Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Knights in Ethiopia...finally.
As I type, we are without power. This common place of Ethiopian life doesn't bother many. In America, it would shut down cities...but here it just means a few moments without light. Now, on to our travels... After an "easy" 20 hours of travel, our families were exhausted and famished. The kids really did well on the flight. I got a little sick. But all in all, the flight was great, no problems. We didn't have any issues with baggage or customs. To each of you, who prayed for our bags, we are praising the Lord with you that He was faithful. We spent about an hour getting our visas, but it was very simple to enter into the Addis Ababa airport. Our driver, Solomon, was waiting for us with Travis Norwood. Solomon will be a driver for our family for the month we are here. And seriously, I think he will be more like family by the time we leave. He takes us everywhere, suggests places to visit, navigates the market places, and even gets water for us. We need him. This is a different world. The city is very safe. The people are very friendly. And the smells are very strong. But, there is undeniable disparity all around us. From the Sheraton, which is surrounded by European decadence, where we are staying to the palaces of past emperors to the shanties which cover the city, I cannot cease to be amazed. It's hard to be a part of this disparity and not allowed to affect it because of laws regarding to handing out to beggars. The friendliness of the Ethiopian people takes my breath. I am also surprised when most everyone we encounter understands English and tries to speak English. In America, we would be offended is a foreigner tried to speak to us in their native tongue. Here, the people are thrilled to offer any bit of English exchange with us. Ann says we are like celebrities; I think we are a bit more like a walking zoo.
Today, we visited the Ethiopian Museum of National History. It was very rich in information. How grateful I am that I read up on this prior to coming. It's nice to be able to have exchange over history, beliefs, geography, really, anything, which will allow us to come together with nationals. We saw info regarding "Lucy", the oldest discovered homosapian, artifacts back dating Christ's birth, pre-axum period tool (before Christ), and many artifacts from each Emperor. We also went to the Lion Zoo, which was founded by Halle Sallase, the last emperor of Ethiopia. Although much different from an American zoo, with it's animal rights and protections, this zoo was wonderful. We saw a few lions and baboons and lesser kudu. Quite an experience. As Preston and I are really struggling with jet lag, we thought it best to come back to the hotel to rest. Now, we are up and at it again and trying to decide on dinner. For a curry protester, this might be one of the harder tasks at hand.
Please, continue to pray for our safety, for our time to be used according to His will and way, and to godspeed the days toward the meeting and holding of our Mezekir. We are excited to experience his country, but it is difficult to be so close to him but not within reach. Tomorrow, we head to Mekele to meet his birth mom. Pray for wisdom, sensitivity, and Holy Spirit leading.
Also, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org as my email is not accessible at this time.
Our Love...The Knights