Sunday, June 30, 2013

It has been a long time! I am in Maasha and the connection to the Internet has been difficult:). It is 1:00 a.m. Here and working so I thought I would try this from my phone.  Kinda slow!

Ok...Ethiopian calendar:  today July 1, 2013 to me and you---Ethiopians---it is June 14, 2005!  So imagine their Y2K issues...once in 'our' 2000 and then again for them.  Funny!

Time---6:00 am starts at 0:00...we will meet at 2:00 to walk to the Presbytery office...that is 8:00 am to you and me:). Awesome isn't it!? when we talk---we use both and so do the Ethiopians. Communication is tough enough-don't want to confuse time and dates too!

Here are some menu items that I thought you may like:

Beef meet balls
PanecakesFrench frizePiper steak (pepper)Rosted beafChicken cottlet

I've been talking to a lot of people about my return in November and they are very excited, encouraging and making lists!  Good stuff.  Makes me very grateful to all who are so supportive in this new venture for me. Thank you!

At this very moment I am awake because my stomach did not like something I ate started on some meds and would appreciate prayers to get better:)

Life moves slowly here but that is okay---we talked about that when I return...culture shock. As one American put it---being here for 6-8 months---the honeymoon is over!  Whole different story.   So on that note...I will try to post this!  Goodbye from Maasha!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Traveling along in a Range Rover

Traveling in Ethiopia is an adventure.  From 2005 when I first came here - the road Jima to  is VASTLY improved!  209 miles and it took us about 6 hours...we took a while getting out of Addis but then in the country you have to watch out for pot holes, people, cows, goats and we even saw baboons today!  I'm so bummed I did not get a picture...there were baby baboons which I had not seen before.  It was awesome.  At the time I was sitting in the front seat and had the window down so I saw them pretty close.  One jumped up on a road post and looked right at me so I said 'hello'...I'm quite sure he was happy that a 'forenji' (foreigner) acknowledged him.  At least this forenji was happy he looked at me!
The area is so beautiful - it is the rainy season so everything is green and lush.  Farmers were out plowing with their 1 or 2 oxen and corn was growing! There is a yellow flower that is everywhere that is just really pretty...yeah - sorry - no idea what it is.  My Aunt Sue would probably know though!   Oh wait - I did know the zinnias we saw tonight at dinner...I was somewhat proud of myself for that actually!  The have bougeonvilla (sp?) too which is just amazing.  Little kids came up to us and shook our hands on the way to dinner - they think that is quite the novel idea - getting to touch a white person.  Older kids and adults would like to as well but little kids are waaaayyyy cuter so I will shake their hands anytime!  Cutest smiles and giggles afterwards.
Habtamu found us at dinner...that was amazing.  He is Tesfaye's (graduate in Addis) brother and he is graduating from  University on Saturday.  That is huge - he has had a tough go of it so very glad he made it through.
We have electricity and warm showers so I am thankful...always keep the flashlight close by and suck it up when it has to be a cold shower :).  I've only had one so far this trip which is nice.  I"m sure it won't be the last.  Getting into my 'hotel' room was an adventure - no lights on in the hall and I kinda felt drunk or something searching around for the key hole.  Got it though so...there you have it.
Basically been here a far - so good!  I'm going to try to attach a map of Ethiopia so you can see where Addis is and then Jima.  Tomorrow we go to Metu and Maasha is our final destination which isn't even on the map but it is southwest of Metu about 50 miles.  That's it for now - thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


That is 'hello' in Amharic...I can handle that one :).  Amasaganallo = thank you...I have that one down too.  I'm sure there will be more - I have a lot of notes in my previous journals so I need to review again.
It is Saturday night and I was listening to the rain, lightning, thunder and then it turned into hail!  It was amazing and all I could think of was...the roofs are going to be ruined and this would be good business for Pacific Supply!  Sad....but I guess 27 years in the building industry kind of does that to me:).  Alas, metal roofs  for the most part here in Addis so the rain/hail is loud but damage will probably be minimal.  In the countryside where there are more of the grass hut type of houses; definitely getting wet there.
Today was graduation day!!....very nice ceremony and we were ushered right to the front considered to be 'special guests'.  Kind of embarrassing but on the other hand - kind of nice.  They turned a ceiling fan on for us and gave us water.  WOW...very nice. The people were packed in there for sure.   Seminary graduation - included graduates of Theology, music, leadership and development.  Interesting mix and this year was the first time they had graduates at the Masters level (Theology).  Tesfaye and Andinet (from Maasha) both got their bachelor's in Theology....very good!  14 of us went to 'Lucy's' for dinner afterwards and that was really nice.  If you come to Ethiopia - I will take you to that restaurant...let's see - about 80 birr for stir fry vegetables and rice.  80 birr divided by 18 = about $4!  Not a bad deal...oh - plus a macchiato for dessert which is about .35 cents.
Art is not feeling well so we will stay in Addis another day...hopefully he will feel better to travel.  It will take two days to get to Maasha and I can't wait!  So ready to be there and in a smaller town etc.  And ready to see more familiar faces - from teaching English 6 years ago...many students and Anduelum who assisted us in teaching and is now the principal at the school.
Dunowun (goodbye). :)
PS - it is now Monday morning but it seems to be the best time to get on this website to post!  Sorry for the old news - Art went to the doctor and got some meds so we hope to leave Tuesday now.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Macchiatos and some factoids :)

