Sunday, May 24, 2015

He's having his own baby

We have been giving the training for Sabbath day observance this week to all the leaders.  It is interesting the emphasis on strengthening the church will be on increasing our Sabbath day activities. The goal is to build faith in God by having the Sabbath day become a delight. I will have to spend some time thinking of things I can do to have a better Sabbath day. The sacrament is important because we do it every Sunday for the rest of our lives.  The purpose is to inspire each of us to remember Him, keep the commandments and then we will have His spirit to be with us.  That my dear friends is a goal worthy of working to.

A bit of information on Ethiopia to get your feet wet. Ethiopia is a landlocked country in the northeast African region known as the Horn of Africa. The country has a high central plateau, with some mountains reaching more than 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). The Great Rift Valley splits the plateau diagonally. The western highlands get summer rainfall; the lowlands and eastern highlands are hot and dry. Most people reside in the western highlands as does the capital, Addis Ababa—the highest capital city in Africa at 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). The population is almost evenly split between Christians, living in the highlands, and Muslims inhabiting the lowlands. The Oromo, Amhara, and Tigreans are the largest ethnic groups.  

It is a very cool place to visit.  The weather was very nice because of how high all the cities are and not as humid as Uganda because of how dry it is.  The blog is a bit out of sequence but does anyone really care?  This week will be our time in Addis Ababa where we were able to stay with President and Sister Johnson in their very nice home.  They were great hosts, perhaps a bit angry when you put your fingers where they don't belong but still it was a great time.

This beautiful lady was with us for two hours as we waited for the line to get us through customs.  Sister Squire asked if she could take her picture as we have not seen this type of hairdo in Uganda.  As you can see, she agreed.

From the side.

You may wonder, as I did, why is there a statue of Bob Marley in one of the roundabouts in Addis Ababa. Here is the scoop - Bob Marley believed Ethiopia was his spiritual home and considered Emperor Haile Selassie as divine figure. He often sang of a return to Africa and for the need for unity among all those who now live, or originally came from Africa. But he never moved to Africa during his lifetime, although he did visit the continent for a memorable concert in 1980, soon before his death. He was baptized at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church with baptismal name Berhane Selassie – “Light of the Trinity”.

We went to a place where they sing and dance.  We went for lunch and they do not perform until evening but they did request our group to get up and play for the four or five folks that were there for lunch.  Of course we said "no, no, well OK, if you insist."

The coffee setting is always a big part of any traditional restaurant.  The high bowl with white stuff is full of popcorn; it must taste good with coffee.

Injera with several toppings and you use the injera as the method (no utensils) to grab your food and eat.  You can go back a few months to get more details on injera.  It is good but the elders get hooked on this stuff after they eat it for awhile. When they come back to Uganda, after a transfer, they have to find a place where they serve it.

When you are using your hands to eat you want to clean up before you start eat and Elder Johnson used a rather unique way to wash his hands before eating.

We both used a more traditional way to wash up.

From the intense look on my face you would think this is the first time I have washed my hands, hummm.

Stairway to heaven?  They would not let me anywhere near the stairs so I could find out.

How many more "Never, Ever, Again" signs will we see after a country goes through a genocide? We went to the Red Terror museum where they show some of the harsh treatment of those who were determined to be intellectuals and so they needed to be eliminated.  Over 500,000, mostly student age youth were targeted.  They lost an entire generation because of this.

One of the ways they would punish those that survived but were kept in prison.  Our guide was "in the wrong place at the wrong time" and spent eight years as a captive.  As if being tied up in this manner was not enough, they would then torture them.

These are from the grave sites as they excavated after it was all over.

Speaking of torture, when you put your fingers in the area where the door needs to be closed, well nothing good will come of it.  It is things like this that let you know you're alive.

"Be not afraid, only believe" our mission theme

Looks right to me.

The Meganagna Chapel

Construction is a bit different in Africa but here in Ethiopia it is very effective.  Lots of high-rises being built around Addis Ababa.

Very modern highway system unlike anything in Uganda.

You pass places on the streets where you can buy a goat on the way home.

The fruit stands around the city are very colorful.

One of the branches has been kicked out of the place they are currently renting.  How would this be for your church bathroom?

This is the outside of the building.  It had some huge rooms that would hold around 80 in the chapel area with lots of breakout rooms.  The problem is there is no where outside for branch activities.  Not sure if they will rent here or find something better.

While we were looking these two showed up and we happened to have a couple of biscuits.

When we got back back to church this group was there playing basketball.  Just a little bit of height here.  Dunking was not a problem.

What a fun group to be around.

At the restaurant Sister Squire liked this hair do.

I grow stronger and larger every day as you can see from the size of my hand against the coke can.

So 3.2 million years ago Lucy got stuck in the mud and turned into a fossil.  It was great to finally meet the girl we have heard so much about.

This is what they found.

Lucy put back together so she can run and play again.

I had a few minutes so I gathered these boys around to tell them a few stories.  They couldn't take their eyes off me; they were mesmerized with my wit and beauty.  

Now be truthful, when was the last time you saw a taxidermy elephant?

I admit, I did not expect to see a tortoise here at the National Museum.

We also went to the lion park.  After safaris it is hard to look at these animals in cages but the black haired lion is a pretty amazing animal.

Look, don't be talking out of both sides of your mouth.  Just tell me straight.

It was nice that this one was active but it really is cool to see them in the wild.

This little one wanted my large camera in the worst way.  I had him settle for a picture instead.


OK, time for some short videos if interested in what traditional dancing looks like.  

I know I would have whiplash.

Watch how they use their shoulders as part of the dance.

Kick it boys!

Count the digits and see if you can guess how old I am now...No, they are not checking to see if I am going into labor.

Yes that is the smoke alarm serenading the traditional birthday song.  I wore the traditional tie with a polo shirt for the occasion.

Next week is Lalabella, the eighth Wonder of the World.

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