Our Mission in Ethiopia

Saturday, October 26, 2013

We just got a few groceries today and I have to post some photos.... We bought oranges,  apples, avocados, tomatoes and cabbage yesterday.  The oranges are GREEN when they are ripe! Some are orangish but the green ones are really sweet and good too!  Apples are more scarce here and more expensive.  We have only seen them at one little market in town.  But they are really crisp and good! There are several kinds of avocados and they are EVERYWHERE!  We have avocado, mango and papaya trees in our yard.

After being here for 2 months, we FINALLY got
brave and stopped at a butcher shop (a little "booth"
on the side of the road).  We bought 2 kilos of
ground beef (which he and the little guy with him
are grinding right in front of us).  Two kilos
is 4.4 lbs. and it cost us about $3 / lb.

This is how we buy our eggs at the
market. (No egg cartons here)! We
bought 8 fresh eggs for  $1.23.

We got ALL of this at a little veggie shop in our
neighborhood. The potatoes and onions were only
7 birr or 38 cents!!  The 2 kilos of bananas and 2
limes were about $1.  We "jix" all the fruits and
vegetables before we eat them.  (Putting them
in a little clorox and water for a few minutes.)   
Our milk comes in little plastic bags that hold
about 2 cups of milk.  So when we open one
we pour it into a plastic container.  It's about
56 cents a bag.

This loaf of YUMMY bread just out of the oven
at Grace Supermarket only cost 8 birr, which is
only 43 cents! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Here are a few more photos.... We FINALLY got our curtains up after being here for 3 weeks! Yippee! They make such a BIG difference!!  It has been a little freaky having our whole bedroom wall all glass and also the whole front of the living room....even though we are in our own "compound" with a locked gate.  We can actually change our clothes in our BEDROOM now!! Ü

 I am also putting photos on of our birds....   We have pigeons living in our attic and they are SO noisy!!  The pigeons in our neighborhood at home used to drive us nuts and here we are halfway around the world and STILL have to put up with pigeons!  : /  We also have a rooster that sits on the wall outside our kitchen window and crows EARLY in the morning EVERY morning!  There are BEAUTIFUL birds here that I have NEVER seen before!! I have tried to get pictures but have had no luck yet... They are ALL colors and some are VERY tiny.

We saw this mother sheep with her two tiny baby lambs roaming around our neighborhood yesterday and had to get a picture.  They were SO cute!  The sheep here have no wool.  They look like goats!

We have our Debre Zeyit elders over for breakfast once every
transfer.  Here are Elders Allen, Self, Voracek and Makuku eating
waffles for the FIRST time on their mission! 

We also had missionary planning meetings on Sunday night 
once a month and served treats afterwards.

My brother Rick is flying home tonight...  He sent me some photos he took so I thought I would put a few on here....  We sure LOVED getting to see him for a few days!!

At Kuriftu taking pictures while Rick kayaked

This is one of our 10 "jerry cans" we had to use when we
had NO water for about 10 days! (We got water for 3 days
and now it's gone again! : /

Relaxing with Rick at lunch at Babagaya with a guava, mango, avocado mixed drink

We LOVE being missionary companions!

We met Rick's friend Genet Guno Hussen, who is getting
ready to serve a mission in Ghana next month!

Our 3 year old buddy in the Meganagna Branch

Aren't the children in Ethiopia BEAUTIFUL!!?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Today has been a FUN day!  We had a Relief Society Activity and I got to know the sisters in our Debre Zeyit branch better.  They are SO sweet! They made a yummy lunch ~ enjera served with a mixture of onions, tomatoes, rice, ground beef and seasonings. They also had a yummy, BIG, round, thick loaf of bread called dufo dabo, cut in big chunks to eat with it.  I forgot to take a picture but we did get some pictures of the sisters as they were preparing the food.

After that, we drove to meet my brother, Rick, who was in Debre Zeyit today with sponsors from the Children of Ethiopia Education Fund that he is associated with.  They visited the Beza School, then we met them for lunch at Babagaya Resort on Lake Babagaya, one of the seven lakes around Debre Zeyit,  after Bob was finished teaching Seminary and I was finished with the RS Activity.  (I was asked to teach Relief Society on Sunday.)  Ü

This is Yeshi, Birhane and Yugallem.

Wenishat and I

Sweet Sister Meaza from Kenya
We are SO happy my brother Rick came to Ethiopia while we are here!
Rick's Vegetarian Stir Fry with
Chinese Noodles
Grilled Fish
Lake Babagaya
L-R: Mr. Fitsum Gidday, director of COEEF in Ethiopia,
Evan and his Mom, Lisa (sponsor), Rick, Bob and I, and
their driver Milea 

Relief Society Sisters in the Debre Zeyit Branch
Left to Right: Marta and baby boy Amin, Birhane (former RS Pres.), Yeshi,
Hiwot (new RS Pres.), Wenishat, Me, Yugallem and in front, Sister Meaza
(I guessed at some of the spellings!?  
I can't figure out WHY this picture 
ended up down here when it was the FIRST one I put on here!?)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

We had a FUN time with my brother Rick here with us for a few days!  We took him back to Addis yesterday morning, but hope to meet for lunch when he is here visiting a school in Debre Zeyit with an organization he works with called the CHILDREN OF ETHIOPIA EDUCATION FUND.  They have sponsors for over 300 girls here in Ethiopia, allowing them to attend the good private schools.

