Our Mission in Ethiopia

Friday, January 31, 2014

We have a NEW Pyramid Hotel just off the main street in Debre Zeyit!  It has only been open for 2 months.   We were waiting to meet someone at the Church at 3:00 pm so we decided to go check it out and have lunch there today! It was SO yummy and it is right on a lake! Here are a few photos of the lake from our table on the patio!

The view from our table
The surrounding hills are beautiful and green during
the rainy season (when we moved here) but everything
is much browner since it is the dry season now.

Another view of the lake from where we sat


We have the best gardeners at our Church property! 
We see them everyday and have gotten to be good friends.
Here is Zinesh watering her pretty white roses and also
Tesfaye with his wife Marta and cute baby boy, Amen! 


Our power goes off nearly EVERY night, so
we are always prepared with lots of candles!
We OFTEN eat dinner and play games by candlelight!
(Don't you love our tuna can candle holders!?)
Last night this candle had the LONGEST flame
we have EVER seen!! It was seriously longer
than my finger!! (I tried to get  
a picture but you can't 
really tell here...)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

We are stuck at home today with a plumber, repairmen, and other workmen here fixing things inside and outside of our house.  They put razor wire on the walls of our compound for security and installed a NEW hot water heater in our bathroom among other things.... We just MIGHT have hot water in our bathroom for the FIRST time!! Yippee!!

Anyway, I decided while I have some time, I would put on a few more random pictures... Timkat, the celebration of Jesus' Baptism was Sunday, January 19th.  They celebrated both Saturday night and Sunday.  Bob took these photos from the 2nd floor of the chapel on Sunday and I took a few close-up  Saturday night as we were leaving the Chapel.  It is actually a much BIGGER celebration than the birth of Jesus Christ!!

You can see the guys in the center rolling out the red carpet
ready to put down the grass in preparation for the priests and
the replica of the ark of the covenant.

Here you can see the priests all dressed in white in the middle

This is the procession as they carry the replica of the ark of
the covenant

This group was singing and chanting as they went down the
street in front of our Chapel Saturday.  (Timkat means "baptism".)

The Ethiopian Orthodox wear traditional clothing
and walk down the street to where the celebration
will take place the night before Timkat. 
Women in traditional clothing

This is our next door neighbor, Selamwit and her daughter in purple,
along with two other neighbor kids, on their way to the
Timkat celebration on Sunday.

We were going home from Church on the 19th
of January (Timkat) and the traffic was backed up.

Notice that cars just went down the other side of the road, 
making THREE extra lanes going northbound!?!?! 
That is VERY common here.... : /  We were STUCK 
while they all tried to force their way back over to the right
 side of the road.

Mmm... We stopped for lunch in Addis on Saturday at the Lime
Tree Restaurant on Bole Rd. for the first time and they had a
REAL grilled chicken sandwich and fries!!

I thought these were very interesting light fixtures
(brown paper bags) in the Lime Tree....

We gave the three 13-14 year olds in our branch 14 chocolate
candies for a birthday treat for our granddaughter,
Cambryn's (Julie's daughter's) 14th birthday, Sunday, January 26th.
The girl holding Cambryn's picture is a pen-pal with Julie's Lauryn.

We never know what we will find in our "front yard"!
This little guy was standing here when we got home from
Church  last Sunday!

I don't think we have put this photo on yet.... The cactus here
is SO tall!! On the way to Awassa we saw "fences" like this of
cactus in squares around homes and around animals! 

I wanted to add photos of our kids and grandkids standing outside
of the NEW Gilbert Temple after attending the Open House but
none of them will upload....?? SO here is a photo I found! 

What a gorgeous temple! It will be dedicated on March 2nd.  We have
four grandkids participating in the Cultural Celebration on Mar. 1st
as well as our Jamie helping with choreography for a group of 2,000 kids!
They said that 12,000 young people in Gilbert will be participating in it!!

We look forward to going inside in 2015, when we get home!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

On Monday, Flat Stanley arrived.  My cousin's granddaughter in 2nd grade, who lives in Oklahoma, sent him Nov. 26th and it took him 55 days to get to Ethiopia!! : /   When I taught school, my 2nd graders mailed Flat Stanley too, so I was excited to help her out.  (FLAT STANLEY is a children's book that 2nd graders LOVE! Stanley wakes up one morning and his bulletin board fell on him in the night and smashed him FLAT!!  The book tells of his adventures, including being folded up and mailed in an envelope!)

So we took Mikayla's Stanley around Debre Zeyit  Monday afternoon and got some pictures of him to send to her 2nd grade class.  We got the photos printed and mailed on Tuesday morning.  They said at our Post Office that he would get to Oklahoma "within a week"!? We'll see!  Here is Flat Stanley in Debre Zeyit....

