We are settling in to somewhat of a rhythm here. Here is a snapshot of what our days look like.
I like to get up early before everyone else gets out of bed. We have a roof-top deck here and in the mornings, with the cool breeze and the beautiful view, it is my favorite place to be. I usually start my day with some exercise. All of my Sun Oaks peeps will be proud to know that I am still doing Group Core and Group Power – even if it is a somewhat modified version. I even did a little Zumba with our kids the other day. Well, in all honesty, they mostly watched and pointed and giggled while I danced.
When I finish my workout, I walk downstairs where our wonderful cook always has my coffee ready to go. I grab a cup and grab my prayer journal and head back to the roof-top for some quiet time. I love this! Just me and God and coffee and this beautiful view.
When I come downstairs, my family is just getting out of bed. We get ready for our day and head down to breakfast. Again, have I mentioned how amazing our cook is? Every morning we have fresh fruit of some kind. Often she will make oatmeal or pancakes or eggs to go along with it. And, she makes fresh juice too! Here is my fresh-squeezed mango juice, my second cup of coffee, and my girl.
Then our day begins. We will often walk around our “neighborhood.” I am so thankful that our guest house is on the edge of the city so we have a little bit of open space around us. This is our neighborhood store. It is two houses down from us.
This man provides an amazing variety of items for such a small space. We will sometimes buy a Coke or a Sprite to have with our lunch. All the sodas are in glass bottles, and we have to return them when we are done drinking.
Here is a beautiful baby who I see often on the back of his mother. His mother speaks very good English and so we have been able to visit. She is a refugee from the Congo and has been here two years. Her name is Caroline. The baby is Shema.
This is the guard tower for our neighborhood.
Everyone who lives here pays just a little bit and together they hire a man to sit in this guard tower and keep an eye on things. I am not really sure what he is watching out for because everyone here seems so friendly. Also, every house has their own guard who stays out front and opens and closes the gates as people come and go. But, this guard tower is almost always occupied.
We spend a few hours every day visiting with our children. We always put some new little item in our backpack to show them, or give them, or play with them. A picture book was a big hit as they flipped through the pages and showed off their English skills. We have colored with sidewalk chalk, beaded necklaces, sculpted with play dough, played on the iPad, taken a million pictures, and of course, every time we visit they want to have another water gun fight. Here are my water gun warriors.
After our visit, we head home to yet another wonderful meal. In the evenings we will often visit with Levi and Jessie and their children. I love that our guest house is so close to them. Our kids have walked back and forth across the fields to visit each other. They are already begging for sleepovers. As all 6 children run around and play, we get to know this wonderful couple who has made Ethiopia their home for the last 3 years. I am so thankful that God connected us with them. Here is Jessie and her littlest girl Everly. Aren’t they beautiful?
I got to work on my first project for Bring Love In yesterday. We are hoping to get this guest house all completed before we leave. Not only will this house be a blessing to adopting families who travel here for court and embassy appointments, but it will also provide a source of income for Levi and Jessie so they can focus more on their ministry and less on raising support. Here is our guard Tesfi and I staining the tables and chairs.
Thank you to everyone who has messaged me, commented on my blog, or left me Facebook posts. I read every single one of them and they bless my heart and make me feel closer to home. Thank you for being a part of this adventure!