We have had NO WATER for days!! And after getting hit by a truck on Saturday we really enjoyed having him here with his FUN, upbeat personality!!  He always makes us laugh!!  THANKS RICK!! Ü  Here are a few photos we took.... (We couldn't take any at the police station the 8 hours we were there on Monday!!  We were there because of our getting in the accident Saturday!  What a day!  : / )   So for something FUN on Tuesday, we drove out to Kuriftu Resort for lunch with him.

I was looking into the sun... but we were
SO excited to see Rick come out of
the airport early Sunday AM!!
We went to the Meganagna Branch
for Church right after he flew in.

 I love the tables and chairs at Kuriftu 
so I snapped this.

Even the bathroom sink and mirror are
cool there!

Rick took this awesome picture while we were
eating lunch!
Here is another shot of Rick's, taken just after we had eaten
 our lunch and dessert.

This is the restaurant from the pier
where the kayaks are.

Kayaking is free with lunch so Rick
decided to give it a try! 

We got some photos with Rick's GREAT camera
but I don't have those, so these were all taken
with my phone... This came out too dark but we 

had to post one of him in his kayak!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Well, we are thankful we're okay tonight!  What a HARD day we've had!! : /  We were starting to turn left to make a U-Turn on the main road in Debre Zeyit today and a HUGE truck tried to pass us on the left!! CRASH!!! It was pretty scary!!  We were on our way to help with a YM/YW Conference.... We are fine but it was quite an experience spending hours at a police station! (We DID get to take a break, ride in a baja taxi and go to the Church so Elder Wold could speak and we could do our game and grab a bite of lunch! There are great youth in our Debre Zeyit Branch!)

Thanks to Tenkir and Abraham for all of their help, to Meheret, Tigiste and Yetmwork for their concern and for a great YM/YW Activity, to the Debre Zeyit Elders for taking our Institute class for us,  to  Addis, Andualem and Efrem for their help at our house, for Habtu for dropping everything to come to our aid and for driving us to Addis tonight and for ALL he does for us, to the Preators for letting us use their car tomorrow and to the Campbells for their words of encouragement!!

My little brother, Rick Egan, is flying here right now! He will arrive EARLY in the morning.  We are SO excited to have him come! (We need his humor right now!) : O

Us riding in the crazy little Baja taxi.... still trying to
SMILE....... Just THANKFUL to be okay!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We enjoyed attending the Debre Zeyit Branch on Sunday.  Everyone in the branch speaks Amharic (and some also speak Oromia too) so ALL the meetings are in Amharic!  We didn't want to make a big deal the first Sunday we moved here, but we DO hope to find someone to translate for us in the future!
(The only thing translated was MY testimony, which they translated into Amharic!!)  I played the keyboard for Primary.  The Primary children ALWAYS want to sing "I Am a Child of God" and "The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning"!!  They learned "A Child's Prayer" when I was in there 2 weeks ago and they love that too.  I also played for Relief Society and that was the first time they have sung in RS!  They just got a new keyboard from SLC!  I also played for the Baptism of a young single adult, which was held after the block.    Elder Wold enjoyed attending the young adult Sunday School class and met with the young men in Priesthood meeting. (They could clue him in on what was going on.)

We are helping with a YM/YW Activity all day this Saturday, then we will start our Book of Mormon Institute Class at 4:00 pm. It will be held every Saturday.  I have also been asked to teach keyboard lessons and also teach the Relief Society sisters how to use the sewing machine they just received.  The NEW RS Pres. and the Branch Pres. also want me to help organize Relief Society, do the music and teach some of the lessons.  We are excited to be so needed here!! 

We invited the four elders serving here in Debre Zeyit to come over for pudding (no oven yet) and to watch some of Conference Sunday night.  We are 10 hours ahead so could have watched the Sunday AM session live but it was almost impossible.  The internet would cut out EVERY few seconds.... so we watched a few great talks from the Saturday afternoon session.

We have been working hard on our house ~ scraping paint from the floors, washing walls, peeling paper off the ceiling, etc., etc... (Each section of the ceiling panels was covered with a film of paper and almost HALF of them still had the paper half on and hanging down!?!?! )

Every time we drive down the main road in Debre Zeyit around noon or 5:00 pm we see hundreds of students at the high school across from our Debre Zeyit Chapel, walking from school in their LAVENDER school uniforms!  I finally got a picture of some of them today when we went to deliver three packages to the elders at the Church.

