Our Mission in Ethiopia

Thursday, December 26, 2013

This is a VERY random photo but the SIZE
of this can of hairspray I bought in Kampala,
Uganda cracked me up!?! I put it by the syrup
bottle to show how TALL it is! It's the ONLY
one I could find! : /

This is out of order too, but Sis. Preator said
"One of your packages is leaking M&Ms."
It turned out to be Red Hots that fell out
of the box when it got smashed.... But
they were still GOOD!! (Jamie sent them
to decorate my holly sugar cookies.)
As I was adding these photos, Rufus the Rooster
from next door came to say "hi" to Bob and I
had to snap this photo.  He LOVES it when Bob
talks to him through the window everyday.

We had a REALLY NICE Christmas Day with
our three Elders in Debre Zeyit! (The 4th is in 
Uganda waiting for a visa.)  They came for
dinner at noon and stayed until about 5:00 pm
playing games. 
(We are told not to post photos of them on blogs or Facebook.... 
so here is Elder Wold before we sat down to eat!! 
No turkeys or hams so we had roast beef, potatoes 
and gravy, rolls, fruit salad, corn and green beans and 
then apple and cherry cobbler for dessert!)
No power ALL day until 4 pm so I cooked the roast on
TOP of the stove on a gas burner and then baked
the cobbler JUST in time when the power came on!

Elders Self, Makuku and Ferrara

Santa and Mrs. Claus (the Preators) came from Addis
today and brought us THREE packages and 2 cards!!
Yahoo!!  (Our FIRST mail in Ethiopia!)  "It's
just like Christmas!!" Oh wait ~ it IS Christmas!

My sweet sister-in-law Kathy, serving a mission at
the Washington D.C. Temple sent me a birthday
card and a Christmas card too!

THANKS to ALL of you who sent online Christmas
greetings like we did this year!! We are thinking of
ALL of you this Christmas season.... 

Our "loot" from Jamie ~ some of the things are things
we didn't have room or weight enough to bring!
Her YW made 72 "Testimony Gloves" for ALL the
Primary kids in Ethiopia!

Julie's family did Christmas for a young man we
know who doesn't have much and a few surprises
for our YW.  SO sweet! This is ALL the stuff together
from both boxes!

Our 3rd package was from Chris and
Kristin Brewer Pelczynski ! Hey!
We DO have a tree that "lights up" now!
And I can bake Christmas cupcakes for
our Branch Christmas Party Jan. 4th!
(Christmas is Jan. 11th in Ethiopia.)

Monday, December 23, 2013

It's FINALLY beginning to look a little like Christmas!! Ü  We returned from our Mission Couples Conference in Uganda last night.  What a FUN week!  Before we flew home to Ethiopia, we were able to go to a couple of stores there and we found a few Christmas decorations, two African nativities and a little tree! Yahoo!!  (There isn't much here since Ethiopia doesn't celebrate Christmas until January 7th.)
                           Tomorrow is Christmas Eve!!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Our little Christmas tree and nativities from Uganda

I actually got this at a white elephant gift exchange we had at Paraa
Lodge with the other mission couples but someone "stole" it during
the game... : /  We were happy to find it in a little shop in Kampala the
day before we left!  It makes us smile....

This one is made from banana leaves and bark.  We saw one like
it in the airport in Addis Ababa but this one was in the Kampala
airport at 1/3 the price so we got it! (Baby Jesus does look a little
like E.T. but it's very unique!)

"Deck the livingroom with boughs of holly!!"

This tree made from wire and beads is the FIRST Christmas decoration
we saw this year at a little gift shop at Paraa Lodge the day after my birthday,
so Bob bought it for me! The book is from our mission president and his wife.
The crocheted square was made by a little Ethiopian woman on the street.

