The first week of Nov. I was SO excited to welcome a good friend of mine, Julie Friesen, from the states to Ethiopia!
Julie and I have know each other for about 5 years now, but didn’t become close friends till right before we left to come here. We both kept asking ourselves why we didn’t get to know each other better a little sooner!! 🙂
What a blessing her visit was for me!
To be able to sit and talk girl stuff, both serious and fun!
When she first confirmed that she was going to come, she sent me an email asking about what gifts she could bring.
Both Marshal and I had birthdays end of Oct. beginning of Nov, so I assumed she wanted to bring a little bday gift along, and because I don’t like telling people what to buy me, I sent a list of IDEAS that would be exciting for our family to get. Little did I know she sent the list to our church family. When she arrived and we were opening the trunks I was SHOCKED to see EVERYTHING on my list from so many good friends back home! It was SO fun to go through it all with her and hear who gave what, and read the sweet notes from friends!
I failed in getting a picture of trunk of blessings (that’s what I call it! 🙂 ) but I am SO looking forward to using the fun decorations in our new house, which you WILL see pics of soon, the list of medications that I’d sent that they all picked up for me was a HUGE blessing when you can’t get any of that stuff here and with three little boys it gets used a LOT! 🙂 The boys are going to LOVE their rainy day crafts, not to mention all the yummy treats! 🙂
Julie and I enjoyed a week of hiking through the hills/mountains of Ethiopia,
These two little ones were our tour guides one day.
We saw quite a few baboons one afternoon on a drive up a mountain.
Racing with my boys, she so sweetly played with the kiddos a lot, and I think one of them, had he been a little older, would have been in love! 😉
Look out Andy!!
We had a little adventure one night after a cow had been killed and a herd of hyenas decided to make a feast out of it. It was too dark to get good pics, but they are NASTY looking animals, and bigger than I thought!
We were outside the compound with our guard, Marshal, and a handful of young men from the village who hadn’t seen a hyena yet. They were typical high school boys, (it’s funny somethings are the same no matter where you live) and at one point one boy sidled up close to Julie and in a hushed whisper said “I love you!” then ran away! 🙂 It’s probably one of those things you had to be there for, but we got a good laugh at the time, and I know Julie you are laughing now remembering!! 🙂
We also did some souvenir shopping…of course!
I don’t like to carry my camera when I’m out like that so didn’t get many pictures, but one day we visited a silk worm factory.
We were able to take a quick little tour around the place, there were parts that I hadn’t seen yet, so it was really fun to see it all working from the beginning worms to the beautiful silk products they made for their shop.
look at all those beautiful colors!!
The factory where the weaving was done.
“No Julie you can not buy the whole store…though tempting!!!” 🙂
I also had a couple fun crafts for us to do in preparation for our new house.
We painted a dresser blue!!!!!!
yes shocking for all who know me, but it was more of a teal! 🙂
We recovered our dining room chairs….
I think Ryan may have been a little worn out after helping us haul the chairs outside!
We also tie dyed the curtains for the boys’ room. I was pretty pleased with how they turned out!
Thank you mom for the tie dye kit, the boys were really excited when they saw how it turned out!! 🙂
My favorite thing that Julie and I did together, and I think she would agree was our visit to a school a little outside of Addis.
I have a good friend here who runs a sponsorship program so kids can afford school. She is an amazing daughter of the Lord who has a beautiful heart for these kids and so much love to share!
A lot of these kids had HIV, and had lost many family members to HIV so were being taken care of by relatives. A part of her program for these kids every week my friend comes and shares a bible lesson with these kids.
Julie, brought along with her 40 coloring books and 40 boxes of crayons. These were given to her by SO many wonderful families willing to help and bless these sweet kids.
I have to admit that my children have lots of coloring books and crayons, so though I knew the kids would like the packages, I was VERY unprepared for their look of pure joy and delight at receiving their own coloring book and crayons. It was so humbling and fun to see!
But what’s more, is the response to the children seeing the pictures of the families that were put in the packages with the coloring books and crayons.
The pictures received many kisses from these kiddos, and I’m pretty sure they adopted you all as part of their families! These pictures will stay with them for a LONG time!
I’m only sorry I wasn’t able to get more pictures of the kiddos with “their family” 🙂
Julie, I SO enjoyed my “week with a friend” and will treasure our time together! To all the ladies who blessed our family with so much love, thank you!
To everyone…for $30 a month you can sponsor a sweet little boy or girl just like these above! Believe me, they are PRECIOUS!!!