Friday, February 22, 2013

2/22 Friday in Ethiopia

In Amharic, the word for heaven and America are interchangable. Sad that they feel America is heaven. We are far from it.
Water = wooha
Went up Mt Entoto; took pix of Sululta and Addis from the top. (Pic of addis included)
Shopping and packing. We get on the plane at 10:50pm local time (2:50pm eastern)
Please pray for health as we travel. People are dropping like flies from a stomach bug.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday 2/21 in Ethiopia

Good morning = Melachew
Our drivers: Bouzee (sp?), Dagoo (sp?)
Our translators: Tom, Danny
They put furs on the dashboard and rear window as the sun is too hot coming trough the glass. Driving lessons can start at 18. Usually takes 6 months of lessons. They have to know how to parallel park well!
Brush teeth with bottled water.
Don't flush toilet paper.
After we handed out crackers from the van, we leaned that it is legal to hand things out from a car as people were getting hurt by other cars. We learned that our driver could lose his license. So we will pass them out on the street instead. An Ethiopia woman in the neighborhood around the orphanage used to hatch, raise, and sell chickens. Then a soap factory from India was built nextdoor and the eggs wouldn't hatch and live. She now buys day old Chicks and raises/sells them.
Visit Kora (Leper Colony) - 500 kids; Kora Great Hope works with 25 families; Project 61 work with kids; leprosy and the poorest; searching scraps in the dump to sell. 140,000 people. Widow program of 44 people. Make paper & clay bead necklaces. Feeding center for kids - breakfast & lunch. Clinic here. Most of the workers here were born & grew up here.
How are you? = Selam machu
Javama = traditional Ethiopian coffee pot
Chickens are at the orphanage.
Said our "see you laters" to the kids. Everyone is crying. This part really sucks.
Picked up coffee. Ohhh it smells good.
Went to Yod Abisinya - a traditional restaurant with singing and dancing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday 2/20 in Ethiopia

Yesterday stopped at a Christian mission complex. Went into the main room. Felt very strange to be in a room full of farangi (sounds like frenge = white people).
At end of every day - blowing nose or washing face is all black. Such dark dry dirt that flies up during wind storms and playing sports.
Market = markahdo
The kids don't let you carry your backpack or water bottle. Last night it was cool enough that they wanted their sweatshirt. It wasn't cool for me, but Johannes insisted i take his sweatshirt. They probably have just 1 sweatshirt and he was probably colder than I. And I had my sweatshirt in my bag. Yet he insisted and I didn't want to hurt his feelings. I will return it today and have to show him I brought mine. :)
You know it is a bad traffic jam when your Ethiopian driver sets the parking brake and the vehicles next to you are close enough to touch. Cars are honking worse than Boston, and we are on a hill in a standard transmission van. Our translator is having a conversation with the driver next to us. Jam caused by police directing traffic entering a traffic circle because there are so many cars.
Pulled over by policeman. They are allowed to pull over anyone exiting the city to check papers. He wanted to check our letter explaining our trip.
Painting the walls of the school classrooms. Paint is oil based for the walls. They usually mix it with gasoline. If you ask them why it is because they have always done it that way. The fumes are horrible!
It is hard not being able to help much with construction. I feel like I'm not doing much. Between neck stress painting the ceiling and the bad fumes of the wall paint, I'm off the construction crew. Thankfully we have crafts to get ready for the kids.
Crafts, acrobatics, gave out EBC shirts. Temesken gave me a tattoo (permanent marker). :)
Today is the last construction day. Tomorrow we rest and play with the kids. Please pray with us that our goodbyes tomorrow evening about 5-6pm local time are more "see you later". We expect it to be very difficult.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2/19 Tuesday in Ethiopia

Women and Ben visited orthodox church & museum. Today is annual memorial of Italian march. Having service with older military in uniform. People outside church praying by standing at the wall of the building and leaning their head on the building. Take their shoes off before entering church.
Visited 2 little stores to shop. Danny translated for us and bargained for us. Small fight started in front of the last store. Woman washed her hands and dried them on the shawl that was for sale. She threw stone at people in front of the shop and then threw a stick at him. We quickly got in van.
Danny treated us to coffee and dessert at Kaldi's.
Men were at orphanage working on the coop. Finished pouring the concrete floor.
Went for a walk around the orphanage neighborhood. Cute little kids following us.
Saw a large pack of mice scurry from under the fence near the kitchen and into the field outside the fence. Pet a donkey. Pet baby goats. Helped herd sheep.
Did crafts with the kids
Stopped for dinner at Chicken Hut. They didn't have power but tried convincing us to stay and eat. Went to Kaldi's instead.

