Monday, June 30, 2014

Walking Trails and Budding Friendships

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We hiked to our teammates house that is under construction. Mark and Debbie gave us their house and are planning to move into a more remote, mud-style house (no water or electricity) but because of some frustrating circumstances, work has stopped on the house. Pray with us that Mark and Debbie’s house could continue being built. Because it is rainy season, the mud walls will now take months to dry.

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Binyam spent a few days with our family, helping with the move and then doing some touring. He was our first guest of the summer. Hopefully many more to come! We are actually getting some very exciting visitors tomorrow!  Because last time it was fun to keep it a secret and I am amused by small things, I’ll not tell you again…until TOMORROW. Tomorrow. Tomorrow. :) We can hardly wait! Pray with us for a smooth trip and connections. They will fly into Bahir Dar and we hope to pick them up on our Tuesday morning (your Monday night).

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The girls had a friend, Ishmael, over to play. I was hoping they could learn Amharic from him but it seems like he may learn English for J&A. :)

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After Little J spent some time watching laundry be done by hand with Adgo (the machine in the photo has a functioning spin cycle), she exclaimed, “Wow, this is so cool! I know how to do my own laundry!” Because we don’t have a machine hooked up yet, we are doing laundry by hand. I am glad she thinks it’s great. I realize how much of what we are exposed to sets our view of “normal”.  If you want an arm and upper back work out. do laundry by hand. 

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Immediately outside of our house in our gate, the girls often shed their skirts and go down to leggings. They are so loved by Miss Zody.

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She is usually busy, as a ten-year old girl, she has much responsibility, but she always takes time for The Littles.

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Thanks for joining with us in prayer. We are so grateful for each of you, walking this journey from afar with us.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Rapunzel's Father

I spotted Rapunzel’s father

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and he is cute.

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Little A roasts coffee beans, a part of Ethiopian culture at which I hope they excel. :)



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Carried Along

Are you praying? Because our girls are f-l-e-x-i-n-g and enjoying the process.

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Here is a picture of the girls walking on a recent visit. This lasts only as long as their is no mud, rain or standing water, then someone, scoops them up before they know what happened and they are whisked along on a back or in someone’s arms. 

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Helped across a small river

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Through the gate

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Time to go and it’s raining. No problem, before any of us knew the plan, they were covered

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This is called a “fota” which is the same word used for towel or blanket. It is used for warmth and for protection over your head in the rain.

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Little J is saying, “Mama, where are you? I can only see and smell this blanket."


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hello, Beautiful

A few days and lots of coffees later, we are beginning to feel settled.

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Walking to a friend’s house

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Hiking to our teammates' new house

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This would be my last option to travel the roads through the Blue Nile Gorge

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Breathtaking. The Blue Nile River

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Walking to another friends’.

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A view from the road

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I don’t love baboons but I love baby baboons clinging onto their mamas. :) 



Monday, June 23, 2014

Before The Move

A few more snapshots while in Addis Ababa.

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Loading a bookshelf with plenty of manpower

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Playing Anne’s harp one last time

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Choosing which “swimming pool” they wanted at the market.

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Wearing traditional clothes

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Laughing as Musi sneaks Coke.

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My enraptured child at the appliance store

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Which happened to be in a building with a glass elevator, that we may have ridden multiple times purely because the girls thought it was King’s Island.

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This moving stuff wore us out.

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Saying goodbye to my toddler girl posse. The neighborhood kids in Addis loved Jon but he had nothing on me with this demographic. Though I did nothing to deserve their affections, whenever I was out, I heard sweet little voices chant, “Amy, Amy, Amy” and who can resist this sweetness?!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Moving Day

 It looks like the Ethiopian highlands is where I am staying for the rest of my life because I. AM. NEVER. MOVING. AGAIN.

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At least until I forget about the difficulty of this one. 

Moving is a good chance to assess, “Oh my word, how did I get so much stuff”. It has an extra level of pain here that nearly puts me in a panic. I am torn between wanting to set up “home” and trying to contextualize and I nearly make myself crazy. Questions like “Why did I bring my food chopper?!” whirl in my mind along with “I love my food chopper”.

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Goodbye to our happy apartment, the one we were supposed to live in for 3 months and stayed for 10.

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Goodbye to the Freys. What will we do without our neighbors who became family?

Our drive was smooth, thanks so much for your prayers.

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Hello Injibara. We’ve missed you.
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Moving truck comes through our gate.
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There has been a good crew helping us move. So, so thankful for each one of them!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014


New life is all around us. 

A few weeks ago, we attended our first Ethiopian Orthodox baptism. Boy babies are baptized and named on day 40, while girls are baptized and named on day 80. 

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We went to church at 6:00 am.

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I didn’t know we could take pictures until after we got there, so I only got several on my phone.
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Because of our friendship with the family, Jon was asked to receive Nati out of the water and into a warm blanket.
A few weeks later, we heard the wonderful news that our friend, D* was to be baptized at an International Evangelical Christian church.
When the girls heard this news, their first question was, “Umm, is D* going to wear clothes?"
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Yes, D wore clothes. :)
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 D’s testimony of how God pursued him is so encouraging.
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His smile upon climbing out of the waters was precious and powerful. 
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Glory to God, great things He has done!
Okay, that was my packing break. Here is how my house looks right now.
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We hired someone to buy mattresses for us. I was picturing a thin, flimsy kind so I doubled up for the beds. Now I have double the thick foam mattresses we need. Headache. 
Can you pray we can find a buyer for the extras in the next day?  And also, don’t take your return policies for granted. :)
Time to get back to boxes.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Whole New World

It seems like we would have learned our lesson about goodbyes already and how they look here. When someone prepares to go, a flurry of invitations come for lunch or coffee. Our door is busy as many people drop by to wish us well. It is a huge blessing. However, my motto on any good move is “It has to get worse before it gets better”. So, I cringe and answer the knock at the door and we sit amidst half-packed boxes and a sink full of dishes, drinking coffee and pretending we don’t see the mess. 

We have began another round of goodbyes and it will again hurt as our hearts are entwined with many here.

Addis Ababa to Injibara is a world of difference in almost every way, what we eat, what clothes we wear, how we shop, who we interact with. By the grace of God, Jon and I are ready, although we know it comes at a cost of the familiar, cost of lack of convenience in the city and cost of uprooting again. Will you pray with us?

-Smooth packing

-Safe and uneventful travels (specifically Thursday-In Indiana time, we will be on the road from approximately 10:00pm Wednesday night through 9:00 am on Thursday morning)

-Good goodbyes

-Strong hearts full of thankfulness as we face another transition.

-Patience as we all are operating under high stress

It’s time. 

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