Flat Stanley really liked the colorful flag of Ethiopia!
If you look closely, you'll see he is wearing a
pin we bought him with the Ethiopian flag on it! 

Flat Stanley arrived while I was teaching a keyboard lesson so
he sat and listened....

Flat Stanley LOVED our Debre Zeyit Branch Chapel !

He jumped up on top of the chalkboard in the PrimaryRoom
to see our Branch Primary kids up close.

He wanted to ride in a bajaj (a little "taxi" with
three wheels, that are ALL over Debre Zeyit),
but he settled on just meeting a driver and getting
a look inside of one.

We had to buy a loaf of yummy fresh bread at the bakery in
Grace Supermarket....

...and also bottled water, so he went with us.
He liked the cute girl who checked us out.
She is one of our friends at Grace.

We also stopped to get some veggies and fruit.
He like playing in the bins.

We saw a kid with an Ethiopian soccer jersey on
so he had his picture taken with him.

Then we saw a bunch of school kids in their school uniforms,
walking home from school, and he got a picture with them too!

We went to the bank and showed Stanley all the different
Ethiopian bills and coins.  (19 birr equals $1.00)  Here is about
167.90 birr which is only about $8.83.

These boys were driving this gari (horse cart) and Flat Stanley
wanted to ride on the horse instead of in the cart.  These carts
are ALL OVER our neighborhood and also go down the
main highway!!  Some of the drivers are pretty YOUNG!
Some STAND up to drive them!!

Flat Stanley was hungry on the way home, so a
friend shared his dinner with him ~ injera (the
thin pancake-like staple, made from the grain teff,
that they have at every meal) and vegetables
(clockwise: potatoes and carrots, a hot pepper,  rice,
green cabbage, beets and shiro in the middle).
They tear off a square of injera and use it instead
 of utensils to pick up their food.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

We drove to Awassa yesterday after Seminary.  It took us about 3 hours and 10 minutes.  We were VERY surprised to see the HUGE difference in the scenery on the way during dry season, compared to what we saw when we went to Awassa at the end of September when it was still the rainy season.  It was SO GREEN and beautiful ALL the way there and this time it was VERY dry and brown and things looked COMPLETELY different!! : O  Here are some photos we took...

VERY young boys drive donkey carts down the highway ~
sometimes right in the middle of the lane!

We couldn't get over how DRY it was all the way to
Shashamene.  It was a little greener there and in Awassa.

Many donkey carts are REALLY loaded down!

These are very typical of the homes we see on the way to
Awassa.  They are called tukuls.

This shows the age of the kids who drive cattle, sheep and
goats across the highway!! It also shows how DUSTY it
is! It was REALLY dirty and dusty all the way.

We saw these haystacks, shaped like pyramids on the way down
just about 45 min. from Debre Zeyit but I missed getting a picture
so we got this on our way home.  They were SO cool!

Monkeys were all over in the trees! 
It was fun to watch them.

We stayed at the LEWI HOTEL AND RESORT in Awassa again and THIS time we had
monkeys around our car before we even got out! They were all over the place! When we
were eating breakfast INSIDE the round restaurant, the door was open and a monkey came
in, hopped up on the buffet table and stole a roll !  I got a picture of him when he came back
for more!

There were THREE monkeys right
by our car after we parked.

This shows how small they are.

This is the naughty one that stole a roll from the
breakfast buffet! 

They didn't seem afraid of us at all.

The naughty monkey is in the tree above my

Just after we had our picture taken, he jumped
on the railing by the door to the restaurant
to get seconds from the buffet!

Here are a few more photos from our trip to Awassa....

In Awassa (there they call it Hawassa) we saw these HUGE
birds in the tops of the trees all down the street coming from
the LEWI
We LOVE how they display their potatoes for sale along the road!
These hills are termite hills. There are MUCH bigger ones but
these were all I was able to get.
A little "market place" by the lake on the way home
There were LOTS of melons, potatoes, purple onions and tomatoes
The view from the balcony of our room!
Lake Awassa
LOTS of birds and ducks were around the lake.
We got a kick out of watching the catfish all
jump out of the water at the SAME time!
We stopped by a gift shop and this Christmas tree
caught my eye.  It was COVERED with ribbons
and bows!
After looking at photos online (mormon newsroom) of the NEW
Gilbert Temple last night.... These tiles in the LEWI Reception
Area reminded me a little of the design in the skylights, etc.... Ü
Our "fancy" bed covering
Our mosquito net (that we didn't use)....