Monday, February 18, 2013

2/18 Monday in Ethiopia

Worked on chicken coop roof, classroom ceilings are painted, working on painting veranda ceiling, organized & rearranged the storage room/clinic, made washer necklaces with the kids. Played the balloon game when each person has a balloon tied to ankle and you try to pop other's balloon while keeping your own balloon safe. Kids remembered the game from 2 years ago. Lots of fun. Merima won this year and during the last trip 2 years ago!
Amharic lesson:
Sit down (said to a girl) = Tekamet-chi
Sit down (said to a boy) = Tekamet

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday 2/17 in Ethiopia

Out the van window: "Awww! Look at that tiny lamb!" {insert rocky road} "Oww!" "Was it cute enough for that?"
Church at Fekadu's church. Colossians 3:13-17; Matt 13:24-30
Young Ethiopian man in church said "I hope they will sing us a song." We had no idea what he said as no one translated that part. Steve spoke & had the team sing "I love you Lord"; God had Aimee pick a song that is one I can do in sign language. I hope God used it to help them understand. People in congregation were copying the signs.
Joel preached Colossians 1; Fekadu said that the message God gave Joel spoke to their situation.
All the time that we have been praying for things to move in the B's adoption and something to happen while we are here. They had a meeting today and another one this week. Pray that things continue moving forward!
Emotional morning - God is good!
Amazing lunch at Fekadu's house; Gave them presents to say thank you. Amazing to see them praise God for the gifts he provides.
Amharic lesson:
Blah = eat (said to a boy)
Blue = eat (said to a group)
Be = eat (said to a girl)
Steve met a women in airport with a sister who runs a hotel. Negotiating with hotel to leave Bibles. Asked how many rooms. 45. Counted Bibles we have. 45. We were able to leave them there!
1 Peter 3:15 - Bible verse on my phone for today
As we drive through Addis, the streets and scenes have become familiar. Too familiar? Piles of trash by the road... Burning trash by the road... People washing clothes on the sidewalk in buckets of water... People sleeping in the median...Goats and donkeys walking down the road in the middle of the traffic... Packs of dogs living in the fields and houses under construction, walking down the street and sleeping on the sidewalk... Smells of gasoline and diesel and burning plastic trash mixed with smells of bodies and urine... Little brown faces of kids too young to be on the streets by themselves - some only probably 3 years old... Children who haven't eaten since when... Children who dance with joy when you give them a few crackers and Moms who are so thankful... Moms holding children that are probably sick... What will the culture shock be like when we land in the US?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday 2/16 in Ethiopia

We are seeing people thank and praise God for everything that is being given!
Amharic lesson:
Dad = abut
Mom = anut
Silly = suck
Cake = cake :-)
Gum = mah-stee-ka
Thank you = am-istay-ganada
Banana = Moosi
Tom (translator): Goats would be too distracted to go down a busy street. And you cannot put 2 goats together when moving them. That is why they walk their goats by holding up their hind legs like wheelbarrow. My thought: Thank God that Jesus didn't call us goats, but instead called us sheep!
Birthday party today! The kids had started decorating with balloons before we got there. They kept the table cloths from the party 2 years ago and laid them out for us! The kids received their presents and many held them tight and wanted to wait to open them. Once open, the ran to their rooms to hide them away as they are very special. They enjoyed the cake and soda we brought.
Big soccer game: H4H orphanage vs H4H drop in center

