12.29.2009

Flashback to Ethiopia

Here are the long awaited pictures of our time with the boys in Ethiopia. These are the pictures that we and the members of our travel group took of our free time with the boys at the CHSFS guest house. Our agency was thoughtful enough to film and take pictures of our first meeting with the boys, so we didn't have our camera at those particular moments. The following pictures are of our precious play time/get to know you time with Efesson and Biruk.


There was a cozy coupe at the guest house for the kids to play with and, as you can see, Efesson and Biruk got a lot of use out of it each day that they came to the guest house to be with us.


We took the boys up to our room in the guest house to read some books and explore where they would be sleeping in a few days.


Me holding Biruk on one van ride back to the care center from the guest house.


Robert's first diaper change!


Biruk's pants falling down was a common finding due to the fact that every pair of pants that I brought for him was too big!


Erin and Megan, two CHSFS volunteers, loving on our boys. These girls were a fountain of valuable information and care deeply for all of the children at the care center.


The day that we were to leave Ethiopia, the guesthouse staff prepared a traditional coffee ceremony for our travel group.


Here is our travel group, kids and all, with the guest house staff after the coffee ceremony.


These are the adults from our travel group. We had an unusually small travel group. We traveled with one other couple and a CHSFS social worker who would escort one little guy home to his family. It was truly a blessing to have a small travel group!


Here is one final picture to make you smile. This is Robert and I the night before the boys were fully in our care dancing with one of the dancers at the Yod Abyssinia restaurant. This is the only time that Robert has ever danced with me...


11.29.2009

Ethiopia In Ten Pictures

As I was going through my pictures, I couldn't help but think that they just don't do Ethiopia justice. We have pictures of monuments and attempts at taking decent pictures through the windows of the vehicles that we traveled in, but these pictures do not capture what it was like to be in Ethiopia. I think that these ten pictures will give you a small idea, but you are going to have to go to Ethiopia to understand what I mean...

We stayed at the Biruk Bed and Breakfast off of Bole Road in Addis Ababa. The owners of the place were very hospitable and we also met a friendly Canadian couple while we were there. It was the perfect place to stay the two nights before we went to the CHSFS guesthouse for adoptive parents.


This is Robert and the tour guide who volunteered to show us around Addis Ababa (he was very nice and we didn't mind tipping him for his "volunteer" work). They are standing in front of a staircase that was built by the Italians as a symbol of Fascist domination, one step for each year Mussolini held power. The "Lion of Judah" (a symbol of Ethiopia) on top was placed there as a monument to Ethiopia's independence from Italy. It is located outside of the Ethnological Museum (in what was once emperor Hale Selasse's palace) on the Addis Ababa University campus.


Our second day in Ethiopia was spend with some leaders from a Church planting movement there. Here is a picture of Robert in front of one of their church buildings with six generations of Christians. See my previous post for more details about this experience.


We drove past this place every day on our way to Biruk's care center and Efesson's school. Here one can buy a goat and even have it slaughtered right here along the road. We often saw people walking through the streets of Ethiopa's capitol city with their herds of goats, cattle, or donkeys. A single cow was often found grazing in the middle of a roundabout near this place.


Coffee is a big deal in Ethiopia. The reason why we took this picture is pretty obvious.
Man, there is something so familiar about that sign!


When I went to Tanzania, Africa in 2005 I was amazed by the landscape! I remember staring out the window the Land Rover for hours and hours as we drove from Dar Es Salaam to Chimala, entertained by the beauty of the land and the daily lives of the people. I felt the same way about the Ethiopian landscape. The daily lives of the people are especially beautiful--children walking to and from school in colorful uniforms, people washing clothes in a stream, people outside their homes, livestock, crops, people and their donkeys carrying water from one place to another, and oh so much more. Here are a few shots taken through the window as we drove through the Ethiopian countryside.





Sharing food with new friends. This is a mesob table with the Ethiopian food that we shared with our travel group. We shared this meal together the night before our children were oficially in our care. We ate and enjoyed the traditional dance show at a restaruant called Yod Abyssinia. Robert and I truly enjoyed our travel group! We had an unusually small group with just one other couple adopting a toddler boy and a CHSFS social worker coming as an escort for another little guy. We experienced so many indescribable moments alongside these people and they will forever be in our families thoughts and prayers.

11.16.2009

Blog Email From Ethiopia (posted late due to being unable to post it in Ethiopia)

Hey all! Sorry this isn't a post about recent happenings within the Meyer household...BUT! I promise that it is coming! We no longer have internet at home, so it is much tougher to keep up with. Stay tuned, I will at least try and get a couple of pictures posted soon. - Teague


October 23, 2009 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -

We arrived safely in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Tuesday evening and headed to the Biruk Bed and Breakfast (nice name, huh!?). We walked all over Addis Ababa (Robert estimates that we walked about 15 miles) the first day, just taking in our surroundings. We also visited the Ethnological Museum located in the University of Addis Ababa. Wehighly recommend that museum. It explains a good deal of Ethiopian history and culture. There was even a small exhibit on pottery fromthe region where Efesson and Biruk were born.