I had to get a picture of the WELCOME mat in 
front of a supermarket we went to yesterday.  
We get a big kick out of signs and menus 
here....  Ü

While we were waiting at the Church for the
Elders to come from lunch, Meheret and
Gebrela came out of their Seminary class, which is
held from 11:00 - 12:00.  Their school day is from
1:00 to 5:00 pm. These are their uniforms.

Some of the hundreds of students in their purple uniforms

Would OUR sons have worn lavender EVERY day in high school!?!?!

I JUST now took this of Elder Wold 
on our balcony peeling paper off the 
panels of the ceiling.

These bajas (small taxis) are ALL OVER the roads in 
Debre Zeyit!! Along with horse drawn wagons 
EVERYWHERE!! With hundreds of people walking 
every which way too, you have to CONSTANTLY be 
on the lookout for the unexpected!

There are NO closets or cupboards in our whole house (except for  in the
kitchen,so we bought these two wardrobes for our clothes, shoes, etc... ALL
four Elders , Andualem,  and  Elder Preator and Elder Wold tried and tried to
get them up the stairs to our bedroom but with no luck!! : /  SOOO ~ our
clothes and our underwear are down in the kitchen!!  (It was the ONLY place
we had an empty wall with enough space!!!!  That has been interesting!!  Ü

Saturday, October 5, 2013

We're HERE!!  We FINALLY moved down to Debre Zeyit on Thursday!  We left at 6:30 am and the
Campbells (Humanitarian Couple in Addis) met us here to change all our locks.  Our furniture arrived at 2:30 pm.  We had the four elders from Debre Zeyit and the Preators here to help us unload the truck.  We are about 1 1/2 hours - 2 hours from Addis Ababa.  (Only 1 hour and 10 minutes on a Sunday morning!)  It is nice here and we are so happy to be on our own after 7 weeks of living in the upstairs of Elder and Sister Preator's home in Addis.  They have been SO good to us! But we are excited to get involved in the branch here and teach some Institute classes in Debre Zeyit and hopefully in Kaliti too (Kaliti is 1/2 hour from us in good traffic).  We have attended all 6 branches and one group in the past 7 Sundays.  Since we cannot get General Conference here : /   (only later online) tomorrow is Fast Sunday for us here. We are going to see what we can get of the Saturday sessions tonight from 8:00 pm on....

Our home is nice, but we are having plumbing problems, no hot water and hardly any water pressure. Our gas stove is not hoooked up (and we have NO clue having never had a gas stove before).  Our washer is not hooked up yet either.... There are paint splatters on most of the tile and wood floors and all over the railing of the stairway so we have been working hard cleaning and getting organized today.  We decided to take a break around lunchtime and go for a drive to see if we could find a few things we need.... We took a new road and ended up at a COOL resort called Kuriftu around Lake Kuriftu! (There are 7 lakes around Debre Zeyit, so there are many resorts.)  It was SO nice! We got a guided tour and I took some photos.  Then we decided to treat ourselves to the buffet lunch there.  YUM!! Ü

Multi-colored bougainvillea were at the entrance.

This is the Reception Center where we paid for our lunch.

This fountain was near the entrance.
The gardens were BEAUTIFUL!

Lake Kuriftu

This is one of the rooms.
(A group of Chinese tourists had just
arrived and EVERY room was taken
so we couldn't see inside.)

The Cinema Room with couches to sit on while
you watch a movie!

Looking toward the lake

Us at our table right next to the railing overlooking the lake
(Don't worry ~ we couldn't eat all that food on our plates!)

The lake from our table

Bob's enjera ~ the main staple here made from
the grain teff.  It's very healthy we hear!
They tear off a piece and pick up their food
with it (instead of using utensils ).

Just HAD to take a picture of our dessert plate since we have
seen VERY few dessert-type sweets here!  We had the
YUMMIEST bread pudding, carrot cake, pudding, banana
cream pie, blueberry cheesecake and fresh fruit!! 

From the railing in front of us you could see
the extra bungalows around the lake that
also belong to Kuriftu Resort.
The bamboo ceilings were amazing!!

There was free kayaking with the price of the buffet lunch,
but even though it is P-Day, we had our missionary
clothes on and decided that would not be a good idea... : /
There are the most INTERESTING trees, plants and
flowers here! Look at the thorns on this tree!!

Here's another prickly bush and cactus.
We can't believe how much cactus there is
in Ethiopia with ALL the greenery and rain!?

HUGE bougainvillea are all over the resort.
We passed this morning glory bush on the
way home.  The bushes here are HUGE ~ lantana
vinca,  bougainvillea,  even poinsettias are 10 feet high!!
More PRETTY flowers....

This is a shot of the buffet tables and the COOL ceiling!