Friday 2/15 in Ethiopia

Worked on school: gypsum (like plaster) for the walls proved difficult to work with as we had no experience with it. Painted 5 of 7 classroom ceilings. Will hire someone to work on the gypsum and hopefully we can learn and help him. An experienced tile layer Will come to work on putting the tile down on the veranda outside the classrooms.
Worked on chicken coop. Roof trusses made with Ethiopia builders.
Ordered pizza for lunch. You have to pay for the pizza boxes. Shared pizza and soda with the workers and the kids outside the gate.
Amharic lesson:
Ok = ishe
When kids got home from school we played with them, painted each other's nails, ate snack with them. We brought kites and taught them to fly them. They were playing multiple sports in a small area and kids would switch from one sport to another as the ball came by them. Buoy ball, volleyball, frisbee, football, kite flying. It is amazing the pure love these kids have for everyone. They attach themselves to their sponsor family as if they are blood relatives. They stay close to you and are always their when you turn around. They want to hold your hand, touch your hair, and be near you.
Came back to the guest house for dinner and had lasagna and Ethiopia injera and shira for the first time!
Wrapped the gifts for tomorrow's big birthday party. So much love for all of these beautiful kids!
Thought for the day: Seek the Lord above all things and He will give you the desires of your heart. When you seek the Lord, your heart desires come into line with His heart, almost without you knowing it.

Thursday 2/14 in Ethiopia

My posts Will be more streams of consciousness during the day as things happen. Hopefully they make some sense!
Land of contrast: new American clothes/old clothes/ET traditional; shacks next to a modern bank building next to nice stucco buildings with marble floors and walls
Took picture of boys' door at drop in center; young boy invited me in his room and wanted me to take a picture of the back of the door
Visited Hope for the Hopeless' church; shared crackers with kids; kids followed us in church; reaching out to neighborhood families
Met all the kids, played soccer with them, saw their beds, took pictures, saw the apple tree they each planted, many hugs - hello & goodbye from each child, almost cried leaving for the evening even though we Will see them after school tomorrow.
Habtamu has Zulalem translate our letters and has our picture on his clothing bin. He is shy because he doesnt know English and can't talk directly to me. He was very sad when we were leaving as he didn't know that we would be seeing us tomorrow.
Quote of the day: "Uh, there is a car coming." "That car is so far away that I am not worried about it."
How to get whiplash without getting into an accident: drive down an Ethiopia dirt road
Is it this bumpy dirt road? Nope. This bumpy dirt road. Or maybe this one. Welcome to Mexico.
We are going to need a bathroom very soon.

Wed 2/13 in Ethiopia

We have arrived in Ethiopia! It was night when we arrived, but we can already tell it is beautiful, and the people are vvery friendly.
God blessed us with safe travel with only minor changes and added blessings! When we arrived in Frankfurt, we walked to the assigned terminal for our connecting flight, went through security and found different questions and inspections than Boston. Once through security, we found that our gate had been changed. Frankfurt is a large airport, and we ended up walking for 2 hours before getting to our gate. Thankful for a 5 hour layover! . Went through security, found out, walked out of security, & walked back.
When arrive in Addis, the landing was bumpy (understatement), but entering the country went smoothly. While we were waiting in line for our baggage inspection, an employee asked for our baggage claim tags to match to the luggage. When we checked in in Boston, we each just picked 2 bags from our huge pile and checked them. When we collected baggage in Addis, we just piled bags on carts and got in line. When we explained than we were a group of 14 and our bags were all together, another employee came up and asked if all of our bags had pink duct tape on them. (They did!) The employees looked at the bags for our pink tape, baggage handlers scooped our bags up on carts, and walked us around inspection! A very welcome blessing from God for a group of weary travelers!
I wish I had pictures of us piling into our vans and loading all the luggage into racks on top, but my phone (really just a camera and notebook this trip due to lack of internet) was dead. (Note to Frankfurt: more outlets around the gate would be nice. :D )
Tomorrow (really today as it is 12:30 local time), we will plan our time here, see where we are in the daylight, and meet our kids! We are so excited and can't believe we are here!
Lesson learned during travel: Not holding the tickets and all details of a trip is really ok. :)
(Please forgive any typos. Our phones are a little buggy without internet or cell service. I am actually typing this about 5:45 am local time 2/14 and we are without internet or power. Oh - and happy Valentine's day everyone!)

Is your dog cool?