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.