Friday, December 20, 2013

What a FUN week we've had!  We drove to Addis Ababa Monday (my birthday) and stayed with the Preators and Tanners overnight then flew Tuesday morning to UGANDA for a Mission Couples Conference at the Paraa Lodge.  Uganda is VERY lush and green and quite different than Ethiopia.  The people even look quite different.  We LOVED stopping a a supermarket and seeing things we can't get in Ethiopia.  We have gone on two games drives, a river safari and had a great time getting to know the other 16 couples serving in the Uganda Kampala Mission!  They are WONDERFUL and we have exchanged experiences and ideas... SO inspiring!!  Today is our 41st Anniversary.  What a way to celebrate!! The photos of the baboons were taken from our balcony this afternoon! We had 12 baboons out there climbing the tree next to our room and running around!! 

We and the Tanners (on the left, serving in Awassa)
stayed at the Preators the night of my birthday, so the
Preators invited Elder and Sister Moses (Humanitarian
Missionaries in Addis too) over for dinner and my
birthday cake. We are the four couples serving in

Blowing out my candle... 

Driving from the Entebbe Airport to Kampala
past Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa!

On the road to Paraa Lodge (on a shortcut that took 2 hours

We took a ferry across the Nile. Elephants were grazing across
the river.

Paraa Lodge

View from our balcony

Our first game drive on Wednesday
I LOVED the cute little baby elephant! 
These elephants walked RIGHT behind our truck!

We saw dozens of giraffes ~ my favorite!

Sunset at the end of our drive

River Safari on the African Queen the second day we were there

We saw LOTS of hippos right next to our boat!
Notice the BABY ones!

One of MANY crocs on the bank

A huge world globe on the banks of the Nile
Elder and Sister Palmer serving in Rwanda
We are good friends with Elder Palmer's sister Phyllis!
I thought this was a fun looking little gift shop...
This bus that stopped at the same gas station we stopped at
was PACKED with people!! I just missed getting a picture
of a guy getting off carrying a bunch of chickens!
The red, yellow and green colors of the Ethiopian flag are
Papyrus plants on the roadside
No signs when a road is closed.... just rocks!  We have seen this in
Ethiopia and in South Africa too.
They drive on the left side of the road and there are bota-botas
ALL over the roads weaving in and out of traffic sometimes
carrying as many as 5 people or egg crates, baskets, etc. Crazy!
(We drove with other couples in their trucks and didn't have to
drive ourselves, but we STILL think Ethiopian roads are scarier!)
When we got back to Kampala, on our last night
there, we all ate at the Mission Home (Chinese take-out)!
Then we had a Christmas Devotional and sang Christmas
carols around the tree. It was really nice! 
Uganda looks very different than Ethiopia with it's red tile roofs
and red bricks made from the red clay you see all over.
These trees outside the Mission Couples' apartments
were SO different! I had to get a picture.
These are the five couples' apartments in Kampala.  We stayed in
the one on the top floor on the right.  Sister missionaries
also live in one of the apartments.
I thought these fan palms were also very different looking!

Birds lay eggs in holes in the side of the cliff
Murchison Falls
We hiked to the top!
The falls from the top
Taking a break after the LONG hike to the top of the falls
About 12 of the 16 couples in our mission made the hike

Lion prints.... the closest we got to seeing a lion.  : /
Sunrise on our morning game drive (out of order)
Water Buffalo
Baboons outside below our balcony

A mother carried her baby underneath her and is sitting with
her baby by the trunk of the tree.

I just realized that there are a lot of photos taken our last 24 hours in Uganda
that I never did post on our blog.  Here they are....(but they are all out of
order now that I added these!? : / )

There were about 5 or 6 of these strange looking trees all around
the lodge.  They said elephants LOVE the things hanging from
the tree and shake the trunks with THEIR trunks to knock them
to the ground to eat them.  They were as hard as a rock!?
One last photo as we left the lodge.  It was REALLY decorated
for Christmas ! I LOVED that because Ethiopia's Christmas
is not the same as ours and we had seen NO decorations!

This is our Mission President Robert Chatfield and his
wife Katherine from Alpine, Utah. They got to the mission
about a month before we entered the MTC.
We shared the Storys' two bedroom apartment
for a few nights in Kampala. They had been
there for just FOUR days!! They are from
the Pocatello, ID area.
The Victoria Nile on the way to Murchison Falls from 
the African Queen (out of place....)