I looooovvvveee the macchiatos here in Ethiopia.  We have been in country for about what - about 36 hours (?) and already had 4 of them!  And no - they were not from Starbucks - I did see a few of those in Frankfurt but no Starbucks here in Ethiopia :).
Ethiopia - population approx. 80 million people.  The country is about the size of Texas.
Addis - population approx 3 milion is at 8,500 feet in elevation.  Really quite pretty and fairly clean as well.  Their cars and trucks do not pass any emission tests so the pollution from that is kinda nasty but oh well!  They just had a big 50 year celebration of the African Union so some new roads were put in and the city was 'spruced' up.  It looks nice.  It is the rainy season here now so it is muddy to walk around but the weather is not hot and for that I am thankful!  I actually wore my light fleece jacket - woo hoo!
SIM card purchased today - so that is kind of nice...called my Mom and Dad.  Trying to set it up as a hotspot but very slow so not sure how well that will work.  Speaking of purchasing things...hmmmm the exchange rate is 18.6 birr to 1 US Dollar.  So...when they tell me that something is 200 freaks me out thinking that is a lot but that is $10.64.  That's not bad!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


So...sitting at the gate waiting to get on the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft.  I think I will sleep well on this flight!  Since we arrive in the morning now - we will probably shower and try to stay up for the day to get our sleep pattern in sync with +10 hours from Sacramento :).
Frankfurt is a beautiful city!....took a tour - came back on the train and had a few moments of panic in the train station but...all is well.  Track 21 at 7:01 - easy enough...bought my ticket at the machine and the train came in, people got off and all the doors shut tight!  Looked at the sign and it said 'Bitte nichte einstagen'.  Now - I only took a semester of German but bitte = please and nichte = no so I knew something was up.  I asked at a little snack place and this 'kid' told me to go downstairs.  I knew it was train S8 or S9 so down I went and all the numbers were in the 100's!  So...I finally found a sign - had to keep going down.  Found train S8 departing in about 2 on and looked at the train map.  Thought I had about 5 stops before the airport....but at the 3rd stop a lot of people were getting off and I saw the sign that said 'Flugenhaven'....which some guy had told me was German for airport!  So I dashed off the train and was very glad to see signs to Terminal 1, B gates!   Frankfurt is in the center of Europe, center of Germany and they are quite proud of these two facts.  They are basically a transient city because of it - you can get anywhere from here.  They are also a huge financial center - for the Euro.  So...interesting, beautiful sites to see and I enjoy my day in Frankfurt. As I sit at the gate with Ethiopians - they are quite friendly, and I must say that aside from the 'kid' that told me to go downstairs - I wouldn't say Germans are that friendly or helpful :).  So it goes...since I have quite a bit of German in me....I better deal with it.


We left San Francisco over an hour late...loading baggage took a while so we missed our connecting flight in Frankfurt.  That means I get to see Frankfurt!  It is almost 2:00 p.m. here and hot!  My favorite :)....but our flight doesn't leave for Addis now until 10:00 p.m. and I'm excited!  We had McDonalds and the rest of the group decided to stay in the airport.  Hope I get some good pictures and adventures to share.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Leaving on a jet plane...

It's kinda crazy how much I love airports, airplanes and just pretty much anything associated with travel!  

So here I am...a happy girl sitting in the San Francisco airport - moments away from boarding.  Traveling to Frankfurt, Germany.  This leg is a 10 hour and 50 minute flight.  Then from there another flight into Addis Ababa which is 6 hours and 50 minutes.  So...the plan is to arrive at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday night in Addis.  In time to crash!  

See you or talk to you tomorrow hopefully depending on internet access!  Here we gooooooooo!!!!!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Malaria Monday....

Malaria is not a disease I want to brother got it at one point in his life and that was worrisome enough!  So - I will be taking anti-malaria meds on Monday for the next 10 weeks.  When I went to check on my shots etc - Africa is one of those countries that you pretty much need to get every known vaccine!  I already had Hep A and B series but had to get tetnus, typhoid, meningitis, and polio.  Crazy huh?  Yes...yellow fever as well but that was determined a while back that I could not get due to some other health issues. arm was sore for a few days but I should be pretty good while I'm away for this jaunt to Ethiopia :).

Oh - some of you have inquired about donating - you certainly may!  I just don't have it set up through here (yet-not sure if it will be prior to leaving next week).  If you so desire - send a check to the church (don't put my name on it) and then you will be able to have the donation be tax-deductible:
Fremont Presbyterian Church
5770 Carlson Drive
Sacramento, CA 95819
Check memo:  Ethiopia blog

Thanks for your encouragement - one week to go before taking off from San Francisco!  Woo hoo! :)
Psalm 91:1-2

Saturday, June 8, 2013

So it begins...Ethiopia

New blogger here.  Not sure what I'm doing but I have some amazing people in my life that seem interested in 'following' me during my adventures this summer.  The name of this blog (letusgive) may seem odd but hopefully it will become clear through my subsequent posts - to me as I write it and also to those that read!  Here we go...together!

Ethiopia...that is the place I am going for 5 weeks starting June 17th.  I cannot wait and I must admit I'm a bit nervous as well!  Have I been there before?  Yes...once in 2005 for 2 weeks and once in 2007 for 3 weeks.  The 3 week trip was to teach English to high school students.  I fell in love with their beautiful faces, smiles and ambition to learn.  I'm definitely looking forward to seeing them again!

This whole year has been a whirlwind so far but bottom line is - I'm preparing to leave Pacific Coast (having worked there for 27 years) and moving onto more mission oriented work - more or less a second career! 

Thanks to all my family and friends that have been so encouraging since I 'announced' all these changes in mid-April.  This trip is in preparation for a return in November for approximately 8 months.  I am not sure how much internet access I will have while in Ethiopia but I will keep you updated as much as possible.

Life is good, God is waaaayyy better. :)