Our New Home… Ethiopia!

Home Sweet Home

Well, we have finally arrived in Ethiopia! It has been a long, long journey over the past year and we couldn’t have done it without the people God has put in our lives. We are so grateful for amazing friends and a supportive church! Thanks to all of you who have helped make our move possible. Words can’t explain how thankful we are for all of you – too many to name, but you know who you are… AMAZING!

We left home a little over a week ago. All of our bags have made it – although it took three trips to the airport to recover all the luggage the airline lost. Our flight arrived in Addis at 3:00 AM! By the time we got to the SIM guest house and into bed, it was 5:00 AM and the call to prayer (Muslim) was just beginning! We had to get up and be at a meeting by 9:00. I (Allyson) left the U.S. sick and definitely didn’t feel too well after 3 hours of sleep in 2 days! We have finally recovered from our jet lag, but we are still pretty worn out.

We have definitely hit the ground running. Our first full day here we conquered getting our Ethiopian drivers’ licenses! Not that I ever care to attempt to drive here – oh my! We joke that it is like playing a live video game – only you don’t get multiple lives…

That afternoon we went grocery shopping to stock up before we headed down country to the Langano mission station where we are living. It was craziness. They definitely don’t believe in bulk groceries (like SAM’s). I had to buy these tiny bags of flour and rice and you are never going to believe it – I spent $500 on groceries! It was equivalent to about 6 bags of stuff. I cried when we got back – it was all so overwhelming and sooo expensive!

Loading up to head down to Langano – our groceries (two families’ worth) in the foreground…

Loading up the car – our teammate, Amy Rodgers, is on top of the car…

Wouldn’t you know it – a flat tire on our way down country! Never a dull moment.

Okay – so I have to give a little side note here – while I am typing this, there are monkeys playing chase on our tin roof! It is so loud, but it still makes me smile. I was going to say that it reminds me we are in Africa (which is true), but honestly I haven’t needed much reminding that we aren’t in the states! Between only having two hours of electricity a day, cold baths, sleeping under mosquito nets, termites in the house, monkeys and baboons running everywhere, Ethiopian food every day for lunch, flies clinging to my face when I am outside, and patients who only speak Oromo, I don’t need much reminding!

Laundry done old school!

Jake Wetzel (our teammate) showing Shane the camp soccer fields… on the shores of Lake Langano.

We got here to Langano on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The next day we celebrated Thanksgiving as a team – instead of turkey, we had roast warthog! It was actually really good. There is a great team here that we will be working with. The big bummer is that the Scheels and the Wetzels leave the end of this week for two months, so it will just be the Rodgers family, Joan, and our family here for the next few months. I guess we will be getting to know each other really well. 🙂

Mike Rodgers carving the roasted warthog!

Amy, Hannah (a baby they are in the process of adopting), and Jacob.

Shane and I both got right to work on Monday since we only have one week of overlap with the Scheels. I have been working in the clinic with Kim and Shane has been working with Dan on our house. I have really enjoyed the girls stopping by the clinic to help out here and there. All three kids are having fun exploring around camp, hunting baboons, killing chicken for dinner, and doing various other activities that I never dreamed my kids would do! We are trying to start their schooling, but it has been really hard. We are really looking forward to Mary coming to join us to help with that. She is still in the process of raising her support. Plus, we really miss Mary! We have been in training with her for two months, so it doesn’t feel right to not have her here. Pray with us that she gets here soon!

Hannah hunting baboons.

Mia helped me at the clinic on Tuesday.

Shane on the short wave radio getting updates from the other Ethiopia mission stations. We do this twice a day – it makes us feel like real missionaries!

Moses was sooo excited to see the new bike that Mr. David got him! Thank you!! He rides it all day every day.

Allyson’s first delivery – a vacuum extraction!

You are probably wondering why it has taken us so long to post a blog and why we haven’t sent out any emails. We are really bummed that the internet here is a mess! It is dial-up and our computer can’t hook up to it because we have a Mac. What’s up with that??!! Shane’s computer won’t work either because it has Vista. We need a PC that runs Windows XP. Some friends are sending us one (thanks Susan and Curtis!) That way we can at least keep up with email and hopefully Facebook. We won’t be able to update our blog that way, but if you are getting this blog today, that means we have found out a way to publish it at some internet cafe. We have heard that there is a town an hour and a half away that has decent internet. Shane is going there with Mike to check it out. If it works, then we will likely just be posting blog updates every three weeks or so that way. Or, if any of you are super bummed like we are and have a burning desire to help us improve the internet situation here, it will cost $6,000 up front to set up satellite and $700 a month! (Just thought I’d throw it out there… 🙂 It actually would be really helpful for the clinic, too, so we can access medical information and treatment guidelines. That has been a huge adjustment for me. I feel like I don’t have enough access to resources to get the information I need about some of the cases I have seen.

We have probably worn you out by now, so we will leave you in suspense until the next time. We miss all of you very much! The other night we went to bed and looked at each other and said, “3 days down, only 700 left to go!” How’s that for perspective? Ha! We are adjusting, it is just hard and it will take a while. Life is so different here and there is so much to learn about living in such a rural environment. Please continue to pray for us. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve the Arsi people of Ethiopia!

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