Saturday, November 29, 2014

Please Pray For Peter

Three posts in one day, unprecedented, I know.

With Dad and Mom G, their friends and business associates, Peter and Kim came at the tail end to their trip to Uganda and Kenya.

Peter and Kim’s last night in Kenya, he was bit by something that we monitored while he was with us for 2.5 days.



After 1 1/2 days in Injibara with us, Jon took Peter and Kim to Bahir Dar to catch a flight to Addis. However, they were served at a clinic in Bahir Dar and it looked okay (we were thinking it was a brown recluse spider bite from Kenya), so they moved onto Lalibela (in northern Ethiopia)

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We still had time for a little touring and meeting some of our friends.

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We even had a birthday party for the girls. We used those short days in bigs ways! :)

Sadly, we lost internet after we thought Peter was on the mend, but we just received news that he has “Sleeping Sickness” which is caused by the bite of a tsetse fly and can be fatal. He was medically evacuated to South Africa after being admitted in critical care to a hospital in Addis Ababa. They are currently in South Africa with wonderful doctors but the news isn’t so great.  

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Peter and Kim, we are joining thousands in prayer for your healing. 

Will you pray for his complete healing and that all damage done to organs could be healed? His three daughters landed in South Africa this morning and he was able to open his eyes and give them a wink.


How To Build Your Own Mud House-Tutorial Part 4

HI!  I know many of you are dying to see pictures of our visitors!  We have had a wonderful time and it was especially quality time as we had no internet. :) All six of us are in Bahir Dar right now, spending our last few days with Jon’s parents. I will post something I already had ready…wait for more!  Today, I will double up to finish this mud house tutorial. :)

Did you miss parts 1, 2, and 3? Don’t miss part 3, it’s my favorite!

After the mud is mixed, it’s hauled to the house and spread on the outside. 

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This picture is taken two mornings after all there was were stakes and string, marking the walls.

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A different mud is mixed, this for the interior. At this point, most of the men and women are so tired. The night before, there was a big party with drums, fire, drinking and dancing, in celebration that “Look at the small house Meregata has come from and now look at his beautiful, new, big house.” We were invited to the party but opted for a quiet night at home.

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Mud is spread to cover the interior walls.

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The Littles thought it was a dream come true as they watched adults up to their knees in mud.

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Okay, there you go. Maybe with your new found knowledge, you can start small and maybe build a shed or a playhouse. :)

A Tutorial, How to Build Your Own Mud House, Mud Stomping Time-Part 3

Did you miss Parts 1 & 2?  As previously explained, there is a push for the countryside people to move into tin-roofed dwellings.

While some men are framing up the window and doors...

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Others prepare for the mud mixing.

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Straw is mixed with the dirt and water and then it is pressed down with horses and human feet. The horses are driven in a circle while men walk behind. Jon took of his shoes to help. The Awi men joked, “We are used to being barefoot, you aren’t. There are sharp things in the mud that will cut your feet. You can’t help. You use your car for us, we will cut our feet for you.” 

And I wish I could post the video we have of this party, such a joyful time.

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The younger men get this job and the older men yell encouragement from the perimeter.

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The roofers are nearly finished with the tin while the mud concoction is stomped to perfection.

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That night, dinner is served again (Jon came home because it was pizza/movie night).

Stay tuned, we are almost done!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Day 2 Tutorial, How To Build Your Own Mud House

We are now on Day 2 of the house building fiesta. Check out yesterday’s post for Day 1, starting from strings and stakes.

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Here’s a shot of how it looked first thing in the morning.

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Jon apprenticed with the carpenters on the roof. The men below are digging up fresh mud. This will be mixed with straw to make the perfect batch of mud for the walls.

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The skill and detail of these men, perched high above the ground is amazing. Jon was working with them, doing less of the detail work.

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I love this shot of Demelish, currently not looking so confident. :)

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The men filled jerry cans from a small stream to start to make a mud mixture.

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The water is poured on the freshly dug mud and the men start to mix.

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Other men start to bring in sheets of tin, one roll at a time. Tin is very sharp and dangerous.

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Time for coffee break!

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Other men haul in straw in preparation for my favorite part.

Come back tomorrow to see how it shapes up. 



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

So, You Want To Build Your Own Mud House?

 After our first house building experience, Jon started with a friend from the ground up. 

Day 1, Morning 1:

Stakes and string marked off the future walls, men poured in from all directions.

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Discussing wall placement

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Sawing logs to frame the house

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Let the walls begin!

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A separate group of men worked in a nearby pasture, peeling the bark and notching the wood.

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Do you see the hut in the background? The closest one is for livestock, the further is the house where the family has been living.

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Many hands make light work.

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Lunch break!

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A few of the many neighbors who came to help

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This sweet woman, Asmarich, is delighted for her new home but also stayed up all night, making injera for this crowd. She was exhausted.

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The father and daughter of the house.

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Placing the ceiling beams. They were notched by the carpenters. Jon is one of the workers at the top.

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The girls and I were served lunch in the hut.

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They thought it was the best thing ever, they love potato wet.

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These women bustled to prepare the next meal..

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The woman on the right is a Mother-in-law. She told me this is a sad time of year as one year ago, her mother and father died, but that she is joyful that her daughter will have a home.

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Does your six year old wield a large, curved knife to peel potatoes?  

Picture overload, I will never have the internet to post all of this, so it just became part 1. Stay tuned. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Leave the Birthday Banner Up

As I wrangled two toddlers in the grocery store line and some well-meaning person would say, “Cherish these moments, they go by so fast”, I would smile but held my tongue so I didn’t say, “You know, I kind of want these days to be over!” Now, they are 5. F-I-V-E and I get it.

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Do you know how close five is to ten?!?

We’ve had a whole lot of celebrating around here. Five only comes once.

We were keeping a family on the way through, from Addis to their home, 3-4 hours east of us a few days before the girls birthday. So, in the spirit of Third Culture Kids celebrating each moment, we did an early birthday.

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Decorating cupcakes and the kitchen

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Licking out the frosting dishes. We celebrating three birthdays, (our girls and their littlest).

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The weekend before, we had a house full as we celebrated a friend’s 40th birthday and Jon’s birthday and the girls were first introduced to trick candles. This is about the 5th go-around, the perfect reason not to eat cake after a child has blown out the candles.

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 After the party, they left us the trick candles...

Back to the girls’ birthday...

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Our power was out and came on just long enough for me to get the cakes baked…Bur the requested calzone…that is another story which I shall not weep about here. I really, really was wishing for anywhere with take-out.

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But thank goodness the cakes were done!  And we made our house into a “fancy” restaurant because everything is fancy with candlelight.

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Five was such a fun age for trick candles. Funny, every time!

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When you are five, you can cut your own cake.

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Now, the best birthday gift of all, Jon’s parents are coming. Here. We will also be able to do Thanksgiving together as well as our third party and pull those little stubs of trick candles out for one last hurrah.