Running with flames). 


Adgo made us all torches. 

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Then, they are set aflame and we run around with flames, yelling, “Yo-hey, Yo-Ha” and then a lot more words I don’t know but the meaning is something like this, “I was scared of dying but now the New Year has come and I get to start over”.

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Then, we together lit the pile of fresh branches. It needs to make a lot of smoke.


And then, away goes the smoke, it headed North, not sure what it indicated for us. :)


Listening to Adgo explain.


We went for a 6:30 am hike to watch the countryside…the wet mountain that has recently been deforested was a bit more treacherous than we bargained.


Smoke filled the horizon, as far as we could see.




This is the Meskel flower, it blooms later for us in the highlands but in the lower areas, the Meskel flowers are vibrantly in bloom before the holiday.


Daddy and his girls. We attempted to recreate the photo from this post.


Happy boy along for the ride as I tried to find somewhere steady to put my foot.


Smoke from every hut creating a haze in all directions.

( Thanks to Eliza for all the photos!  She leaves next week. We have so appreciated her the last 3 months and will miss all she brings to our family.) 


We did midday coffee and lunch with friends.


This was lunch. A thick injera smeared with a thick, spicy chickpea stew. Many times when this is made on a holiday, it’s mixed with a butter that isn’t my favorite taste. However, it was a fasting day (only vegan foods) and so YUMMY.  It occurred to me it’s the equivalent to America’s PBJ. 

Glad this year had no outcome of burned jackets or kids.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Leg-Saving Surgery

God has answered so many prayers for sweet Challie. (He’s the young man who I first posted about 1 year and 4 months ago.) When I first visited his hut, he was two months into a terrible leg infection. By the time we went back to the states, he was on an oral antibiotic for a bone infection and things looked like they were improving. Then we were gone and his family, who are some of the loveliest people we have met, waited. He gained some use of his leg but when we returned, we were visited again and the leg was worse than before and he had lost mobility of his knee joint. 

By God’s provision, a doctor friend who was visiting agreed to see him while she was here. Through her, we were connected to a wonderful hospital in Bahir Dar. Challie was seen on a Friday and taken in for surgery on the next day. The surgery was long with many accesses and dead bone to be removed in the bone but successful. 

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He and his parents are spending the next 10 days for him to recover at a relatives house in town with follow-up visits to the hospital. He was dangerously near losing his leg and if the surgical wound gets infected, chances are the option will be amputation. Pray with us for his wound care to follow procedure and the infected leg would finally be healed.

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Please continue to pray for this brave young man, who always says he “has no problems”. Challie is deep in our hearts. A visitor to the hospital spent time with Challie and his dear crew on the Friday and then offered to pay for his surgery, IN FULL. 

Because we thought we were going to have a long hike to their hut, I grabbed Miss T, not knowing how long we would be gone. Then we tracked them down at a relatives in another town.

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She was a hit with the crowd of people in the house. We also laugh she is a highland baby. On sunny days or when we drop altitude a bit (such as visiting a neighboring town) she gets so hot she can’t cope with life, so I am learning to dress her in summery clothes, even though I am still wearing long-sleeves and leggings. 

Thanks for praying with us for our Awi neighbors!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Death Of Our Doggy Friend

We had a funeral this weekend. Our dear dog died on Saturday night. 

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We had a chance to say goodbye on Saturday morning and pray that she would quickly pass as she was in so much pain from old age and an illness. We all cried and will miss her. Even little Tiger, when he saw her in the grave said, “May-May!” his nickname for her and then even our Ethiopian friends cried. 

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We were going to bury her without the girls being present but I realized it felt important for me to see it and so I asked the girls and they also wanted to witness it. I realized how we have talked about death and funerals but we have missed some big ones in the USA and this was cathartic. 

This morning when Yeshi came, I told her the news (in Ethiopian culture, bad news is never delivered over the phone). We went to the burial sight as Yeshi and Macy have been good friends and cried together in the freshly turned dirt.

Thankful we have friends here to share our joys and griefs.  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

To The North!

Addis has been a whirlwind for great to be in the city, so many benefits but also a different pace of life as we try to pack so much in. 


The girlies have been so brave at the international school here, they don’t love to be the “new kid” all the time but they have persevered.

We hope to go back to Injibara tomorrow morning. Will you pray with us for safe and uneventful trip and smooth transitions for the kids? We are tired, Tiger is teething and having a hard time with sleep, Miss T has been getting up for the day between 4:00 am and 5:00 am. Jon’s mornings are starting between 3-5 am as he works on new rhythms for his online MBA program and our schedule here has been full. 

Thanks for your prayers!