North team meetings, ironically, happened in southern Ethiopia.
Our crew went a day early for Jon to put on his landscape designer hat as the SIM retreat center, Babagayoa, sat vacant for almost a decade and has only recently been reopened. It’s a jungle but a very beautiful one.
While Jon worked, the girls and I enjoyed the Lake Bishoftu.
Jon snuck in time for an adventure with the girls.
I laid in the shade of a jacaranda for a long time and about 17 minutes before I got really worried, the triumphant canoe returned and the bottom of the boat was scattered with empty plastic bottles.
I wish I could accurately describe the Little’s exuberance at their part in cleaning up the lake. Jon said as they passed the bottles, they told Jon to stop so they could pick them up. After he hesitated Little J challenged, “Daddy, just because we don’t want to, doesn’t mean it’s not our job to take care of the world”
And what’s a man to do in the faces of his green, little children but to paddle around and work against the pollution. This picture is taken as Jon did beats with the oars while the girls exuberantly danced and chanted, “No. more. po….llution! No. more. po…llution!”.
Little J yelled out in victory over the lake, arms up, “That’s for you, Babagayoa!"
And then, among the papyrus reeds, what did they spy but, GASP, another plastic bottle.
When they could no longer hold onto Jon, they prayed on the shoreline that daddy would have the strength to get the bottle.
Oh my, green, spiritual children.
We proceeded to leave them all in the bottom of the boat and the next day, another dad asked, “Hey, what’s all this trash doing in this boat?" and then he took them to the trash, making himself the true hero. :)