We spent day two with an Ethiopian Church Planting Movement. Prior toleaving for Ethiopia we made plans to travel about three hours outsideof Addis to see the church planting that is being done in a southern region of Ethiopia. We met three different church families, one of which has six generations of Christians (meaning a friend reaches out to a friend who reaches a friend ... times six). It was a very informative experience and we will be using what we learned as we develop a strategy for mission work in Angola. It was also wonderful to look at the beautiful Ethiopian landscape and watch the people as they went about their daily lives. What you see looking out the windowof your vehicle as you drive through Ethiopia is indescribable.

We met Efesson and Biruk today. This morning we spent nearly two hours with them both. They were excited to meet us (Efesson especially) and we had a wonderful time playing outside with them. There were no tears until we were preparing to leave ... then the boys had a colossal meltdown. Efesson and Biruk stay in separate houses and were only together this morning for our meeting. They did not want to be separated from each other as we were leaving, and there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. After about 15 minutes of this heightened emotional state, Biruk settled back into his daily routine and Efesson begrudgingly agreed to return to his house for lunch.

This afternoon, I was able to spend another hour with Biruk while Robert spent an hour with Efesson in their separate homes. They're both delightful boys. Goodbyes were much easier in round two.

Tomorrow we will see them both together again for a couple hours in the morning. We hope their separation anxiety will decrease.

10.18.2009

Am I REALLY Flying to Ethiopia Tomorrow?!

Just a quick synopsis of our time back in the states...

We flew home on Monday, October 12th and when we arrived at our home that evening we found that there was a ridiculous amount of mold all over our belongings, so we did some unexpected cleaning and went to bed. The next morning I woke up at 3:30am and couldn't sleep, so I got up and cleaned. I cleaned until lunch time and Robert and I went out to lunch with some friends. After lunch Robert, got a hair cut (so that he would look more like the pictures that we sent to the boys) while I went to Walmart to buy a few things for the boys. That evening we went to Silver City Mentoring and then out to dinner with friends. On Wednesday morning I cleaned the house and packed until we went over to a friend's house for lunch. Also, that morning, we put our moldy couch and recliner on the curb and they were gone in less than 30 minutes (a plus to living in the hood)! After lunch we borrowed a mini van to pick up a new used couch from a local church and took it to the house and Robert got a new driver's license. We returned the mini van and I went to Target to spend some gift cards on what we still needed for the boys until it was time for life group. We had dinner with friends after life group, then I stayed up until nearly 2am to finish packing. The next morning we drove to Nashville for a team meeting.

How many future adoptive mothers do you know who can clean the entire (moldy) house, go shopping for all that she needs for her children in Ethiopia, pack, and do all that other stuff in just TWO DAYS! I need some props...comment below :)

9.24.2009

I forgot how much fun field trips can be!

Once a month Eunice takes her students on a field trip. This month we went to Belém. We ate Pasteis de Belém , visited the Monument to the Discoveries, visited the Jeronimos Monistery, and then had lunch together. After the field trip, Robert and I stuck around to visit the Monistery's Cloister and the Tour de Belém.


Here are a couple of group pictures...one of us in the elevator and one of us in front of where they make the real Pasteis de Belém.


Monument to the Discoveries



Inside the Monument to the Discoveries you can watch a really great film about the history of Portugal. I highly recommend it!
Here is the group before the show.


From the top of the Monument to the Discoveries there is a great view of city.
Here is the Jeronimos Monistery,


the Tour de Belem,


and the compass mosaic at the foot of the monument.


A more detailed look at the Jeronimos Monistery. It is a very interesting building!






The Tour de Belém.


This rhinocerous is found on the Tour. I guess the Portuguese explorers were impressed by the rhinocerous!

9.23.2009

One month from today...


...we meet the boys!

Here are a couple of excerpts and some pictures from each of their social reports for you to enjoy...



"Efesson is a happy and smiley little boy. He has a beautiful and bright smile. Though he is a bit shy, he likes it when somebody gets close and plays with him. Once he is close to somebody, he always gets excited and runs to hug and kiss that person."



"Biruk is a sweet little boy though he usually wears a serious face...He enjoys wrestling with bigger children or his nannies playfully. When they play with him, he babbles and laughs out loud."

Castelo means Castle in Portuguese

On a Wednesday during the first weeks that we were in Portugal we went to the earlier class block (9:30-11:30) and then headed into Lisbon to look around before going to a Bible Study that evening. We visited the Castelo de São Jorge or Saint George's Castle and the Sé Cathedral.

Robert was looking at his map to find the castle while we were standing in this square and I said, "you mean that castle up there?"


Here is a view looking down at that Square from the Castle. There were some great views from the Strategically placed Castle.


Roberto e Jorge
(Robert and George)






This is the Sé Cathedral.


This archeological dig is located within the cloister of the cathedral. Can you find the Roman store or the Islamic dump?


Check out this website for the answers and for more information!